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.
Image by Ian Barbour
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]