Author Topic: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?  (Read 2338 times)

patch45

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How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« on: January 21, 2019, 11:35:49 PM »
I wonder if anyone else is in the same boat. I think I am a decently disciplined person in general. I save a large percentage of my income and don't buy much fancy stuff. I bike even when its cold and rainy. I make myself lift even when I'm tired.

But I can't seem to apply this to eating. I have such a sweet tooth, any plans to start eating healthier end the next time I go to the grocery store and grab a pint of ice cream. I know I will feel and look better if I eat healthier. I know it'll make be a better climber. I just can't seem to get that same discipline as I have in some other areas.

Does anyone else experience this? Any tips from the Mustachians?

patrickza

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 12:29:18 AM »
I used to struggle with this. To be honest, the only thing that got me to be disciplined was seeing the impact it had on my body.

To make sure that I saw it quickly, and got very motivated, I followed a keto style diet of limiting my carbs to under 40g net carbs per day. That means I lost a 5 pounds VERY quickly and from then on consistently.

The changes I was seeing showed up so quickly that I kept extremely motivated, and actually surpassed my goal significantly!

Nowadays it's just my way of life rather than a diet. I'm more relaxed about the amount I eat, but not about what I eat (90%+ of the time). I find it easiest just not to keep junk food in the house.

mxt0133

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 12:39:59 AM »
The way I approached my health was very similar to how I got into personal finance, I was watching people around me have all these health issues at such a young age and wanted to avoid getting them myself.  At first I did it exactly how I approached increasing my saving by counting calories and increasing my exercise.  That worked for about six months, where I would get stressed and loose motivation, fall of the wagon, get back on again, fall of again.  Rinse and repeat a year or two, until I started doing more research on why diets fail and the fallacy of incomplete picture of calories in calories out approach.  Now I have better theoretical and practical experience on how my body responds to the kinds of foods I eat, what the right amount of exercise, as well as what kind, my body responds to best depending on my goal.  I have done fasting, keto, low carb, to get an idea of how my body feels and how sustainable it is for me.

I no longer have strict rules on how I eat, just like my spending.  I am more aware of the short-term and long-term effects of both my financial and health(food and level of activity) decisions, which I use on a daily basis.  Most days I have a big salad and protein for my meals and NO processed foods.  However, at a party I will have a pizza or cake, but I will eat a healthy meal before so that I am full before I have any junk.  I monitor my weight as my primary indicator if I've not been eating the right kinds of foods and make sure my yearly lab results are level and are not elevating to unhealthy levels.  I try not to beat myself up for having cake or a donut as long as it truly is once in a while.

Another thing that helped me was changing my relationship with food, as with finances, it is mostly emotional depending on your past experiences.  For some people food is comfort when they are stressed or it brings them to a happy place when they feel sad.  Find out why you have a sweet tooth, meaning what are you trying to get with sweets?  I too have a sweet tooth and when I was fasting and doing keto, I found myself only tempted when I would be at social gatherings or spending time with my kids.  I associated sweets with being happy with friends and family, I had to have sweets to enjoy the moment or felt that sweets were needed to express love to my friends or family.  Once I disassociated sweets with social gatherings or quality time with my kids, it was much easier to just eat carrot sticks or fruits when at parties or on an outing with my kids.

EDIT: Fixed typos.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 12:41:43 AM by mxt0133 »

Linea_Norway

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 05:41:47 AM »
I also have a sweet tooth and understand your problem. I am lucky to live together with DH and we want to eat healthy, so I buy healthy food and make dinners from scratch. I use shopping lists and just don't visit the candy department of the grocery store (most of the time).

When I used to commute to the city by train, I almost daily stopped at the kiosk and bought a bag of loose weight candies there. I ate it waiting for the train or on the train. Then at home, I would eat my healthy dinner. So the candy eating was done secretly. I have felt stuffed at times and eaten way too many calories. Now I work somewhere else where I either drive to or walk to and I don't need to stop and wait for a train. That helps a lot. I do buy the groceries, but don't buy the sweets there. Somehow I have become disciplined enough to consider grocery shopping to be just that.

But my major challenge is one like tonight, when I'm home alone. Often I fell that such an occasion is an opportunity to eat unhealthy and just the things I like. Then I tend to buy 2 double portion of cheesecake and other unhealthy stuff. And a few veggies, just for the vitamins. But to do this, I need to visit the grocery store. Tonight I won't need to visit it, as I have enough food in the house to make myself a dinner. So I hope that this time, I can just eat a healthy meal. Last time I was alone I also managed to constrain myself to not buy sweets.

