Decisions Ahead of Time

You may have heard me say before that we have a prefrontal cortex and a primitive brain. The prefrontal cortex is the conscious and deliberate part of the brain that helps with decision making and planning ahead. The primitive brain is the unconscious and impulsive part of our brain whose only job is to see pleasure, avoid pain as efficiently as possible to survive.

Which part of your brain would you rather have in charge? The prefrontal cortex is like the parent and the primitive brain, the toddler. To be successful in weight loss or any goal, we want our prefrontal cortex in charge of all eating decisions.

Planning what you are going to eat the night before or 24 hours in advance and following through and eating the planned food is really the secret sauce to consistent weight loss. Doing this prevents a lot of brain drama from decisions in the moment which are driven by the primitive brain. So when you have an urge or craving, notice your primitive brain having a fit and then eat your planned food. Nothing has gone wrong, your brain is just reacting out of habit.

If you have an erratic schedule, make a back up plan for staying on your plan. It takes very little time to plan your food in advance. Keep your food choices easy and simple and you will be more likely to follow through. You can plan a week in advance if you know your schedule. I make a menu for the week, have the same 2 lunches and just alternate days and then make simple dinners. I buy the ingredients on the week-end and have everything I need to follow through. If something comes up or I do not get home until late, I can always make a salad or buy a salad with chicken at any restaurant with ranch or Caesar dressing. Or if you have no time for lunch, try just drinking water and fast until dinner and use the fat off your body for fuel.

When you start honoring your commitments to yourself by sticking to what was planned to eat, this helps build your relationship and trust with yourself. Honoring your commitments to yourself creates healthy and strong habits. Writing down what you eat is also associated with long term weight loss success.

If you want to have a joy eat or exception meal, just plan it 24 hours in advance and be specific, what will you eat and how much? There are menus online for almost every restaurant.

Practice some positive thoughts in the moment. Find 1 or 2 that feel true for you.

I am learning to honor my commitments to myself

I am capable of honoring my commitments to myself

Am I going to be proud tomorrow?

I am worthy of honoring my commitments to myself

I choose to eat food to fuel my body instead of immediate reward/comfort

I am willing to consistently do hard things for myself and my health

Do you want to be in default mode and let your primitive brain be in charge? Your brain is a tool and you are the manager of your brain. Use your prefrontal cortex to create something amazing in your life. When you don’t have to spend so much time thinking of food what will you do instead?

If you want to work with me, schedule a FREE Coaching Session at

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