Building on last weeks’ post about creating new habits and making them stick: I ran across an article on LifeHacker today about how to make a habit out of cooking.
Whether you’re interested in fat loss, or athletic performance, or just want to be healthier, it’s no secret that cooking at home will get you better results than eating out at restaurants.
Restaurant food is typically not designed with your health in mind. It’s designed for taste, visual appeal, profitability (translation: cheap ingredients that are often unhealthy), speed, convenience, and other things. Most of these factors are directly at odds with your health.
So if you don’t cook, then it would be a good idea to start. And if you already cook, but you also eat out a lot, it would be a good idea to cook more often.
So I’m not sure how to get my clients to cook more often, but if you’re one of those people that never cooks, here’s an idea on how to get started.
we tell our students to put a pan on the stove when they walk in the door. That’s it, you don’t have to cook, or put anything in the pan yet. Just take it out and place it on the stove every day.
This is what’s known as a “tiny habit“, a phrase that was coined by BJ Fogg, one of today’s most respected psychologists focused on behavior change.
I’m pleased to see that they are advocating the “tiny habits” approach that I talked about in my last blog post. This idea is gaining a lot of attention in the last few months — I heard about it first from author Neil Strauss, then from a bunch of other places, including LifeHacker.
And here’s their take on why this will lead to cooking at home, eventually:
You’ll start to cook after the habit starts forming not because you’ve forced yourself to cook, but because you’ll feel so eager to finally do something with that damn pan instead of just putting it on the stove. The activity will start pulling you into it instead of you having to push your way in.
The whole article is worth reading, because they have some awesome tips on how to build habits in general, not just for cooking at home, including identifying triggers (“as soon as I get home from work, I’m going to put a pan on the stove”) and building in a little reward to cement that new habit. Which is why, after writing this post, I’m going to go spend some quality time reading about respiratory and pelvic floor influences on posture. Woohoo!