Eat it Later is a book about delaying food gratification, and mastering self-control. It Surprisingly it had a big effect on me!
I am skeptical about weight loss advice. I’ve read a lot of books, and have tried a lot of strategies to eat healthy food, but nothing has truly been a game changer .
That’s why it came as a huge surprise to me when I loved the book, Michael Alvear, Eat it LaterThe subtitle is “Mastering Self Control and the slimming power of postponement.”
Timing is everything to me in my interest in health topics. Right currently, I’m thinking a lot on why we succumb to impulsive cravings.
Weight loss by impulsive control
It seems that impulse control is becoming less effective, especially among children. However, it’s more important than it ever was.
The classics: A look at them Marshmallow experimentSelf control is a key characteristic of successful living. This is evident when we look at the evidence. In business, in health, and in life, those people who don’t react impulsively and has the ability to wait for something better, will see more success. According to the author
“The ability to delay immediate gratification for a better consequence in the future is strongly associated with success later in life”.
By Michael Alvear, Eat it Later
Children who were delayed more often had a better life than those who wanted immediate marshmallows. They were more successful in their careers, had better stress management skills and were thinner.
Can you learn or practice postponement or delay in pleasure? I believe you can. Here are my three takeaways from the book.
Summary of the book’s weight-loss advice:
1) Stop putting off weight loss deadlines
Although the author might not have stated this exact, he did spend much time discussing how delaying indulgences is something you should continue to practice for the rest your life.
Stop viewing dieting as a temporary fix or a short-term event. Although this is not new, he presented it in a way that was more appealing to me. He gives you warning that changing your behavior to delay an impulse is going to take months or years to get good at, so don’t worry if you cave here and there.
It’s a long term solution, and that’s a good thing. The longer you practice this as a lifestyle habit, the better success you’ll see, and the less deprived you’ll feel.
2) Postponement of the Goods
I love this idea, and I’ve already practiced it this weekend. Refusal to purchase the goodsTo feel the urge or the desire. Recognize it. Identify the intensity of the craving. Then decide if it’s high enough to indulge right away, or if it’s possible to wait.
We eat a lot of food as soon as we feel hungry. It’s OK to wait. The better the food will taste, it’s okay to wait. This prevents you from just because you want to grab a few pretzels at once.
So this weekend I bought a cookie from a bakery. Normally, I’d eat it right away. I deliberately wanted to practice putting off the purchase. I didn’t need to eat it as soon as I got it home. I wasn’t that hungry, and I wanted to see if I could postpone it till the evening. I kept that cookie for nearly 6 hours. I took 1/4 of the cookie with mindfulness and intention and ate it. The rest was shared with my children. I was happier with 1/4 of the cookie than if I had eaten the whole thing on the way back from the bakery.
3) Bargaining for better
The last big takeaway was for me the You can bargain for something better. If you are faced with poor quality food, is it worth it to indulge? Would you rather indulge in cheap imitation chocolate chips than wait for quality European chocolate? It’s better to delay the urge and craving and wait for something better. This will not only leave you satisfied but also not deprived.
The book It’s better to eat it laterThis is a quick, one-day read. Although nothing is groundbreaking, I appreciated the way the author presented the problem of impulse control and offered some practical strategies to help me delay eating.
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