So for advice, try to make it more difficult or less tempting for yourself to buy the box of ice cream. If you shop each day after work when you are low on blood sugars, maybe you should switch to shopping groceries just once or twice a week, early in the morning after you had your breakfast. Maybe you won't be tempted to buy ice cream at that time. Reduce the number of times you visit the shop. Make a shopping list on your phone and follow it (check off the list). Don't buy what is not on the list.

I think that if you managed to not buy ice cream for a month or so, you will have broken the habit of buying it.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 05:45:22 AM by Linda_Norway »

Laura33

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 07:04:30 AM »
Yes.  It’s called decision fatigue, and I suffer from it too.  The problem is that life is filled with doing things that you “should” instead of things you want - going to work, not buying silly shiny pretty, going to the gym, etc etc etc.  And every day, you use your willpower to force yourself to resist temptation, to do the “shoulds” and ignore the “wants,” over and over and over again.  And then you’re supposed to come home and do the same thing with your dinner, when you’re already exhausted?  Yeah, sorry, no, not gonna happen.  And so food becomes the outlet, because it is cheap and easy and oh-so-satisfying and enjoyable, and you don’t have to feel guilty in the moment because your decision doesn’t hurt anyone else or interfere with any other priorities.

I haven’t totally figured it out yet.  Part of it has been taking more time for myself, damn the consequences, so I am not quite so desperate for an outlet.  Part of it for me has been trying to invent healthier versions of the “bad” foods I crave.  Part of it has been menu planning and meal prep on the weekend, when I am more refreshed, so I don’t have to make an affirmative decision on the weeknights when I am tired.  And a lot of it has been coming up with “rules” to avoid decision fatigue - I always did ok with Atkins, for example, because it just cut out whole categories of foods, so I didn’t have to “decide” not to eat something bad every time I was tempted - I just wasn’t even tempted in the first place because I had mentally already categorized those things as out of bounds.  Unfortunately I ultimately can’t maintain that forever, so now I am on a longer-term eating plan from my gym.  So far it is working because, again, I have firm rules, so I don’t have to affirmatively decide not to have crap - but it’s flexible enough that I am able to work in a beer or a little chocolate here or there when I really really want one, so I don’t feel as overwhelmingly constrained as on Atkins/keto.  But jury is still out; I’ll let you know next year if it sticks.  😉

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 07:30:39 AM »
There are definitely a few good comparisons:
-If you cut too much, too soon, and feel deprived, you're bound to fail
-The best "system" or guru in the world means nothing if you don't change your mindset and examine those patterns you've inherited from family
-Tracking is useful, even if you make no conscious effort to modify
-Some people are abstainers, some are moderators. (Ie, some people do well allowing themselves a little bit of something- fun money or candy- while others do far better having zero tolerance rules, since then they won't be as able to be a self-enabler. This applies to knowing your spouse/partner, if appliable's, tendencies as well.
-Like spending, start with yourself, but if your spouse/family aren't on board, it'll sabotage your efforts.
-Most importantly I think, just like money, deciding to make a change without analyzing your "why", in terms of WHY you act as you do now and WHY you want to achieve what you do, is important. Just like with FIRE, the motivation has to be solid. Nebulous 'retirement' isn't enough for most people, just as nebulous "health" isn't either. Pick short term rewarding measurable goals. "If I give up ice cream and all added sugars for 1 month, how does my 1 mile time improve?" Very measurable. Once you get your answer- very motivating.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 07:55:53 AM »
I think the big difference between personal finance and dieting -- and I mean it's an elephant in the room type of difference -- is anatomy, physiology, and your brain.

Being disciplined about personal finance doesn't really trigger a physiological response.  Sure, there are compulsive shoppers and the like who really do get a dopamine high from shopping and buying stuff, but I believe those people are in quite a small minority.

For the rest of us, being disciplined about personal finance is kind of a game or a hobby.  It actually makes us feel satisfied and good to achieve wins, cut back where we don't need it, etc.

---

Conversely, I think dieting is much different because your body physiologically does not like when you are losing weight.  Our brains are still wired to think that we are hunter gatherers, and it wants to store what we've eaten.  There is extremely good scientific data to show that when you lose weight, your body then has low levels of leptin, and then this triggers your brain to think you need to binge eat and/or gain the weight back.

