This morning I was asked how a person can break a “brand bond” (say drinking 9 Cokes every day, or eating Ben & Jerry’s every afternoon).
Cold turkey is one option, but what is more empowering is to set up trade-offs that still give a person a feeling that they can consume it IF they want, but which just makes it more of a hassle to do so. For example only allowing yourself to bring single Cokes into the house. This way you’re forced to ration it to when you really, really need it, or to make a trip for another. This can also be done in the form of, “I can have my Coke-fix, but only if I ______ (work out, clean the kitchen, clear out my email inbox, etc.).
A second way is through brand substitution. Enable yourself to have all you want (or better yet, half of what you want) but of another brand that you don’t enjoy as much. That has been successful in breaking the cycle for some.
A great book on this general topic is called “Breaking the Pattern” by Charles Stuart Platkin. (You might recognize his name through his syndicated column called “The Diet Detective.”)
For 30 years my Lab and I have focused on discovering secret answers to help people live better lives. Some of these relate to health and happiness (and often to food). Please share whatever you find useful.
This video of one of my post-docs gives a flavor of one type of research that we've done: