When and How to Change Your Diet Plan

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Never Binge Again" by Glenn Livingston. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

Is your current food plan not working for you? Are you wondering how to change your diet plan without giving up?

Before you give up on your diet, you might have better luck figuring out how to change your diet to something more sustainable. Sometimes when we set our initial diet plans, we can be overzealous and strict on ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we should give up on them, it just means the diet plan needs adjusting.

Continue reading on how to change your diet plan from Never Binge Again.

Adjusting the Food Plan

Do you want to change your diet plan? Here’s when adjusting changing your food plan makes sense:

  • If you feel your Food Plan is too strict to meet your nutritional or happiness needs.
  • When you get new information about how to eat to better meet your goals.
  • When you better differentiate your pleasures from the Pig’s toxic impulses.

But changing the Food Plan requires a series of thoughtful steps, much like amending the US Constitution requires a drawn-out process, for good reason. Don’t change your plan day to day without major thought and commitment—otherwise the Pig might be writing your plan.

Here are steps to take:

  • If you’ve binged, let the binged food pass through your system so you’re not under its influence. Do not let instant gratification change how you’ll behave in the future. In the meantime, follow your previous Food Plan.
  • Make a copy of your previous Food Plan and date it. You might revert to this plan later.
  • Propose new changes to your plan on paper. Articulate specific reasons for each one.
    • Any Conditional that you repeatedly binge on might be better off as a Never
  • Review your previous food plans. Were any of them better? Did the Pig convince you to abandon a perfectly good plan?
  • Make sure the new rules are still 100% clear and unambiguous. Don’t allow the Pig any vagueness.
  • After a serious analysis, forgive yourself, and make a 100% confident, renewed commitment to perfectly follow your Food Plan forever.

When the Pig Squeals

The Pig in your brain complains a lot to get you to binge again. It provokes thoughts, feelings, or impulses to revert to your bad habits.

Since you’ve committed NEVER to binge again, any squeal must be coming from the Pig.

Hard squeals to recognize, and how to deal with them:

Just a Little Bit Pig Squeals

  • You’re getting really good at this, so I can’t do much harm anymore. Let me out so we can binge safely just a little, then lock me up whenever you feel like it. 
  • You’ve been doing so well for a month! You deserve a binge!
  • You can binge once out of every ten meals. It won’t kill you! It’ll make it so much easier!
  • Just this one last time…please?! We’ll start again tomorrow!

Response: 

  • Give the Pig an inch and it will take a mile, and you know it. Binging even once makes it so much easier to fall downhill all the way back to where you started.
  • You need to aim for 100% perfection on your food plan at all times.
  • There is no need for Cheat days. This implies breaking the rules, and you don’t want to give yourself ANY lenience. If you must, make it a Conditional.
  • This is worth 100% completion on. If you were constructing a building, you wouldn’t knock down a floor after you built two, would you?

Fighting Your Inner Voice (Pig Squeals)

Pig Squeal: You should be grateful for what you have. Wanting things is the enemy of happiness!

Response: It’s true that I should be grateful to be content. But this doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have any goals. Otherwise, there would be no learning or growth whatsoever. I can balance gratitude with ambition.

Pig Squeal: You can exercise it off later today. Or maybe you already exercised, and so you deserve a little binge.

Response: It doesn’t matter how much exercise you did. The plan is the plan, a binge is a binge. Nothing justifies breaking the food plan.

Pig Squeal: I’m not an idiot. I’m in your brain, so I’m just as smart as you are. You need to listen to my intelligent arguments for Binging!

Response: You must treat the Pig like an idiot. It uses your intelligence for destructive purposes only. It is NOT thinking for the best of you.

(Shortform note: consider treating the Pig like it’s a sociopath whose only goal is to manipulate you to do what it wants. You don’t want to be made the better of, do you?)

Pig Squeal: I might not get you now, but I’ll get you later! You’ll slip up at some time, like Thanksgiving, or Tom’s birthday party, or when your boss yells at you!

Response: The easy way to never binge again is to never binge now—at all times.

The difference between that attitude and the “one day at a time” attitude is that the latter implies powerlessness—“all I can control is today.” The former is power: “I Never Binge Now therefore I will Never Binge Again.”

When and How to Change Your Diet Plan

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Glenn Livingston's "Never Binge Again" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Never Binge Again summary:

  • How to lose weight, stop using social media, exercise more, and work harder
  • How to create a food plan and follow it 100%
  • Why you shouldn't be ashamed of yourself if you make a mistake

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Books in 10 Min?

Watch our free book summaries on YouTube. Here's Atomic Habits 👇