The 10-Minute Factor: How to Control Your Weight and Eating Habits

10-Minute-FactorDid you know?
You are addicted to the foods you eat.

Our bodies can actually crave foods that are harmful to us. An addiction is the end result of habit. Before someone gets addicted to smoking or over-eating, they develop a habit of smoking or over-eating. You become addicted to chocolate or cheese or any other foods that really taste good simply because you develop a habit of eating these foods, develop a desire for their taste, and then continue eating them on a regular basis. Poor eating habits turn into eating addictions.

You are going to learn how to begin working on avoiding certain foods you may be addicted to. The same way bad eating habits lead to an addiction, good eating habits help you develop a good eating lifestyle.

I want to introduce you to a dynamic secret. It not only works for quitting smoking but also allows you to be successful in controlling your weight and your eating habits. This trick makes it possible for you not to snack on that piece of chocolate or not to order that steak. It will enable you to make a salad with fruit on it. It is the most important and amazing self-control tool I know. It is the spark that makes things happen, the spark that gives you hope.

I know individuals who have controlled their addiction to harmful foods by using this method. I know people who have never smoked another cigarette after adopting this process. And you can control what you eat by using this same principle. It is the motivating force for learning self-control. It is one of the foundations of forming habits. Use this factor once, and then a second and third time, and before long, a habit is ingrained into your mind.

It is called the “10-Minute Factor.” It is a dynamic component of reasoning that doesn’t suggest what you can do—it demands it (at least for a period of ten minutes).

I first heard of it when I was in Alaska, fishing with a man in his sixties who had at one time been addicted to drugs as well as to cigarettes. As he was showing me one of his favorite fishing sites, he told me his story. He had been in prison because he couldn’t control his habits. One day he realized that he couldn’t control them for the rest of his life—but he could control them for ten minutes. He tried this concept with his smoking. Whenever he had an urge to smoke, he would simply tell himself he wasn’t quitting smoking for good, that he would allow himself a cigarette later on that day, but for the next ten minutes, he was in charge—and he was not going to smoke.

He would then get busy doing something else and not light up. He would go outside and work on something, or get a cup of coffee, or start reading, or turn on the television. He said the urge to smoke would return in an hour or so, and he would trigger his ten-minute factor again. He pointed out that since implementing the ten-minute factor over twenty years ago he had never smoked another cigarette! He said it worked the same way with alcohol and drugs. He was motivated to change his lifestyle, and he committed to it, ten minutes at a time.

That story impressed me so much that I began applying his strategy to the wrong foods I had a craving for. I began sharing it with others who had made the decision to change their lifestyle of eating, as well as of weight control and exercise. I shared it with my patients who had lung disease and smoked. The ten-minute factor secret has worked time and again with the addiction of smoking. It has worked on drug addiction and alcohol addiction.

At some point you are going to have to make a decision. It is so important, because it could change your life in so many different aspects. Don’t take the ten-minute factor lightly. You don’t want to be one of those who keep sitting on a fence, simply thinking about losing weight, or developing the proper eating habits, or starting to exercise (someday). This is a tool that will allow you to do something about developing your lifestyle. To decide today to exercise, to lose weight, or to stop eating the wrong foods is a process.

It takes about two months to be able to substitute one good food for a harmful one. The nice part is that down the road you will enjoy the new, healthy food the way you enjoyed the old, damaging one. The day will come when you could not care less about eating a bite of a harmful food that is so dear to you today. In fact, you will look back and believe that food was not all that good to begin with.

Smoking is the worst addiction to overcome. We can learn by looking at the worst. I know there are advertisements about patches and pills that make you “cut down” on the desire to smoke. I have operated on numerous patients who were addicted to smoking. I have had some patients beat the addiction and many who could not. True knowledge comes from learning how the ones who quit did so. But I have never had a patient who cut down on the desire to smoke and then was able to quit permanently.

Moderation won’t beat desire. Moderation can get you killed. You have to gain control over a desire, or you will never beat an addiction. And to beat the desire, don’t taper. Abstain.

If you acknowledge your addiction to foods like cookies and ice cream and donuts and candy, cheese, red meats, and multiple fried foods, you can overcome that addiction. It won’t be by slowing down, day by day, in hopes that on a certain day in the future you won’t have any desire for that particular food.

Abstain completely from it for a two-month period, ten minutes at a time. Not just eating less and less of it for two months, believing the desire won’t be there three days later. You abstain completely while developing new habit foods to build your new eating lifestyle.

Let me point out the key to beating the addiction of certain lethal foods you like: get rid of the bad stuff in your home. Do you think it would be smart for someone who is addicted to alcohol to keep a fifth of Jack Daniels in his cupboard? Should he have it just in case his willpower broke one day? I don’t think so. Why have something that is going to be a constant temptation nearby?

It’s the same thing with harmful foods. Let’s say you get ready for bed, walk through the kitchen, and all of a sudden you have the desire for a piece of chocolate. You know exactly where you keep some. Odds are you will go to your hiding place and pull out a piece and eat it. After all, you deserve it because you ran three miles that day, didn’t eat a single piece of bread at the restaurant where you had dinner, and haven’t eaten any dessert in over a week. However, if there is no chocolate in the house, this time you’ll simply go on back to your bedroom.

Beating the addiction to foods begins at home. Commit to not having any of your addictive foods in your household. Get rid of the foods containing the “bad threes”: saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Get rid of the bad cooking oil. Switch out your butter for a substitute that has zero saturated fat, zero trans fat, and zero cholesterol. Have skim milk rather than either 2 percent or whole milk in your refrigerator. Get rid of your high saturated fat cookies and cakes and processed foods. Throw out the cheese. Toss out any chips that aren’t zero, zero, zero.

Breaking down any unhealthy eating addictions you may have and laying the foundation for good eating habits take only ten minutes at a time.

A 10-Minute Success Story
I was seeing patients in my office one afternoon when my nurse told me a gentleman wanted to see me. He didn’t have an appointment but wanted just a minute to talk in the hallway.

I looked up the hallway toward the lobby and saw him. He had on tan Carhartt pants, covering a pair of well-worn work boots. The rim of his baseball cap was also well-worn, especially at the left front corner of the bill. His smile was as big as his extended hand, held out to me as I walked up the hall.

As he shook my hand, he said, “It’s been exactly one year.” I wasn’t sure what in the world he was talking about, but he continued.

“It’s been a year since I walked out of your office. When I got in my truck, I pulled the pack of cigarettes out of my pocket and laid them on my dash. They stayed there for the next two months. I wanted to prove to myself that I could beat the habit. Every day, I would look at those cigarettes and shake my head. Ten minutes was all it took. Every time I wanted one, I wouldn’t smoke it for ten minutes, just like you said. Finally, I didn’t even want one anymore, and I threw them away. And as of today, I haven’t smoked in a year, and I just wanted to let you know. I got out of the way of that truck you talked about coming down the road.”

I started to congratulate him, but he was already walking back up the hallway, past the nurse and another patient. It took him only a moment exactly a year ago in the examining room to make his decision and only ten minutes at a time to make it happen. I am glad he wanted me to know. He will never under- stand how it pleased me to know he had made a commitment because of what I said.

This patient was told how to improve his lifestyle, and he did something about it. You can do the same. This is when you begin to understand that what you eat directly affects your health.

Prescription_for_Life_smLearn which foods to enjoy and which foods you should never eat again in Prescription for Life.






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