How You Can Use Procrastination To Make Healthier Choices

The frame of mind that gives you a shove in the right direction.

Zulie Rane


Photo by Kaylah Otto on Unsplash

Right now, sitting in my kitchen, is a box of Ferrero Rocher.

My friends refused to take them back home with them. My partner, T, forgot to take them into work. So there they are. Tempting me.

Eating one on its own wouldn’t be a problem. But I know myself, and I know it would never be just one. It would be the whole box. So nothing, other than a vague desire to be healthy, is stopping me from eating the whole box.

I wish I wanted to eat one of the apples I have instead of giving into my temptation. I know I’ll feel better after eating it, and I know that choice will help me with my long-term health goals.

But the flavor combination of hazelnut and chocolate is irresistible to me. I love unwrapping those dang little gold foils, revealing the treasure beneath. So I know I’ll give in, choosing chocolate over apple.

There’s just one problem. I’ve put them on the very highest shelf in the kitchen. I’m tucked cozily under a blanket, in the living room, far away. And I’ve duct-taped the box closed.

Eventually, I get up and go to the kitchen. I contemplate the box. And I choose the apple. Because I put off making the decision, it helped me make the choice I know is better for me in the long term.

Here’s how you can use procrastination to help you make healthy choices.

CalTech found that when people take longer to consider their food options, they’re more likely to make healthier choices. It turns out that when we make a rushed choice, we learn towards taste preference rather than nutritional value.

It makes intuitive sense: when you’re in a hurry, you grab the thing that’s likely to taste best.

Plus, when we rush our actions, we default to our monkey brains, which are wired for a time when calories were scarce and we wanted anything high in fat and sugar to keep us alive.

In present times, the challenges of food are a little different. It just takes a while for…