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One secret to a lean and healthy body: “Paying attention”

Today, we’re going to give you a ridiculously simple and easy — but potentially powerful — tool. It’s not a diet trick. It’s a brain trick.


We call it “notice and name”.

Yup, it’s just that basic. Stay with us here.


What’s going on?

  • What are you doing … right now?
  • What are you thinking … right now?
  • What’s around you … right now?


If you’re like most folks, you’re probably not completely sure.


You might be trying to answer an email while listening to music or talking on the phone or, heaven forbid, driving. You’re probably kinda checked out most of the time, trying to multi-task and juggle all the demands on your attention.


Our brain makes thousands of small decisions every day. Most of them are automatic and unconscious.

The upside is that we can repeat patterns — like driving, tying our shoelaces, and brushing our teeth.

The downside is that we can repeat patterns — like mindless munching, using booze or junk food to de-stress, or grabbing another round of take-out for another rushed lunch break.

We don’t make bad food decisions because we’re dumb or lazy. (In fact, if you’re still here, you’re obviously smart and willing to work hard.)

We make bad food decisions because they’re automatic. Because we’re distracted. Because we’re rushing. (And automatic choices, minus attention, plus rushed eating, often equals less-healthy outcomes.)


Luckily, we’ve already given you a simple solution: Slow down.


Now here’s one more: Notice and name.

Notice and name

Noticing just means pausing to pay attention.


What’s going on right now? What am I doing?

Naming just means you take an extra moment to describe the situation to yourself. Call it out.

Oh, right, I’m feeling rushed, and that means I’m more likely to grab junk.


How does that help me?

When we slow down, pause, and pay attention, we put our conscious, thinky brain in charge instead of our unconscious, automatic brain.

  • We’re able to make more informed choices. Like picking healthy food.
  • We feel more in control of our actions — more able to do those behavior goals we’ve set for ourselves. We’re calmer. Kinder with ourselves.
  • We notice little things, like the way we’re rushing through a meal.
  • We place our attention on our goals, rather than having it pulled. And when we name the situation, we call it out. Hold ourselves accountable, without judgment. Just observation.


Hey, you’re doing that thing again.

Oops. Right.

Noticing that.

OK, I’m taking a second to regroup.

Back on track.


Try a 5-minute “notice and name” today

Today, use your “5-Minute Action” and slow eating habits to do a little noticing and naming.

  • What are your patterns?
  • What do you “just find yourself” doing?
  • What’s happening right now?
  • What’s distracting you — and how can you re-focus on your goals?
  • How does that sandwich taste? What’s the texture like? (Give it a few extra chews and think about it.)


What to do today


Take a moment. Pause. Pay attention.

Use your “5-Minute Action” to check in and observe what’s going on, especially around mealtimes.


Notice and name.

What are your patterns and habits?

What does that meal taste like? Are you enjoying it?


Whatever you notice, be compassionate and kind.

Be gentle and non-judgemental with yourself. You’re learning.

Simply name what you observe, and move on.


See if you can catch yourself being awesome.

When are you more “checked in” and thoughtful? More motivated?

When do you make your best food choices?


When you notice yourself being on track and making smart choices, call it out. High five!


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