Think-Feel-Eat Episode #22: The DAILY Ahead of Time Decision That Makes All the Difference for Weight Loss

Think-Feel-Eat Episode #22: The DAILY Ahead of Time Decision That Makes All the Difference for Weight Loss

Hi! I’m Donna Reish, IF teacher, weight loss coach, blogger, and half of “The Minus 220 Pound Pair” as my husband and I have lost over 220 pounds together (160 of that in the past couple of years through the Weight Loss Lifestyle habits and strategies I teach!).

Deciding Ahead of Time could be THE single biggest factor in weight loss. Why? Because when we decide ahead of time, we are using our pre-frontal cortex, the part of our brain that thinks logically, decides ahead of time, wants the best for us, can plan and execute, and more.

In this week’s broadcast, I describe the power of Deciding Ahead of time in general—how we have used this in parenting from toddlers to young adults with amazing results. And how we now apply it to our food and movement.

Research shows that we spend four hours a day resisting temptations and have up to 120 food-related decisions a day. We simply don’t have the willpower for that! Thus, we have a willpower gap. (See Weight Loss Lifestyle #60 and #61 for the details to willpower, how to get more, how to conserve what we have, how to utilize it to its maximum, what to do instead of willpower, and more!)

We need willpower (or something better—read on!) to overcome two big issues with weight loss and weight management—over-desire and over-hunger (which lead to over-eating in both instances).

Deciding ahead of time what we will eat each day is the answer! That is, we can use our pre-frontal cortex to decide WHEN we will eat, WHAT we will eat, and the AMOUNT we will eat—ahead of time!  (See The Perfect Storm of Weight Loss for more help in determining the best food protocol for YOU!)

Listen and learn—and apply this knowledge to your own weight loss or weight management approach. It will change your life!

Get your free journal sheet for your Decide Ahead of time daily food choices here.

Find all of my episodes, outlines, and articles for my two weekly broadcasts:

(1)  Weight Loss Lifestyle broadcast (formerly Donna’s Intermittent Fasting Broadcast) 

(2)  Think-Feel-Eat broadcast

Sign up for my free webinar:



A. Episode 22: The One BIG Decision You Need to Make Ahead of Time

1. What foods you are going to eat 80% of the time—your go to food list

2. Food version of abstinence like AA, etc.

3. Pick a Protocol is what protocol you will eat (TFE 16, 17, and 18)

a. Helpful for narrowing down the types of foods you will eat in order to create your caloric deficit and eat the amount you need for your future sized body.

b. Quick review….get your Pick-a-Protocol packet here 

c. Review of the Helpful Foods Lists (download here!) 

d. Can use any protocol that fits The Perfect Storm of Weight Loss

i. Pillar One: Food Decided Ahead—Food Type, Food Amount, Food Time

ii. Pillar Two: Hormones and Neuro-Transmitters/Brain Chemicals (causing cravings, causing depression or motivation, etc. )

iii. Pillar Three: Thoughts and Emotions Management

B.  Willpower Review—Weight Loss Lifestyle 60 and 61

1. Willpower research

a. Found that we spend four hours per day resisting temptations

b. Other experiments (M and M’s on table vs across the room—barriers!) and how much “brain power” they had left for intense tasks

c. Brian Wansink (researcher) has shown that we make 119 food-related decisions each day

 2. We Have a Willpower Gap

a. Willpower gap means that we don’t have enough willpower left to overcome the urges that we are presented with

b. Willpower drains and depletes from all kinds of decisions and actions

3. Why we couldn’t lose weight before

a. We didn’t know that the amount, type, and intensity of WILLPOWER needed to lose weight were nearly impossible to sustain when it comes to food urges.

b. Leaves the weight of the changes on the part of the brain that is ill-equipped to make those decisions and carry the burden of saying no


4. It takes willpower to resist (or sit with) over hunger and over desire

a. Over hunger—hunger signals, grehlin tells us we are empty; leptin tells us we are full

b. Over desire—processed foods, frequent eating, sugar and flour concentrations, not real foods all lead to overdesire due to neuro transmitters in the brain that tell us we want more and more of those things each time we have them (dopamine and serotonin)


5. Ways we handle willpower ineffectively

a. Eating several small meals a day

b. White knuckling and resisting

c. Eating whatever we want but “counting” (we are eating foods that are too hard to control)

 6. Ways to refill our willpower stores

a. Sleep

b. Conection

c. Prayer

d. Meditation

e. Gratitude

f. Self care

7.  IF Helps With Willpower

8.  Automaticity Helps With Willpower

9. Reduce Six Seductive Craving Combinations helps with willpower

 C. Decisions Ahead of Time

1. Pre-frontal cortex

a. Unaffected by emotions, willpower, cravings, etc.

b. The planning part of our brain

c. The part that has our best interest in mind

d. The part that cares about our future self

2. Decisions in the moment are made with our primal brain

a. Avoid discomfort

b. Seek happiness and immediate gratification

c. Toddler brain

3. Studies showing we always PLAN to eat better ahead of time—the cake vs. fruit order

a. We always think we can do it when we are planning next week

b. Use this “decide ahead of time” strength to our benefit

4. Decide ahead of time! (Free Journal Sheet!)

a. Decide today WHEN you will eat tomorrow

b. Decide today WHAT you will eat tomorrow (watch for upcoming Protocol Planning broadcasts!)

c. Uses your pre-frontal cortex (adult brain) not toddler brain

d. Uses less willpower since it is decided when you are not in the heat of the moment

D. Work on Your Own Perfect Storm of Weight Loss!

1. Get free journal sheet to Decide Ahead of Time what you will eat each day (1-3 minute process!)

2. Follow the Perfect Storm steps! 

3. Schedule a free consult to see if one-on-one coaching is right for you!






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