The leptin example is just one of many examples.  There are other reactions that happen in your brain every single time you eat. These are way, way, way more difficult to deal with than dropping cable.

---

Personally, I've kind of hit a road block.  I was up at 199 about four years ago, and that was enough for a diet facepunch. My goal has always been 170, and I got down to 176, only to gain some of that back.  I now fluctuate between 180 and 190 -- I was 189 again this Monday after a big weekend. I'll probably be back down to 184 by the end of this week.

But I seem to make progress and then have one terrible weekend that blows it all up. Or I'm at a social event, have a couple beers, then boom I'd also like the wings.

I'm still not sure what my plan is, because I actually look pretty in shape, and 170 isn't really a necessity; but I still feel overweight a bit, so I try to lose, and then I gain it back, etc. 

Laura33

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 08:21:21 AM »
I forgot to mention:  I have also changed my goals.  "Lose weight" just triggers negative thoughts -- it's all about self-deprivation.  And frankly, weight alone is irrelevant; I mean, Ray Lewis was "obese" if you looked at his BMI in his playing days, but I dare anyone to call him that.  ;-) 

So my focus now is on body fat percentage and putting quality food into my body.  Really, those are the metrics that are most closely associated with my long-term goal to be healthy and active; there is a clear association in particular between visceral fat and disease, so that's a much better thing to focus on to achieve my goal than weight alone.  But it also helps me reframe my goals in a positive way instead of by focusing on what I am "giving up," which helps my mental attitude -- and it makes me feel like I am doing something good/making progress even when the scale doesn't budge.  And perhaps most importantly, it is helping me change my mindset more towards "food as fuel" and away from the "food as treat" that has controlled me for pretty much my entire life.  (Don't get me wrong, it's not magic or anything, and I still love food way too much!  But it's a little nudge that helps me manage my brain and retrain my thoughts into a better path)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 08:24:23 AM »
I forgot to mention:  I have also changed my goals.  "Lose weight" just triggers negative thoughts -- it's all about self-deprivation.  And frankly, weight alone is irrelevant; I mean, Ray Lewis was "obese" if you looked at his BMI in his playing days, but I dare anyone to call him that.  ;-) 

So my focus now is on body fat percentage and putting quality food into my body.  Really, those are the metrics that are most closely associated with my long-term goal to be healthy and active; there is a clear association in particular between visceral fat and disease, so that's a much better thing to focus on to achieve my goal than weight alone.  But it also helps me reframe my goals in a positive way instead of by focusing on what I am "giving up," which helps my mental attitude -- and it makes me feel like I am doing something good/making progress even when the scale doesn't budge.  And perhaps most importantly, it is helping me change my mindset more towards "food as fuel" and away from the "food as treat" that has controlled me for pretty much my entire life.  (Don't get me wrong, it's not magic or anything, and I still love food way too much!  But it's a little nudge that helps me manage my brain and retrain my thoughts into a better path)

A good cheap vs frugal allegory. Can you lose weight by eating only plain oatmeal? I'm sure. Will you end up with scurvy though? ;) Probably. It's a good financial comparison- saving money isn't worth something that is destructive or damaging to yourself, others, or the environment.

Greystache

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2019, 08:29:37 AM »
I lost 50 pounds about 8 years ago. Over the last 8 years I have slowly gained about 15 pounds back. I am now in the process of getting back to my target weight.
My initial motivation 8 years ago was not to lose weight but to change my diet for health reasons. My doctor called it IBS, but all I knew was that I felt really crappy all the time. So, I cut out processed food and only ate "real food", mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grains and only a little meat. I started feeling better right away. I also noticed that I was losing weight and decided to see if I could lose 50 pounds in one year. I started weighing myself daily and plotting my progress. I started walking a couple miles a day.
I found motivation in tracking my progress, not unlike tracking my net worth on the way to early retirement. Buying new pants as my waist got smaller was also a great motivator.
I achieved my goal but had a little trouble maintaining my target weight. I slowly began to gain about 2 pounds a year. I got worse after I retired 4 years ago. Too much time to think about eating. I tend to eat when bored.  It's easier to stick to the program if I can stay busy all the time.  I tend to eat small meals and snack all day long if I am not busy. 
Over the last couple years, I have been hovering around pre diabetes range. I decided to try intermittent fasting to lose 15 pounds and improve my insulin response. In ten days, I have lost 4 pounds. I'll find out in a couple months if my pre diabetes is under control.

