James Clear is an author and speaker focused on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement. His new book Atomic Habits breaks down the four laws of behavior change and explains how striving to get 1% better every day can give you remarkable results. He is a regular speaker at Fortune 500 companies and his work has been used by teams in the NFL, NBA, and MLB. You can follow his work at JamesClear.com.

 

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Show details (links don’t work on mobile devices):

3:03 – James reveals his inspiration for the new book and what he hopes to achieve with it.

5:30 – “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”

10:08 – What makes habits atomic?

12:10 – How to stay engaged in habit change? The Goldilocks Rule.

13:29 – You can be an expert on habits and still struggle with them.

14:23 – That time when James got hit in the face with a baseball bat.

17: 29 – Why setting goals can set you up for failure and Scott Adams’ article on goals versus systems.

21:48 – What if you don’t start because you fear you won’t get the results you want?

22:34 – Don’t be so blinded by your goal that you miss the other benefits of the journey.

23:28 – Voting for the person you want to be: how to address limiting beliefs around your personal story.

28:56 – James adds a stage to the habit loop explained in The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.

33:34 – Perceived value is what motivates you to act. Actual value is what gets you to repeat the action again. 

35:13 – The role of dopamine in habit formation.

37:20 – Habit Stacking. Helpful tips for making or breaking a habit. BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits.

40:47 – Self-awareness and willingness to experiment are key to success.

42:40 – The Four Laws of Behavior Change.

44:00 – You need to buy in to the idea that building habits is worth it to prime your environment for success.

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Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week industry gets busted influencing scientists, Salmonella hits the cereal aisle, and how exercise reduces inflammation.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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“’This will be my last ice cream ever’ is a thought I have had so many times I’m embarrassed by it.” – Paul

Late night bingeing is an especially tough habit to break.

You repeat the same destructive behavior over and over, knowing it’s wrong, but stopping feels impossible because it doesn’t seem like something you can control. Rationalizing the behavior becomes second nature, and you don’t see a way out.

This is Paul’s story. Paul knows his bingeing habit is the reason he is overweight. His late night episodes alone in the kitchen are something he looks forward to, but also wants to stop.

It doesn’t matter if it’s celery sticks or potato chips, it is the act of being able to eat as much as he wants–with no one around to judge him–that’s such a relief and so rewarding.

Sometimes behavior patterns like these can be changed by identifying and avoiding your triggers or finding an alternative outlet for whatever it is your brain is craving. But, those solutions are only useful after you’ve unraveled why you are using this behavior as a source of relief in the first place.

Today I help Paul find his “why” so that he can find peace and enjoy indulgences without regretting or overdoing them.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

How To Stop Overeating When Emotional Eating Combines With Food Moralizing (Foodist Podcast)

How To Stop Moralizing Your Food Choices (Foodist Podcast)

How To Stop Moralize Your Food Choices 2 (Foodist Podcast)

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss

Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Odyssey

Thinking Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahneman

 

Listen:

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Show details (links don’t work on mobile devices):

2:51 – Paul has a habit of binge eating before bed.

4:48 – It’s not a hunger issue, how to tell.

6:05 – The “What-the-Hell Effect” struggle is real.

6:31 – Paul has plenty of other healthy habits, so his bingeing episodes are most likely the reason he isn’t losing weight.

7:30 – The trigger? Paul needs a reward at the end of the day.

8:25 – The only person who knows what your triggers are is you.

8:50 – Rest and enjoyment are essential for a healthy life.

10:13 – Food moralizing also fuels Paul’s commonly leads to bingeing.

11:27 – How food moralizing works.

13:58 – Specific locations can trigger bad habits.

14:46 – It’s good to know what your triggers are, so you can recognize and avoid them.

16:20 – Food moralizing is a Jedi mind trick played on yourself.

18:23 – There can be multiple factors involved in undoing a bad habit.

19:56 – Question your assumptions.

20:16 – Paul doesn’t feel sick or physically bad after bingeing, it’s more the guilt that behavior this is why he’s overweight.

26:56 – When Paul indulges in front of other people he feels judged and embarrassed.

29:45 – It’s less likely that you will overindulge if you are actually enjoying your food.

30:03 – The scarcity mentality can also lead to bingeing.

32:13 – Recognizing your limiting beliefs gives you the ability to redirect your behavior.

33:12 – What is missing in your life that you are trying to fill with this behavior?

36:40 – Classic thought patterns of binge eaters.

41:33 – Find a powerful motivator that makes you want to stop.

45:52 – Find an alternative form of relief and indulgence.

47:55 – How to break a habit.

