How much time do you spend trying to justify eating something that you know you shouldn’t?
If you are anything like most people who are trying to be conscious about what they eat, the answer is likely “a lot.”
Think about it: how many times per day do you debate if you could eat “just a small slice” of that cake in the break room, or if you could order the less-healthy option for lunch, or if you could skip that apple you brought for a snack?
The problem is, the longer you try to find a “good” reason to eat something, the more likely you are to find one. Our minds are very creative, and sooner or later they will find a rationale that justifies your eating just about anything.
In the moment, these justifications may seem like “the truth” or “a good idea”… but a few hours later, as you are nursing a sugar hang-over or feeling bloated, you realize that they are bogus.
I have created a fun game to help you catch those justifications before you act on them: Justification BINGO.
Here is how you play:
1. Print out the Justification BINGO card on this page.
Put it at work or at home: wherever you are tempted to stray from your eating plan.
2. Get a stack of coins.
Pennies, dimes, nickels… any coin will do.
3. Catch justifications.
Each time you catch yourself even thinking one of the justifications on the card, put a coin on that square.
4. Add your own.
Add your favorite justifications in row 5 to customize the board.
5. Get a BINGO.
When you get five-in-a-row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, this means that you are doing a great job of catching your justifications. Reward yourself with a prize… NOT food, please.
6. Clear the board and start again.
Make it a daily practice.
7. Make it a group game (optional).
For more fun and support, bring others in. Get a little healthy competition going. Laugh together at the off-the-wall justifications you each are finding. Maybe each person contributes $5 to the kitty, and the winner takes all.
The ultimate result of this game is that you become a pro at recognizing justifications when they come up, and stopping them dead in their tracks. Free of your justifications, you will be able to make wiser choices about what you eat, and lose the weight that you have been dreaming about.