Monday, June 25, 2012

5 Mistaken Beliefs, Part 2

In the previous post, the Bountiful Bite exposed the first three of 5 mistaken beliefs about eating better and losing weight.  I nabbed the headlines from’s 5 Mistaken Business Leader’s Beliefs, and magically applied them to your own business of shedding unwanted body fat or slimming down and getting in better shape. 

 These last two "Mistaken Beliefs" are ingrained beliefs we all struggle with. We get duped by force of habit. Why shouldn’t you

1.      4.  Believe That Because Everybody has always Done it This Way, It is the Best Way of Doing Things?

­Forbes gave a business example. Do you know why newspapers were always printed on large tabloid paper? Because in 1712 England, newspapers were taxed by the number of pages. But it wasn’t until about 2005 that American newspapers started cutting down their paper size.  For 300 years newspaper printers did what had always been done, even though it was costly and cumbersome.

Why do we order a big bacon, egg, and muffin breakfast at the hotel? Why do we have ice-cream every night in the summer? Sure, it tastes good, but we know it makes us fat. Yet, your neighbors eat this way, the server at the restaurant encourages it, your grandma always served it, and colonial farmers ate bacon with a big breakfast. Never mind that the colonials burned thousands of calories farming, building houses, and keeping warm, the server gets a bigger tip the more food he sells you, and grandma has heart disease.
Sometimes the standard way is not the best way.

2.      5.   Believe the Customer?

Forbes: “these people are already your customer; sure they are going to be satisfied with you.” They suggested business marketers talk to people who aren’t already customers.

You may be your own worst customer! I know I’m guilty of this. I love to drink coffee, and when I hear something beneficial about caffeine, I feel vindicated. When I hear something negative about caffeine, I tend to dismiss it as “pseudo-science” or consider myself immune to the negative effects. It took numerous messages to convince me to ever ask for decaf.

So, be a little a skeptical about your own dietary mythology. We’d all like to continue consuming what we’re used to, ignoring warnings about pesticide build-up in our bodies. We’d like to believe that the diet that lets us eat our favorite food (or junk calories) every day is the one that really works and makes us healthy. But we are the gasoline customer and the car. And when we fuel our engines with sodas, toxins and non-nourishing food, they’re going to sputter and break down.  It’s helpful to reach beyond the “customer” within you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

5 Mistaken Beliefs that can Ruin Your Diet Plans

I came across an article recently called “The Five Mistaken Beliefs Business Leaders have about Innovation”.  Pretty smart stuff, and guess what, the five headlines apply to dieting. Actually, I hate the word “dieting”.  I prefer to call it “eating better”,  and maybe losing weight.

Besides, I’ve spent a good ten years learning to eat better,  but haven’t tried any of the trendy “diets”.  So my approach to changing what we eat is different from someone trying to sell you a particular fast or fashionable diet.  I have 5 mistaken beliefs for you about eating better. I admit, I stole the headlines from’s 5 Mistaken Business Leader’s Beliefs. 

  1.  Believe the Numbers
  2. Believe Success has been Attained
  3. Believe You Know the Competition
  4. Believe That Because Everybody has always Done it This Way, It is the Best Way of Doing Things
  5. Believe the Customer


Magically, we will now apply these 5 beliefs and their flaws to your own business of  slimming down and improving you and your family's eating habits. Why is it a mistake to...

  1. Believe the Numbers?
According to Forbes, a lot of executives make the mistake of insisting on “seeing the numbers” too much too soon. This totally applies to your weight loss plan. 

If you check the scale every day the first month, you are likely to be thrilled when you drop the first 7 pounds or so and then worried when you plateau. It surely has something to do with water-weight and metabolic adjustment (or a weekend bout of beer pong?).  Whatever the cause, too much concentration on your scale will fill you with longing and guilt, elation and worry, and the urge to fast, or cop out with a chocolate cake binge. So, go easy on the numbers on your scale… check in once a week and try attaching value to the progress you see in two months, not two days.

2.      Believe Success has been Attained?

Lets' say your weight loss plan is going very well and you’re getting used to the feeling of success.  Forbes: “When an organization becomes very good at something, top of its industry, it starts to focus on the thing that made its success, crowding out other options…”

Then along comes a new baby in the family, and your before work trips to the gym are now just wishful thinking.  Along comes holiday season and with it, tables full of fried food, cookies, and your favorite pies. So celebrate your successes, but have a “plan B” in place for dealing with the times when your rigid wellness plan won’t work. Maybe an 8 oz. glass of skim milk will help you pass up on holiday second-helpings. A little flexibiltiy goes a long way when building a "diet" you can live with.

3.      Believe You Know the Competition?

What if you’re a parent and you’ve worked hard to get your preschooler interested in eating broccoli, carrots, nectarines, and brown rice. She’s a model eater, and regularly shuns sugary drinks, repeating your claims that they are “slow you down drinks”.  Bravo Mom or Dad!
In the fall, off she goes to kindergarten, and comes home asking, no – begging, for brand name candy, chips, and sugary pseudo-juices the other kids saw on TV. And their moms gave in and served them at lunch. Your child says the kids make fun of her “green food” when you put cucmber slices in her lunch. You don’t know how fierce the competition for your child’s palate can be. Prepare for the onslaught!

Next Post:

The hidden everybody does it this way syndrome.
You might be your own worst customer!