Dicey

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2019, 08:56:18 AM »
PTF

dcheesi

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2019, 09:04:40 AM »
Perhaps not a Mustachian solution due to membership costs, but if you find numbers and budgeting work well for you, then you might do well with something like the current Weight Watchers plan1. You've got a budget of Points that you can "spend" on anything you like, but the "price" varies based on nutritional parameters. Essentially you're (re)introducing the concept of scarcity into the realm of food, which for many of us first-worlders has been an overflowing cornucopia for most of our lives.

I'm doing this with my gf right now, and I find that their point system really helps to drive home the "cost" of various food choices. Before, I tried to eat healthfully most of the time, but when I didn't, I tended to give myself a free pass and just go totally overboard. And even when I thought I was eating healthy, or making appropriate trade-offs, I had no objective reference to compare things or to rate the impact of seemingly small amounts of "bad stuff" mixed in with the good. The point system figures out all of that in the background using a consistent formula2, so I can just focus on making the numbers add up the way I want them to.

So far (~2 months) I have been fairly successful with the WW plan; we'll see how it goes long-term.

1I'm sure you can find a cheaper or free option that uses a similar structure. I'm just doing WW because it's what my gf has used before and feels comfortable with.

2Even if their particular scheme isn't perfect, just the consistency is a huge advantage over trying to make judgement calls based on the latest nutritional study data, etc. And they do update their plans periodically to try to improve their efficacy and alignment with the current scientific info on nutrition & health.

frugaliknowit

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2019, 09:44:25 AM »
When I was determined to reduce to a more fit weight/waist size:

Once per week, I measured my waist and weight.  I put it on a spreadsheet over time.  It helped keep me on track. 

This is kind of the equivalent for measuring your net worth over time.

GuitarStv

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2019, 10:41:48 AM »
I love sugary stuff.  To counter the negative impacts of this, I don't buy sugary stuff when grocery shopping . . . and rarely eat out.  This means there's no willpower to overcome.  Crap food just isn't at hand.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2019, 11:02:34 AM »
I love sugary stuff.  To counter the negative impacts of this, I don't buy sugary stuff when grocery shopping . . . and rarely eat out.  This means there's no willpower to overcome.  Crap food just isn't at hand.

Automate your savings. Automate your nutrition 👍

Zikoris

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2019, 11:04:04 AM »
Not very well, because I don't have financial discipline - I use an autopilot strategy instead for that. I try to do the same with food - I don't keep unhealthy stuff around, and bulk prep meals on weekends, so the "autopilot" food options are pretty healthy.

danakado

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2019, 11:07:52 AM »
I have the reverse problem of wanting to apply my diet discipline to my financial discipline:)  Am reading along for tips that I can re-engineer....!

SaucyAussie

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2019, 11:21:42 AM »
I find it hard to focus on both finance and health goals at the same time.  When I focus on one, the other tends to slip.

This is compounded by the fact that some actions are conflicting - such as gym membership, organic foods, weight loss centers.

I try to really focus on activities that work toward both goals - cutting back on alcohol, cooking at home, taking long walks.

tygertygertyger

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2019, 12:05:47 PM »
I don't tend to buy junk food, but my partner buys candy at Costco (so BIG containers). He also leaves them in full view in the living room or wherever, so I've been mindlessly grabbing a handful of candy repeatedly... not great. I don't expect him to stop buying it for himself, but I asked him yesterday if we could figure out a solution to make it not visible all the time... put it inside some opaque container or dump it in a cardboard box or really anything so I don't notice it all the time! This is from thinking of the tips in "Nudge"... what kind of small changes can you make that might alter your behavior? (I am certain that if my eyes aren't regularly falling on large candy containers I won't be eating as much!)

My partner understands and agreed, though we didn't brainstorm any concrete solutions yet. I'm hoping this will be helpful. Not directly in response to OP's situation, but maybe it helps someone else?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 12:17:07 PM by tygertygertyger »

mm1970

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2019, 12:22:18 PM »
I love sugary stuff.  To counter the negative impacts of this, I don't buy sugary stuff when grocery shopping . . . and rarely eat out.  This means there's no willpower to overcome.  Crap food just isn't at hand.

I was going to say this.  I've lost weight a few times.  Once in my 30s when I was fat.  Twice after having babies.

