This may seem extreme – and if you saw my pantry, you might think that I am. It holds no sandwich cookies, no breakfast pastries, no peanut butter with sugar added. Most of what you’ll find there is pretty darn healthy. It’s not that we are saints when it comes to our food choices. It’s that I understand that it’s better for me to be an abstainer versus a moderator.
Gretchen Rubin, author of the book The Happiness Project and blog by the same name recently asserted, “More people would benefit from abstaining,” than from thinking that they can consume one or two of [insert naughty food of choice] and then simply quit.
This being true – at least for me – then it’s best to have the chips stay on the shelf at the grocery store versus having them taunt me from my pantry shelf at 8:00PM each night.
Not buying chips is what Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney describe in their book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength as an implementation plan.
It’s easier to resist the temptation to go into debt if you enter the store with a firm implementation plan, like, If I shop for clothes, I will buy only what I can pay for with the cash in my wallet. Every time you follow this kind of rule, it becomes more routine, until eventually it seems to happen automatically and you have a lasting technique for conserving willpower: a habit.
As they go on to say, “Precommitment is the ultimate offensive weapon,” and I am precommitting to abstain from chip eating.
We’ll see how that goes.