Module 2 – Habit Change.

Make it Attractive

 

The reason that processed foods and junk foods are so attractive is that they have been engineered by food companies to trigger our primal desires. My biggest demon is dry-roasted peanuts. Regardless of the size of the package, if I start eating them I find it very difficult to stop. For this product, I really do have to deploy self-discipline. The worse thing is knowing that they are plant-based so fit in with my healthy eating beliefs. Unfortunately, they contain loads of salt which I know is bad for my heart so I want to resist them.

This is what we are up against people! The food companies have been deliberately manipulating our primeval desires and cravings to create products that we find irresistible. We all have deep existential needs and these are leveraged and amplified by companies to get us to buy their products. Here are some examples:

Our habits are modern-day solutions to ancient desires:

  • To conserve energy
  • To obtain food and water
  • To reproduce
  • To connect and bond with others
  • To win social acceptance and approval
  • To reduce uncertainty
  • To achieve status and prestige.

50,000 years ago it was rare to find salt, fat and sugar in the natural environment. So when we did, we are programmed to try and maximize our intake. That made sense back then, but now it’s causing a chronic disease epidemic.

Most of the processed and packaged foods that we buy cause the chronic diseases that are severely damaging our societies and now also our economies. Virtually all of the people that are dying because of the Corona Virus, for example, have an underlying health condition, typically, heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. Processed food, meat and dairy are directly linked to all of these with their high contents of salt, sugar and fat.

How To Make Our Actions More Desirable

We take action because of dopamine. But, importantly, the pleasure that dopamine gives our brains actually comes from anticipation of the action rather than the action itself. This why looking forward to a holiday can be more pleasurable than the holiday itself.

I learn Spanish for 10 minutes everyday. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but what I haven’t mentioned is that I learn while drinking my first cup of coffee and eating a slice of bread and marmalade. I enjoy and look forward to drinking the coffee and eating the bread, so I combine it with learning Spanish. I combine the that I want (drink coffee) with the thing that I need (to learn Spanish).

Our objective, of course is to switch from our meat and dairy based diets to our new healthy plant-based versions. So we need to think of as many ways as we can, especially in the beginning, to make our new food options as attractive as possible. And because we are talking about food, the most obvious thing is to make our new food irresistibly delicious.

Here’s a top tip. Instead of focusing on the foods that you’ll be rejecting, focus instead on all the wonderful new foods that you are going to discover. Before I switched to my plant-based diet, I used to imagine that it would be completely boring and restrictive. This was because my old mindset was incapable of imagining the world that has materialized for me.

Get Cooking and Get Creative

Here’s a top tip for at home. We’re going to think about breakfast, lunch and dinner in subsequent modules, but what I’ve learned is that getting enthusiastic about cooking makes everything so much easier. And there are so many options you will be amazed!

Do you enjoy listening to the radio, podcasts or audiobooks? I was never keen to cook and prepare food, but now I actually look forward to it. I listen to my favourite podcasts (Rich Roll) while cooking. Time flies, I create delicious food and have fun doing it.

When you know that you have lots of delicious food in the fridge and cupboards, you’ll soon forget about your old favourites and fall in love with healthy new foods.

Meat and Dairy Replacements

Another thing you can try at the beginning at least is to replace your favourite foods with plant-based alternatives. There have been huge advances in the taste and texture of plant-based meats. I recently ate a Beyond Burger here in Tenerife and it was absolutely amazing. The waitress at the café told me that it was far more popular than the meat beef burger that they served, even among the meat-eating public.

Remember, we want to make switching to a plant-based diet as attractive as possible. So maybe trying out some of the plant-based meats, cheeses and yogurts is a good idea.

Personally, my focus now is much more on healthy foods. But when I was first making the transition these alternatives make it easier for me.

1. Introduction  |  2. Identity Change  |  3. Make it Rewarding  |  4. How to Build Habits  6. The Best Way to Start  |  7. Environment  |  8. More on Environment  |  9. Make it Attractive10. Make it Unattractive  |  11. Role of Friends and Family  |  12. Momentum | 13. Make it Easy  |  14. Procrastination  |  15. Commitment Devices

About Module 2:

Before we find out more about switching to a healthy diet, it will help us a lot to learn about how habits are formed and, perhaps most importantly, kept.

I’m really excited about this module because it provides us with a tool for making changes in all areas of our life, not just diet and health. I promise that you’ll discover a lot of new ways of implementing changes in your life. This module will also help you to kick bad habits and create new ones.