Many different strategies - they don't all work equally well - depends on where you are in your life.

So the first time around - no junk food in the house at all.  I went 3 months without eating out.  That seriously cut the craving for sugar.  I would go to work with zero money so that I couldn't hit the vending machine.

A couple of later times, it was just as easy to set rules for a month or a week or whatever.  If I were eating out at a Mexican place, I could have chips OR a drink but not both.  A few times I made up this thing called NOvember.  No wheat, no alcohol, no sugar, no fried foods.  (It wasn't that hard.)  If I wanted something "sweet", I'd eat a couple of dates. 

I managed to get a pretty frequent ice cream habit while half marathon training last year.  Haven't managed to give it up since my running slowed down, but I haven't gained weight either.  If I don't buy the stuff, then I just get used to not having it.  So it's ok if I have it at a special occasion, but it's not int he house.

The other thing is to automate my meals.  My meals are pretty boring.  Eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch, fruit for snacks.  Dinner rotates.


tygertygertyger

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2019, 12:39:26 PM »
Or if it appeals to you... you're allowed to buy ice cream at ice cream places, but NOT at the grocery store. More expensive, but still allowed treats. Combining those disciplines! I am not sure whether this is a good suggestion.

Lady SA

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2019, 12:53:23 PM »
When you are getting your finances in order, you start with writing down what you are spending so you can get an accurate picture of your financial life, right?
I do the same with eating. You kind of need the slap in the face of seeing everything you spent, errr, ate on average before you can target areas for improvement.

I use MyFitnessPal to quickly jot down the food every time I put something in my mouth. It really helps cut down on the mindless snacking (my sweet-tooth vice! no more eating 7 cookies and then forgetting about it and then eating 5 more an hour later...) because now it isn’t really mindless--I know I’m going to have to register that I ate it and actually write it down, and see my daily calorie budget drop. Its made me a much more intentional eater; I want to "get" something positive in exchange for the drop in budget, and I am optimizing my food intake. Instead of eating 7 cookies in 10 minutes, I get just as much happiness from just 2 now, and I save some calories for a bit of ice cream later, too.

It also helps me with my goals. With my tracking, I can see that I eat way too many carbs and not enough protein to support my athletic activities. So I can intentionally eat meals with more protein. I don't track ounces of nutrients or anything intense like that, I just see a general area of improvement and try to guide my food/fuel towards supporting my other goals.

I really don't restrict my food intake at all. I don't restrict what types of food I eat, either. I just log the food that I do eat (which naturally causes me to eat less sweets), and then make slight tweaks when needed.

Also, what everyone else said about doing as much cooking at home as you can. Much healthier that way!

Boofinator

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2019, 01:05:49 PM »
Do you enjoy the pleasure of paying someone to make you fat and give you cavities? If not, use your frugality muscles to refrain from purchasing the items that don't meet your dietary standards, and watch your health and wallet improve as a result.

Linea_Norway

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2019, 01:38:00 PM »
Or if it appeals to you... you're allowed to buy ice cream at ice cream places, but NOT at the grocery store. More expensive, but still allowed treats. Combining those disciplines! I am not sure whether this is a good suggestion.

Of course ice creams are allowed, as couple of times a year when the weather is really hot and you have the day off. And when you are on vacation in Italy.

patch45

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2019, 03:07:54 PM »
I agree just not buying junk food is a great step, I know I can get much better at that.

Unfortunately we also have a shitload of unhealthy snacks for free at work (tech company) so that’s not the whole solution at least for me.

Lots of great ideas in here though!

Boofinator

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2019, 03:16:20 PM »
Unfortunately we also have a shitload of unhealthy snacks for free at work (tech company) so that’s not the whole solution at least for me.

This is also the hardest part for me. I... don't... understand.... These are grown-ass adults buying extremely unhealthy "foods" on a near daily basis. I don't participate in buying the junk (other than coffee), but have a hard time restraining myself from the doughnuts.

Since this scenario is much more difficult (versus the paying for it yourself scenario), it will probably require more willpower to resist. I try to think about how out-of-shape I get when I eat it, and how it affects me at multiple levels. Good luck, wish I had better advice for you.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2019, 03:39:56 PM »

I've done reasonably well my whole life, because paying for splurge food feels like a bad financial decision. But, to @patch45 s point, I work in tech & they have an enormous amount of sugary snacks & treats just sitting out. All.the.time. It also rotates. If it were just a few treats, I'd eat my fill & then get tired of them. The rotation is my real problem.

