So I’ve decided to frame my weight loss tips page in the form of a glossary — terms that I either borrowed or concocted to help me recognize eating patterns that I once was oblivious to.
An accelerant, for instance, is any sugary or high-carb food that makes me want to pick up my eating pace. Now if I eat something I consider an accelerant, I’m careful to just have a small amount followed by something that will slow me down, like a salad or a few baby carrots. It’s kind of like never working with an open flame unless you’ve got a fire extinguisher around.
Words, images and visualizations have played a huge role in reforming my previously unrestrained eating habits. Yes, you have to come up with a diet and exercise plan if you want to lose weight. But what makes it stick, I think, is customizing it — making it your own.
What I call an accelerant is what somebody else might call a “high-glycemic” food. I don’t like messing around with the glycemic index. But if I tell myself that peanut M&Ms, chocolate cake and takeout pizza are accelerants, it makes me approach them with caution.
My silly terms and visualization tools may not necessarily work for anybody else. (My husband is fond of saying that we have an “analogy gap.”) So feel free to substitute superior terms and analogies if mine seem too ridiculous. The point is identifying patterns that derail your good intentions. Once you see them, and they’re no longer just part of the noise of existence, they’re much easier to learn to control.