Happy almost Fall BMI Crew!
It’s easy to get tricked into thinking we are already into Fall with all the coffee shops rolling out their pumpkin spice drinks way early this year, and of course there’s the halloween costumes in the stores. But we are here to help you breathe and enjoy the present.
If you’ve ever beaten yourself up about poor decisions you made when it comes to food, exercise, life, etc., don’t miss Amy C Rad’s article on decision fatigue and ways to combat it.
Our Good For You Recipe this month is a easy Vegan friendly Pasta with Avocado Sauce. It may just become your new go to comfort food that’s a great substitute for pesto or cheese!
Be sure to check out our BMI Crew Memories to relive the fun times we’ve had over the past few weeks.
Let’s enjoy the last days of summer - get outside and move!
BMI Fitness Team
Quote of the Month
BMI Crew Memories
Look at all the ROCKSTARS who took the 1-day training with Amy C Rad and earned their Pound Pro license! Special shoutout to our BMI babes Kahea, Hope, and Cammie!
Just another fun Tues night dancin’ and jammin’ at the studio!
FriYay before Labor Day Weekend! Who let the dogs out?!?
Options Galore - A Blessing Or A Curse?
By: Amy Chang Radosevich, MA, ACSM, ACE, AFAA
From the moment our alarm clocks go off, we are faced with our first decision of the day - to snooze or not to snooze. Next, what should I have for breakfast? Then, which outfit should I wear to work? How should I do my hair? Well, at least for those of us who have the option to style our hair in more ways than one. Should I pack my gym bag? If so, what should I put in it? That depends on which class I’m taking or which workout I plan on doing. Which shade of grey shoes should I wear? How about accessories? Which purse? Should I stop at the gas station on my way to work or wait until after? Does reading this list of choices exhaust you? It sure did for me and we haven’t even made it through the first hour of the day yet.
Various internet sources estimate that adult humans make an average of 35,000 decisions per day. As we are presented with more options and choices than ever, this number could continue to rise. We all instinctively know that when one focuses on quantity, quality gets compromised. So how many “quality” decisions can we actually make in a day? One of the hosts on “The Minimalists” podcast claimed that number to be approximately 150 to 200. Assuming that’s accurate, how do we make sure our quota for quality decisions goes toward the most important priorities in our lives?
To answer that question, we first need to understand the concept of “Decision Fatigue.” In a New York Times article titled “Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue,” the author cited numerous studies illustrating the effect of even seemingly inconsequential decisions have on our brains, causing us to make poorer decisions later in the day or before we can replenish our glucose resource. That is why judges have a tendency to be more lenient first thing in the morning and right after lunch, but harsher before lunch and late in the afternoon. This is also why grocery stores position candies and chocolate right by the cashier as shoppers are likely to make impulsive buys after making numerous decisions on other purchases; especially if it’s at the end of a long day and the shoppers are already tired and hungry.
Researcher Todd Heatherton discovered that while our brain does not stop working when glucose is low, it does stop doing some things and starts doing others. It responds more strongly to immediate rewards and pays less attention to long-term prospects. This sheds light on why dieting can be a catch-22 even for the otherwise most driven and successful people. To not overeat and make the right choices, you need willpower. But in order to have willpower, you need to eat.
Armed with the knowledge that we have a limited quota on good decisions each day and that the quality of decisions are tied to our level of blood glucose, here are some hacks to optimize our decision making abilities:
Minimize inconsequential decisions
It is no wonder why Barrack Obama, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same outfits everyday. They all understand decision fatigue so they eliminate trivial decisions so they can conserve their brain power for the more important ones. While we may not need to go to the extreme of only having black turtlenecks and blue jeans in our closets, many of us can certainly benefit from paring down the size of our wardrobes and only purchase and keep quality pieces of clothing and accessories. That way, we know no matter what we put on, it’s gonna be something that we love and look presentable in. When it comes to nutrition, do your grocery shopping and meal prep on the weekend and stock your fridge and pantry with simple, quality and seasonal ingredients. That way, you won’t have to make any decisions during the week as the good decisions have already been made. Same goes for working out, schedule your workout dates with your trainer, your workout bud, your favorite classes for the week so you are not making your decision when decision fatigue has already set in.
Make the most important decisions in the morning, and when you are properly fueled
Many success mentors and personal development coaches suggest that we start our mornings with some form of intention setting. Instead of checking emails, scrolling through social media feeds or reading random news headlines, start the day by reading or listening to something inspirational and decide on the most important task or project you want to focus on that day. This focus will help you weed out distractions and interruptions throughout the day.
Maintain a stable blood glucose level
Even though we know that getting a quick sugar fix can help us focus in the short term, putting our bodies through the blood sugar roller coaster ride is both inefficient and unhealthy in the long run. By being more mindful with our intake, consuming a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats will keep our blood sugar stable. This in turn allows us to make quality decisions any time of the day.
Reduce exposure to temptations especially late in the day
No matter how well we plan out our day and how much we try to minimize trivial decisions, it’s only human to be a bit worn by the end of a productive day. That’s why the glass of wine, leftover take out, the bag of chips, the pint of ice cream and the couch in front of the TV sounds like a perfect end to a stressful day. While doing that once in a long while might be an acceptable treat or indulgence, doing it night after night certainly will cost us in the long run. As social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister said, “The best decision makers, are the ones who know when not to trust themselves.” Why test our limited willpower by keeping “junk” in our house? Figure out what your “pacifiers” are and remove it from your living environment. Then find healthier ways to help you unwind at the end of a productive day. Take a hot bath or shower, keep a gratitude journal, meditate, listen to an audiobook etc. The possibilities are endless and the best part is, any of these decisions are quality choices!
Do you find yourself making less than optimal choices because of decision fatigue? Which hack(s) do you think will help you most? Share your experience and helpful tips with us in the comment section below!
Good for You Recipe
Avocado is meant for more than just toasts. Try this easy Vegan friendly Avocado Pasta Recipe! You can always sub regular pasta for quinoa or chickpea pasta for more protein and fiber, or zoodles if you want to keep your carb intake in check. This could be your new favorite comfort food besides the good old mac n’ cheese!