I'm at a point where I have about 15 pounds that I've picked up over the past five years. Things that kill me: work travel (jet lag destroys my eating & gym motivation), free work food, being tired & my metabolism slowing down more generally.

I track my calories, but have also focused a lot of boosting my working out this year. I know you can't out run a bad diet, but working out gives me energy & generally keeps me focused on healthy eating. Now, if I can just find a way to not let work travel & jet lag sabotage my progress.

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2019, 04:04:04 PM »
My fridge died, so I had to throw out all the meat and fish from the freezer.  Going frugally, healthily vegan now by not replacing it!

aceyou

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2019, 05:36:57 PM »
Once it became pretty obvious that my wife and I were on a clear path to retiring in our 40s, fitness/health became much easier for me to keep as a priority. 

I was having some nagging issues, and I was like "shit, I'm doing all this work to be a multimillionaire in my 40's...I want to make sure I'm healthy enough to take full advantage."

That mindset makes me super motivated to eat well and keep my heart/lungs in good shape. 

Don't know if that perspective can be helpful to your situation, but it did a lot for me.  Good luck, your body is important, take good care of it! 

Linea_Norway

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2019, 12:02:57 AM »
Unfortunately we also have a shitload of unhealthy snacks for free at work (tech company) so that’s not the whole solution at least for me.

This is also the hardest part for me. I... don't... understand.... These are grown-ass adults buying extremely unhealthy "foods" on a near daily basis. I don't participate in buying the junk (other than coffee), but have a hard time restraining myself from the doughnuts.

Since this scenario is much more difficult (versus the paying for it yourself scenario), it will probably require more willpower to resist. I try to think about how out-of-shape I get when I eat it, and how it affects me at multiple levels. Good luck, wish I had better advice for you.

Yes, this has been a major issue for me as well. My current company gives us a fruit bowl every day, which is great. But sometimes my colleagues bring along cake. I tend to take my part, as everyone else does. But if there is a lot left over later, guess who eats 3 additional portions? I just can't resist good tasting cake, for free, stored outside direct vision so that sneak eating becomes eating. Luckily this doesn't happen very often nowadays. Maybe it also helps that I'm no longer working on Fridays. I think Fridays have more such occasions than any of the other weekdays.

Case

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2019, 11:34:54 AM »
I wonder if anyone else is in the same boat. I think I am a decently disciplined person in general. I save a large percentage of my income and don't buy much fancy stuff. I bike even when its cold and rainy. I make myself lift even when I'm tired.

But I can't seem to apply this to eating. I have such a sweet tooth, any plans to start eating healthier end the next time I go to the grocery store and grab a pint of ice cream. I know I will feel and look better if I eat healthier. I know it'll make be a better climber. I just can't seem to get that same discipline as I have in some other areas.

Does anyone else experience this? Any tips from the Mustachians?

I have never really struggled with diet, and generally it is an area where my natural preferences guide me in the healthy direction.  I like to maintain a nice balance of overall healthy eating plus occasional off-the-wagon treats, because is life worth living if you don't have an occasional pizza?  Therefore, I feel my diet is pretty well optimized to a balance of overall healthy with a touch of treats to enjoy the great things in life as well.   However, I guided myself to this mindset.  When I was young, I was a regular kid who loved to eat poorly:  I would gorge on candy at Halloween, down entire large blizzards from DQ, eat multiple servings of Tacobell nachos (chips and queso only) plus soda, loved pizza/etc...  If I continued that diet, later in life it would certainly of come back to bite me.  Here is a list of things I have done or experiences that affected me that converted me from the old path to the current one:

