OK before those of you who know me go all “What do you know about dieting skinny boy?” Let me say a few things. My wife wanted to change some things about the way she ate and the hardest part of it in the past was the fact that she did it alone, so I decided to do it with her, because I love my wife and maybe because I need it as well. I have been blessed with the metabolism of a humming bird, I could eat fast food every day for a month and almost lose weight. Or at least I could have before I turned 30.
Now, my body is turning against me. I have what I call a programmers belly ( I don’t drink beer) and I wanted to support my wife so I signed up for myfitnesspal so we could both track our workouts and our calories. She said that just having me like her updates on there was encouraging, and I love to help her so there you go.
Now, I am a data geek. I do data analysis for a living and I love Excel and number crunching so this was dream for me. I am able to see everything I ate and track all the data with the results. But, Something strange happened to me as I logged every thing I ate. I started to notice that I was eating healthier. I didn’t want to screw up my data, I didn’t want people to see that I went over. It is a fact that simply recording your actions, what ever they may be, makes you behave differently. It is called the Hawthorne effect.
This is why I tell people that tracking spending down to the penny will make a difference in how you spend your money. If you have to write down that you spent $30 in coffee this week you may think twice about it. Even if I really want a baconator (look it up it is wonderful) I won’t do it because I don’t want to mess up my data, or be out of calories for the day or whatever. And I don’t want to screw up my budget so I will think twice about all the decisions that I am making with my money.
These types of commitment devices are something we all need to help us achieve the goals we want to achieve. We make decisions and commitments when we are not emotionally involved and then when our emotions come in and try to convince us to do something crazy we need a good reason not to.
Now the novelty may wear off eventually but for now, I am having fun with it and I am finding myself already not eating as much or even being hungry. But our kids happened to break our scale so I have no idea if this is even working as far as weight loss goes but I know the theory is sounds
Image by Gastonmag
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