When are you more likely to think about your health?
On a Monday or Saturday? A new study analyzing weekly patterns in health-related Google searches reveals that ‘healthy’ Google searches originating in the US from 2005 to 2012 found that on average, searches for health topics were 30 percent more frequent at the beginning of the week than on days later in the week. The lowest average number of searches was on Saturday. (1)
Apparently Americans have a rhythm when it comes to thinking about their health. Joanna Cohen, PhD, a co-author of the study, added, “We could be seeing this effect because of the perception that Monday is a fresh start, akin to a mini New Year’s Day. People tend to indulge in less healthy behaviors on the weekend, so Monday can serve as a ‘health reset’ to get back on track with their health regimens.” (2)
This could be a good thing. Instead of waiting for another year to pass to start new healthy behaviors on New Year’s Day, we can start afresh each Monday. And with each passing week and month, we can strive to lengthen the amount of days in the week that we engage in our newly adopted healthy behaviors. For example, let’s say that you commit to staying away from processed sugars and white carbohydrates on Monday. Normally, you last about three days and fall off on Thursday. Anything goes on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The next Monday you make the same commitment and pledge to not fall off until Friday. Then you are engaging in healthy behavior four days of the week (more than half of the week!), instead of three days of the week. It makes a big difference, both mentally and physically!
Here are some tips to stay on track with healthy eating Monday through Friday or even Monday through Saturday:
1. By the end of the week, you might often feel exhausted from a long work week and “treat” yourself to sugary and processed foods. What if you take the traditional Wednesday hump day and schedule in 8 to 9 hours of sleep that night so that you feel refreshed for the latter half of the week? Or what if your treat at the end of the week is a massage? 🙂
2. Make a quick protein smoothie on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings. This will help stabilize your blood sugar and decrease cravings so that you are more likely to eat well the rest of the day. My new favorite protein smoothie drink… (and yes, it’s delicious!) Blend ½ to ¾ cup coconut water with ½ cup frozen organic cherries. Then add one scoop PurePaleo chocolate protein powder and blend for 10 seconds. This is like having a milk shake in the morning!
3. Schedule a work-out, hike, or bike ride with friends on Saturday morning so you are less likely to drink alcohol or eat poorly on Friday night.
4. Search for a couple of delicious and healthy recipes at the beginning of the week that you can try on Friday or Saturday night. Or search for a restaurant in your neighborhood that offers menu options that are both healthy and delicious. See my Facebook page for fun and yummy recipes.
5. And create your own rules! Maybe you eat for energy and nourishment 85% of the time, and 15% percent of the time you eat purely for taste. Or perhaps this ratio is 90% to 10%. As you discover great fresh whole foods and more fun and delicious ways to eat them, you will find that you eat for energy, nourishment, AND taste most of the time! But hey, every once in awhile you might just have to break down and eat one of Mom’s chocolate chip cookies or a piece of birthday cake!
1,2 San Diego State University. “People think about their health early in the week, according to Google searches.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140418141107.htm>.