I stopped eating potatoes. They’ve been a staple ingredient in my home made soup for years. I live on that soup. I eat it daily.
But now potatoes were out. I started reading about food. It turns out that food is bad. Yeah, pretty much all of it. Depending on who you read.
Carbs are bad. Then only some kinds of carbs. Fat is bad. Sugar is bad. Sweeteners are bad. Fruit is bad. Honest to God. Fruit!
If you ever want to be put off food, just start reading what “the experts” have to say about it.
I’ve got a list of good carbs and bad carbs pinned on my kitchen wall. There in the bad list, naughty old potatoes.
I decided to drop a few pounds. Bad carbs were my enemy of choice. Bye bye spuds.
I made up for the lack of potatoes by adding more vegetables to the soup.
But I was hungry fast. That was odd. I never got hungry with my soup. It had beans, potatoes and veg. It’s super filling.
Not any more.
I’m pretty good with cravings. My best tactic is to plan them away by eating well. The fuller I am, the less I crave.
Craving is my warning light that there’s a fault in my meals. I was craving bad.
I tried to fix breakfast. It still didn’t work. So I was eating all sorts of junk. Biscuits. Chocolate. Crisps. More biscuits. My evenings were a sugar hell.
My weight went up, not down.
I decided to go back to one of my favourite food studies, on the topic of satiety. This shows which foods keep you fuller for longer.
Guess which food was stratospheric when it comes to keeping you full? Yep, potatoes. It’s over 3 times more sating than white bread. Nothing comes close to filling you up like potatoes.
No wonder I was hungry. I’d got rid of my number one fullness weapon, the mighty spud.
I’d swapped the humble potato for piles of chocolate. Bad tradeoff.
The good news is that the spuds are back. The cravings are gone. Good tradeoff.
Imagine if I made a good tradeoff like that every week. How would life improve if I gave myself a mission? Every week, find one simple upgrade I can make in my life.
It doesn’t have to be huge. Small is good. Small and frequent is the pathway to enormous change.
In just over two years, I could be three times as good as I am now. All with small weekly upgrades. Trust me, I’ve done the sums for you.
Let’s say I upgrade to the tune of 1% each week. That’s doable.
In 18 months time I’d be twice as effective. Another 8 months later I’d be three times better.
We often focus on enormous change. Then fail.
We try to go from sitting on the sofa to jogging for 5 kilometres. From depressed to joyful. From poor to wealthy. No wonder change seems hard.
But we can all succeed at tiny changes. We can all find a tiny upgrade every week. It’s purposeful and motivating to be on a weekly mission. It gives the week meaning.
Here’s what to do next. Get a pocket notebook. The kind a private detective has. Let’s make it fun. That’s for your ideas. Whenever you see a clue that might be a 1% upgrade, scribble it down.
At the weekend, go through your clues. Find that week’s 1% upgrade.
If you find a huge upgrade, chop it down. Huge upgrades aren’t needed. Keep it small and steady. Your life will transform within just a couple of years.
It’s as simple as adding potatoes to your soup.Alun Parry is Director of The Liverpool Psychotherapy Practice