For me, diets are a challenge. If you've read my last two posts, you'll know all about how I have ascribed to a number of over-the-top regimens and eventually failed. With such a strict set of rules, it's nearly impossible to stay on it all the time. That's why The 4-Hour Body's weekly cheat day is such a godsend; I'm able to eat anything my heart desires one day a week. But even then, the other six days can pose a challenge.
This time around I'm trying a new little trick: a ten-inch piece of leather string tied around my forearm. That's it! If you want to use the same leather I am, here's a link to a spool of it on Amazon. There's enough there to make 90 bracelets, so you'll be set for gift-making for years!
Here's how it works. I wear this little leather bracelet at all times as a constant reminder. Should I slip up and make a conscious decision to eat poorly on a day other than cheat day, I have to take it off one arm and put it on the other. While doing so, I also reset my goal streak of 30 days back to zero. It's as simple as that. I'll continue to keep resetting, should I slip up, until I reach a full 30 days. By then, the habit of a healthy diet will be much more routine and easy to stick to.
This simple physical reminder has already helped me stay honest with my eating. It is currently day 11 and my bracelet still clings to my left arm. There have been two small instances where I ate something off my diet plan, but they were somewhat out of my control so I didn't count it (restaurant wasn't able to substitute this for that, etc).
I'm still surprised how well this has been working so far. When I'm offered a piece of candy at work or a slice of bread with dinner, I immediately decline so I don't have to switch my bracelet. The arbitrary consequence of switching arms is somehow much more powerful than my willpower alone. It's almost like the bracelet is a friend I don't want to let down. Or a pet that I want to keep happy.
This ten-inch piece of leather is like my analogue diet Tamagotchi. But without poops and premature deaths.
This idea stemmed directly from the movement to create a complaint-free world (website). The idea there is that you wear a bracelet and switch arms every time you complain. The goal is to make is 21 consecutive days without switching arms. If you want to hear my take on how and why to quit complaining, check out this post.