Every once in a while we have our kids go through their toys and pick the ones they are willing to donate. It is only natural for them to shed a few tears as they debate whether or not they want to follow through with it. In fact, there are times our kids have a full-fledged meltdown. It’s just hard to let go of things because the temptation to keep them can be overwhelming! But finally, yes finally, they reach out and give their toy one last squeeze, savoring the last few seconds before it goes into “the box”.
As any parent would know, once you secure the lid on top, it is crucial that you don’t open it back up. Just the slightest ribbon from an old doll—exposing itself through a small opening of the cardboard—could cause a child to lose it and demand for it back. This is why adults create good closure experiences for their children. We have them say their goodbyes, remind them the toys are going to a better home, and then secure the package so it is out of sight, out of mind. Life just seems to go better that way…when we use closure to our advantage.
Which raises this question: If we see how important it is to create a good closure experience for our children, why don’t we, as adults, do the same in regards to food? You wouldn’t dangle the toys and tempt a child after they already said their goodbyes, so why do we leave food out to torment us after a meal?
Take ice cream for example. Lara LOVES ice cream—Bunny Tracks to be exact. If she sits down at the table, puts a couple scoops in a bowl but doesn’t put the container away, there is practically a 100% chance she will open the lid and dish out more. Without realizing it, when she initially began eating, she was already telling herself she could have more by making it easily available to grab another scoop.
Instead, Lara could have dished up an amount of ice cream that would have been satisfying to her (read Bite #1 ) and put the rest away. By doing this, she would mentally prepare herself to savor what was in her bowl. Her mind would send signals saying, “Once it is gone, it’s gone. So enjoy it.” With every bite, the original scoop would decrease, and the final bite would be like saying that last goodbye. She could do it, because she prepared herself. She savored every part of the process and when it was time to let go, she was ready.
We understand this scenario can be harder than it sounds. BUT, if you keep applying our tools, in a way that gives you peace, you will find that many of them will eventually melt together. Before you know it, you’ll be making better decisions without even realizing it, simply because you took one small step every day.
Take a step today by creating a closure experience with one of your foods. And no matter what the end result is, do yourself this favor: evaluate what you did well and what you could improve in the future. Then, the next time you eat, apply those changes by improving your closure with food.
Over time, you’ll be creating positive closure situation without even realizing it!
To help eat in moderation, use closure (with food) to your advantage.