The 15-Minute Rule

She was a vibrant picture of health and an inspiring speaker. The audience was stunned to see a slide of her when she was morbidly obese. She had lost 125 pounds and spoke about how diet and exercise saved her life.

The question was asked what she did when she wanted to go off her diet and when she didn’t feel like exercising.

She described her 15-Minute Rule. She explained that when she had a craving for something that she knew she shouldn’t eat, she told herself, “I CAN eat that, but I will wait 15 minutes.”

Invariably something happened in those 15 minutes that got her mind off food. She would make a phone call, check her e-mail, write a note, or get involved in some activity. Sometimes, without getting involved in another activity, the craving went away on its own.

Whenever she didn’t want to work out, she conducted a little negotiation with herself. She told herself that she would work out for 15 minutes and then renegotiate. Ten percent of the time, she walked out of the gym after the 15 minutes. Ninety per cent of the time, however, the 15 minutes of activity broke down her resistance and she continued her full work-out session.

So, for more responsible behavior, the next time you have a craving or are not doing something you know you should, try the 15-Minute Rule.

1 Comment
  1. I have a similar sort of 15-minute rule for drinking in social situations. in order to control the amount I have. I can have the first one immediately but then must wait 15 minutes between them.

    After 15 minutes the effect of the first drink has kicked in and I won’t always feel so much like having another one anyway.