Avoid Bad Diet Decisions with the 10 Minute Rule

Avoid Bad Diet Decisions with the 10 Minute Rule

Human beings aren’t always rational creatures, especially when it
comes to health and fitness. We suffer from certain cognitive
biases—inherent errors in the way we think, causing us to choose a piece
of cake over fruit. You can use the “10 minute rule” to stave many of
these off.

One of the most common biases in fitness is known as the “current moment bias.” As explained by coach Mike Howard:

We Homo sapiens kind of suck at both predicting a future scenario and
how we will respond to said scenario. We are a society of instant
gratification—prone to the roller coaster swings of hedonic adaptation.
Not surprisingly most of us would rather experience pleasure in the
current moment, while leaving the pain for later—even if the long-term
reward is greater. This is a bias that is of particular concern when it
comes to achieving fat loss and greater health. A 1998 study confirmed
the old adage “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” when 74%
of participants chose fruit over junk food when asked what they would
choose a week from that point when they became hungry. But when the day
arrived, 70% chose chocolate.

You probably know by now that future you isn’t always trustworthy.
You can use the “10 minute rule” in order to protect yourself against
the current moment bias. When faced with the opportunity to make a bad
decision—such as eating that unplanned slice of cake—give yourself 10
minutes (or longer) to reflect. If you still feel the same way after 10
minutes, allow yourself to indulge. By letting your fleeting urges pass,
you’re less likely to succumb to the current moment bias.

Your Brain Is A Jerk: 5 Cognitive Biases That Are Sabotaging Your Fat Loss Goals | Burn the Fat Blog

Image by Ian Barbour.

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