-My Mom always served vegetables with every meal when I was being raised.  This was probably the single most important thing.  As a result, I was later able to naturally reprogram myself into viewing vegetables as a 'safe place'. 
-The diet switch occurred in college; that is, the point in time where I reconfigured my brain from loving things that were excessively sweet/salty/fatty (nachos, soda, sweets, etc...) to things that were actually healthy.  I arrived in college and felt a little insecure due to living away from home.  To counter this, I went to my 'safe place', and loaded up on vegetables at the dining hall.  It made me feel safe.  This is one way to counter the point that @Laura33 brings up above; re-program yourself.
-I still do love pizza, nachos, etc... but since then, I have naturally found that when I overeat 'bad' things, I feel like shit.  This is probably a combination of conditioning myself to belief this, as well as these things actually making you feel like shit.  As a result of this and the things above, I also start to crave vegetables.  Therefore, I think it is important for you to condition yourself to like things that are healthy, and feel bad when you eat too much crap.
-Diet fads are always changing.  Even the paleo stuff that is loved on this forum has pretty weak data for long term health effects.  From what I can tell, the only diets that can ever be agreed upon are ones that are high in vegetables.  If this is not the cornerstone of your diet, do not describe it as healthy.
-Allowing for splurges is important.  You shouldn't limit your life.  When in Rome, eat an Italian pizza and savor it.  Enjoy a great steak at a Chicago steak house.  Have ice cream, etc...
-At the same time, don't over do it 'just because'.  I often find that after one or two splurges, I'm good.  I have also observed that most of my relatives and relatives-in-law are exactly the same, even though they don't have diets that are as strict mine.  The problem often comes up when on vacation.  Because you're on vacation, everything must be an ultra-rich 'splurge' meal, right?  Wrong.  A lot (maybe most) people get over-saturated by the overly salty/rich nature of eating at restaurants (for example).  Better to build in simple meals even while on vacation.
-As others have said, there is a lot of power in resisting when at the grocery store.  I am far more successful at not eating junk if it is not there to gawk at.  My current work place has a fucking candy box that is regularly stocked.  As a result, a group of ~10 people eats a few pounds of candy per week.  That fucking box is starting at me every day, and I have trouble resisting sometimes.  Do yourself a favor and (if possible) light the fucking box on fire
-As my wife often reminds me, everyone's diet is unique.  Find what works for you.  Excessive oils wreck my wife, while I literally drown my meals in olive oil.  That said, be mindful of not making excuses for yourself. 
-Another reminder from my wife; try not to be too judgmental on other's.  Everyone gets to decide their own path, everyone's digestive track is slightly unique.  At the same time, be mindful of the reverse happening to you and peer pressure.  I can think of plenty of examples of being peer pressured to do something (especially drinking booze), feeling like shit for it later... did it accomplish anything other than making me feel like shit?
-No one is perfect; if you fall off the wagon, correct course but don't beat yourself up about it.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 11:48:28 AM by Case »

mm1970

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2019, 01:10:58 PM »

I've done reasonably well my whole life, because paying for splurge food feels like a bad financial decision. But, to @patch45 s point, I work in tech & they have an enormous amount of sugary snacks & treats just sitting out. All.the.time. It also rotates. If it were just a few treats, I'd eat my fill & then get tired of them. The rotation is my real problem.

I'm at a point where I have about 15 pounds that I've picked up over the past five years. Things that kill me: work travel (jet lag destroys my eating & gym motivation), free work food, being tired & my metabolism slowing down more generally.

I track my calories, but have also focused a lot of boosting my working out this year. I know you can't out run a bad diet, but working out gives me energy & generally keeps me focused on healthy eating. Now, if I can just find a way to not let work travel & jet lag sabotage my progress.
I used to joke that my workplace makes people fat from stress.  Really, a large % of the people we'd hire would put on 20 lbs in the first year.

But we don't have free food.

I'm "lucky" I suppose - I started having difficulty digesting wheat 2 years ago.  Stopped eating it 1.5 years ago.  So...I pretty much can't eat ANY of the snacks that show up over the holidays.  We don't have free food here at all anyway, but if we did...

mm1970

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2019, 01:16:39 PM »
Another tip maybe for people who have all this free food (and the rotation!) to deal with.

Even before I gave up wheat, I realized that I needed to be...picky...about my treats.

I like sugar like most people.  BUT!
- I really liked a warm brownie or fresh chocolate chip cookie.
- A piece of dark chocolate?  Yum

- Cake?  Meh
- Pie - not really a pie person
- any cookie without chocolate?  Why bother
- milk chocolate? Eh.

- ice cream?  Yes please.

So I started making sure that my treats REALLY COUNTED as a treat.  Not just eating it because it was there.

Also, little rules about them.  I once hired a dietitian and she was great for helping me NOT look at each meal as if it were my last.  She had a list of "every day foods", "once in awhile foods" (1-2 a week), and "special occasion foods" (1-2x a month).

You know during birthday season...it's not a special occasion if you are eating cake 3x a week.  Cake is a special occasion food.  It doesn't mean you CAN'T have it, just that you can't have it every day.  Make it count!

