Fitness-F(itness) and (n)udge ie Fudge

There is an interesting link between the two words in the title: Fudge and Nudge ie Fudge.

How often does motivation leave you when the next gym session approaches?

Are you keen to find a way to keep going. I strongly suggest you read the book Nudge by Richard A Thaler and Cass R Sunstein. He won a Nobel Prize for this theory which was a way to encourage changes on behaviour.

The book has an interesting story about a particular school where they wanted to get pupils to change their diet. They reorganised the canteen servery so that the chips (which they wanted to discourage) were now the last item on the line. Also the supplies of chips surprisingly often seemed to run out. Over time the consumption of chips went down and other forms of potato and salad increased.

All very interesting, but what about a fitness regime?

Well it is well reported that weight control is more about calorie consumption than exercise.

Have a think about the following, a single small bar portion of fudge has 115 calories. If consumed every day that equates to 805 calories per week. It is stated that 1 kg of fat has about 3,500 calories. So a portion of fudge per day would soon equate to in round terms 12 or so Kg of weight gain over 1 year. This is a large number but a bit abstract for most of us. After all, its only one portion of fudge per day!

I was told by a friend that such a weight gain carries a high risk of developing diabetes. Apparently once one is diagnosed as diabetic then 10 years of life expectancy is lost.

So how did my friend motivate himself. Every time he considered a piece of fudge or other chocolate he thought about his family and what key events he might miss over 10 years. Being also concerned about the money and earning about £100,000 per year he quickly calculated that the fudge would also be likely to cost him £1,000,000.00

Associating those images with the portion of fudge soon proved very helpful. There was also the image of having to do extensive exercise every day to burn those unneeded calories

So why F/udge, well one needs to have Fitness and a Nudge approach to make a success of those critical changes.

Useful links

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness

NHS calorie check list

Worth noting that the NHS figures show that each 147 gram bar has 115 calories and that there are 6 bars in a pack.

2 replies »

  1. Very interesting, I’ll have to read that book.
    I can see how your friend making the solid connection “fudge=diabetes” is good motivation. I can also see how you could make a connection like “skipping my workout = future health problems” for motivation.
    But how do you fight off the little voice that says “what could one little piece of fudge hurt, just this once?” or “what could skipping this one workout hurt?”. I’ll be interested to see what the authors of Nudge say about that.

    By the way, your concept2 numbers are impressive and inspirational.

    • Thank you and apologies for delay, I have been in a place without internet access.

      I hope you find the book Nudge interesting. It deals in some detail about how to get people and society motivated without too much “nannying”.

      One simple way is to follow the old maxim- I’ll go the gym and do just 5 minutes- often by the end of that time one is getting the early positive feedback and so carries on. When that is linked with how much one has to do to burn off that extra piece of fudge then that can help keep temptation under control. But it is not easy.
      It has also said that after achieving a change in waist size then an expensive new belt to the new size can keep reminding one of the success that one has managed

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