Module 2 – Habit Change.

Make it Attractive

 

The reason that processed foods and junk foods are so attractive is that they have been engineered by food companies to trigger our primal desires. My biggest demon is dry-roasted peanuts. Regardless of the size of the package, if I start eating them I find it very difficult to stop. For this product, I really do have to deploy self-discipline. The worse thing is knowing that they are plant-based so fit in with my healthy eating beliefs. Unfortunately, they contain loads of salt which I know is bad for my heart so I want to resist them.

This is what we are up against people! The food companies have been deliberately manipulating our primeval desires and cravings to create products that we find irresistible. We all have deep existential needs and these are leveraged and amplified by companies to get us to buy their products. Here are some examples:

Our habits are modern-day solutions to ancient desires:

  • To conserve energy
  • To obtain food and water
  • To reproduce
  • To connect and bond with others
  • To win social acceptance and approval
  • To reduce uncertainty
  • To achieve status and prestige.

50,000 years ago it was rare to find salt, fat and sugar in the natural environment. So when we did, we are programmed to try and maximize our intake. That made sense back then, but now it’s causing a chronic disease epidemic.

Most of the processed and packaged foods that we buy cause the chronic diseases that are severely damaging our societies and now also our economies. Virtually all of the people that are dying because of the Corona Virus, for example, have an underlying health condition, typically, heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. Processed food, meat and dairy are directly linked to all of these with their high contents of salt, sugar and fat.

How To Make Our Actions More Desirable

We take action because of dopamine. But, importantly, the pleasure that dopamine gives our brains actually comes from anticipation of the action rather than the action itself. This why looking forward to a holiday can be more pleasurable than the holiday itself.

I learn Spanish for 10 minutes everyday. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but what I haven’t mentioned is that I learn while drinking my first cup of coffee and eating a slice of bread and marmalade. I enjoy and look forward to drinking the coffee and eating the bread, so I combine it with learning Spanish. I combine the that I want (drink coffee) with the thing that I need (to learn Spanish).

Our objective, of course is to switch from our meat and dairy based diets to our new healthy plant-based versions. So we need to think of as many ways as we can, especially in the beginning, to make our new food options as attractive as possible. And because we are talking about food, the most obvious thing is to make our new food irresistibly delicious.

Here’s a top tip. Instead of focusing on the foods that you’ll be rejecting, focus instead on all the wonderful new foods that you are going to discover. Before I switched to my plant-based diet, I used to imagine that it would be completely boring and restrictive. This was because my old mindset was incapable of imagining the world that has materialized for me.

Get Cooking and Get Creative

Here’s a top tip for at home. We’re going to think about breakfast, lunch and dinner in subsequent modules, but what I’ve learned is that getting enthusiastic about cooking makes everything so much easier. And there are so many options you will be amazed!

Do you enjoy listening to the radio, podcasts or audiobooks? I was never keen to cook and prepare food, but now I actually look forward to it. I listen to my favourite podcasts (Rich Roll) while cooking. Time flies, I create delicious food and have fun doing it.

When you know that you have lots of delicious food in the fridge and cupboards, you’ll soon forget about your old favourites and fall in love with healthy new foods.

Meat and Dairy Replacements

Another thing you can try at the beginning at least is to replace your favourite foods with plant-based alternatives. There have been huge advances in the taste and texture of plant-based meats. I recently ate a Beyond Burger here in Tenerife and it was absolutely amazing. The waitress at the café told me that it was far more popular than the meat beef burger that they served, even among the meat-eating public.

Remember, we want to make switching to a plant-based diet as attractive as possible. So maybe trying out some of the plant-based meats, cheeses and yogurts is a good idea.

Personally, my focus now is much more on healthy foods. But when I was first making the transition these alternatives make it easier for me.

1. Introduction  |  2. Identity Change  |  3. Make it Rewarding  |  4. How to Build Habits  6. The Best Way to Start  |  7. Environment  |  8. More on Environment  |  9. Make it Attractive10. Make it Unattractive  |  11. Role of Friends and Family  |  12. Momentum | 13. Make it Easy  |  14. Procrastination  |  15. Commitment Devices

About Module 2:

Before we find out more about switching to a healthy diet, it will help us a lot to learn about how habits are formed and, perhaps most importantly, kept.

I’m really excited about this module because it provides us with a tool for making changes in all areas of our life, not just diet and health. I promise that you’ll discover a lot of new ways of implementing changes in your life. This module will also help you to kick bad habits and create new ones.