Although we've been off the wagon a little, at home I implemented "dessert night" 2x a week.  So I just remind the kids if they ask "is it Tuesday or Saturday?"  Christmas threw us off.

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2019, 01:22:49 PM »
I generally have four things in my life that need real focus: Job, Parenting, Personal Finance, Personal Health.

I have found that I seem to have the ability to only really focus on two of those things at a time. When parenting and job are running smoothly, I find it very surprisingly easy to maintain weight and do lots of squeezing the budget. When I need to devote more time and effort to kids and work, finding extra pennies and cooking cheap and healthy from scratch often gets beyond me.

I honestly never have time to exercise and I've made peace with that at this point of my life. I have not yet learned how to apply a mustachian level focus to all areas of my life :) The best I can do is autopilot my finances to the best of my ability to free up mental space for the other three things.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 01:47:45 PM by StarBright »

GuitarStv

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2019, 06:51:10 AM »
I generally have four things in my life that need real focus: Job, Parenting, Personal Finance, Personal Health.

I have found that I seem to have the ability to only really focus on two of those things at a time. When parenting and job are running smoothly, I find it very surprisingly easy to maintain weight and do lots of squeezing the budget. When I need to devote more time and effort to kids and work, finding extra pennies and cooking cheap and healthy from scratch often gets beyond me.

I honestly never have time to exercise and I've made peace with that at this point of my life. I have not yet learned how to apply a mustachian level focus to all areas of my life :) The best I can do is autopilot my finances to the best of my ability to free up mental space for the other three things.

Do you watch any television?

I've been able to guide several of my friends into leading (slightly) more active lives by pointing out that they can do some kind of exercise while watching TV (stationary bike, squats, pushups, whatever).  Make it into a game or something where you've got to do x exercises for each half hour of television watched.  Remember to record your hard work (even if just to say "I did 10 pushups last week, this week I'm doing 11!) and slowly increase it over time.

Co-opting unhealthy habits to build healthy habits is an easy way to make doing the right thing more automatic.

StarBright

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2019, 08:02:45 AM »
I generally have four things in my life that need real focus: Job, Parenting, Personal Finance, Personal Health.

I have found that I seem to have the ability to only really focus on two of those things at a time. When parenting and job are running smoothly, I find it very surprisingly easy to maintain weight and do lots of squeezing the budget. When I need to devote more time and effort to kids and work, finding extra pennies and cooking cheap and healthy from scratch often gets beyond me.

I honestly never have time to exercise and I've made peace with that at this point of my life. I have not yet learned how to apply a mustachian level focus to all areas of my life :) The best I can do is autopilot my finances to the best of my ability to free up mental space for the other three things.

Do you watch any television?

I've been able to guide several of my friends into leading (slightly) more active lives by pointing out that they can do some kind of exercise while watching TV (stationary bike, squats, pushups, whatever).  Make it into a game or something where you've got to do x exercises for each half hour of television watched.  Remember to record your hard work (even if just to say "I did 10 pushups last week, this week I'm doing 11!) and slowly increase it over time.

Co-opting unhealthy habits to build healthy habits is an easy way to make doing the right thing more automatic.

Unfortunately I don't! I wish I watched more because I like TV and I have a list of about 20 different shows that I would like to watch/catch up on:)  We have family movie night on Fridays and my kids are allowed to watch Saturday morning cartoons so that I can catch up on deep cleaning on the house. That is about it.

mm1970

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2019, 11:51:22 AM »
I generally have four things in my life that need real focus: Job, Parenting, Personal Finance, Personal Health.

I have found that I seem to have the ability to only really focus on two of those things at a time. When parenting and job are running smoothly, I find it very surprisingly easy to maintain weight and do lots of squeezing the budget. When I need to devote more time and effort to kids and work, finding extra pennies and cooking cheap and healthy from scratch often gets beyond me.

I honestly never have time to exercise and I've made peace with that at this point of my life. I have not yet learned how to apply a mustachian level focus to all areas of my life :) The best I can do is autopilot my finances to the best of my ability to free up mental space for the other three things.
This is typical.  I think I read somewhere that the typical person can really only focus on 3 major things at once, if that.

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Re: How do you apply your financial discipline to diet discipline?
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2019, 12:10:30 PM »
Posting to follow as I do awesome in the finances and suck completely at deprivation when it comes to food.