48:33 – Are you a fundamentally flawed person if you binge?

51:52 – How to make a lasting behavior change (Darya’s method).

55:14 – Is it helpful to think of bingeing as an addiction?

 

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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Sometimes it can feel as if you are completely alone in your healthstyle struggles. While some problems are fairly commonplace (e.g. How can I fit a workout into my busy workday?), others can feel so uniquely your own that it feels nearly impossible to come up with a solution.

In today’s episode I help Ellen tackle a very specific problem, demonstrating the systematic approach I use to breakdown a complex issue and find an answer.

On the surface Ellen’s healthstyle is dialed in, and she juggles her family and career in tech like a champ. Unfortunately, several factors have conspired to make it so that she has an objectively unfair cooking arrangement with her husband. Because of it she often feels resentment during dinnertime, which triggers overeating and is ruining a part of her life she deserves to enjoy.

Ellen has already tried several strategies to resolve this on her own, but a fix has remained elusive.

Today Ellen and I explore her remaining options–a method that involves clarifying the different aspects of the issue that she can and can’t control–and come up with a strategy for her to use moving forward.

Ellen’s issue is an example of a problem that is very unique to her situation, but the systematic approach we use to land on a realistic solution can be applied broadly.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

Related links:

Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes

Blue Apron

Mindful Meal Challenge

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach

The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology by Jack Kornfield

Oak Meditation

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

 

Listen:

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Show details:

1:54 – Darya explains the two kinds of influences that need to be thought through to fix any problem: external and internal.

5:18 – Start with what’s easiest.

5:45 – Ellen has a habit of overeating, that’s triggered by her husband and makes her resentful.

8:35 – Ellen has tried several things to control her overeating.

12:25 – Living in a man’s world.

15:40 – Making enough food to feed teenage boys and husband is exhausting.

17:15 – Ellen has thought through many solutions, but nothing has worked. She has fallen out of love with cooking and needs a reframe.

19:21 – Darya recommends cooking dinner fewer times per week to lesson the pressure it causes, addressing external/environmental influences on the problem.

20:04 – Does this need to be a conversation with her husband?

25:35 – Meal kits a possible solution for Ellen’s husband and kids to use on days Ellen needs a break from cooking.

31:02 – What about changing Ellen’s mindset instead of changing her husband?

33:45 – Why most people think about mindful eating the wrong way and how to make it a forever practice.

36:38 – How the skill of being mindful can make you aware of how your triggers affect your thoughts, emotions and body. This allows you to consciously relax, change course, or not engage with them to create more internal peace.

40:49 – Consider a more formal meditation practice to build your mindfulness muscle even stronger.

41:00 – What a formal meditation practice looks like.

41:30 – Why it can be better to change your perspective rather than change the world to suit your mood.

43:58 – Darya recommends the book Radical Acceptance, by Tara Brach

44:41 – …and A Wise Heart, by Jack Kornfield, who runs Spirit Rock (where Darya did her 10 day silent meditation retreat)

44:58 – …and the Oak meditation app (now live), which has easy breathing exercises, a good guided meditation and a timed, unguided meditation with light music in the background.

47:32 – Start small by meditating 5 minutes a day or just doing it a few times a week.

 

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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“I’ve felt the option is either cake or not cake. And so then how do you start a habit to NOT do something?” – Mindy

Mindy was excited when she found Summer Tomato. The thought of being able to lose weight without counting calories or going on another strict diet was a revelation.

Right away she bought a pedometer to make sure she was getting enough steps each day, stopped counting calories and started focusing on cooking Real Food for herself and her family. But as time passed Mindy wasn’t losing weight with her new healthstyle, she was gaining.

Mindy was hoping that giving up dieting would automatically end her cravings for sweets at the end of the day, but it didn’t and without trying to restrict herself she started eating more than ever. Now she wonders if it’s even possible for her to stop. In fact, when she reached out to us she asked if it would be possible for her to keep her bingeing habit and do something else to lose the extra pounds.

In this episode Mindy and I examine her current habits and triggers to help her recognize that there is actually a third path available. One that doesn’t require her to give up sweets, but does help her find a healthier alternative to regular bingeing.

It’s difficult to believe that you can lose weight without restricting your eating if the only thing you’ve ever done instead is overeat. Finding the solution takes some experimentation, as well as recognizing and reframing your limiting beliefs so you can imagine yourself taking a different path.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

MyFitnessPal

Mindful Meal Challenge

Oak – Meditation & Breathing app

How to Turn Theoretical Health Goals Into Practical Habits – Foodist podcast

 

Listen:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Soundcloud

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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