books keto resources Jul 17, 2020


You are one decision away from a completely different life. 

– Mel Robbins


Today, I’m bopping by to tell you about the book that I just read, The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins.


You may have heard of her or her work before, but I was only recently introduced to her stuff by a friend and fellow keto coach. 


The 5 Second Rule at its core is about as simple as it sounds.   Basically, you have an urge or the instinct to do something and then you count down 5-4-3-2-1 and it is done.  You physically act on that urge.



If this means that you said you were going to go to the gym at 11am,  you may start talking yourself out of it, but you flip the script on your brain and say to yourself in 5-4-3-2-1, I am putting on my gym shoes. 






 Robbins does not say this in her book, but I think that in some cases you may have to do this exercise every step of the way – puns intended. 


Meaning – you still act on putting your shoes on, but your brain may still be fighting you, so then you may have to say okay in 5-4-3-2-1 I’m standing up and moving, etc. 


The reason that you need to act within the first 5 seconds is that this is the amount of time it takes our brains to start talking us out of anything scary (or undesirable).


Our brains are designed to perceive anything new as scary.  This isn’t actually a bad thing as it is the reason that we are able to be here today.  If our ancestors had not been alert to the real dangers that surrounded them every day, there is no way humankind would have survived. 


The problem is that our reptilian brain (what I like to refer to as our toddler brain) hasn’t evolved to differentiate real danger and things that just make us uncomfortable.


Though your brain may try to convince you otherwise, changing your diet to a whole food ketogenic diet is not going to kill you, and it might actually save your life!


The toddler in your brain is going to tell you otherwise.  You brain will start telling you every reason in the book why this is a bad idea.  This is where The 5 Second Rule comes in.


Whenever you have an urge to eat off plan or you do not feel motivated to eat your healthy meal – use The 5 Second Rule. 


Here is what could look like:


You enter the breakroom at work and its donut day.  You can feel the urge to reach for that donut coming on and you start to count – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1.   Then instead giving your brain a chance to tell you all the reasons you should have that donut (this time it’s talking you into something) you have already chosen to act. 


You decide in 5 seconds that you are going to walk out of the breakroom, or maybe you are actually hungry, so instead you walk over to the fridge and grab the healthy snack you had planned for the day. 


You may be wondering – so do I have to replace my urge with something else?  Yes and no. 


What I mean by that is, you definitely don’t have to feed yourself because you have the urge for food.  But – it helps to replace it with another action.  This again, might mean walking out of the room.  It might mean taking a lap around your office or standing up and sitting back down again. 


Our reptilian brain not only perceives the potential danger of anything and everything, but it is connected to our physical stress response.  Our ancestors were not always in a state of stress because they were alerted to danger – they chose fight or flight (both are actions) and then once they felt safe again, they calmed down.


Our brains still crave physical reactions to our fears – even if our fears are nothing to fear at all. 


So up until now – this article might be giving you the idea that your brain is just out to get you. 


While our brains can be real jerks sometimes (they generally don’t mean to be that way), our prefrontal cortex is constantly sending us messages that can help us achieve our goals.


As Robbins says in her book, when you set goals, your brain opens up a task list.   Because it does this, it will send you messages when you are near something that could help you with that goal. 


The example she uses in her book is – the goal of getting healthy.  If you have set this goal for yourself, perhaps you pass the gym on the way to work, and your brain sends the message “oh I should work out.”   Or maybe you pass your tennis shoes on the way out the door, and your brain sends the signal to grab them so that you go for a walk during your lunch break. 


Here is another thing that can help specifically with urges in regards to The 5 Second Rule. 


Mel Robbins talks about the importance of anchor thoughts when we are feeling especially anxious about something.  In her book, one of the example she uses is regarding her fear of flying.  


While she speaks of using anchor thoughts specifically for combatting fears, I would argue that they can be very useful for helping us to fight and even sit with our urges for food. 


Here’s what that could look like:


Remember that office donut that was staring you in the face, tempting you?  That B is back. 


This time, you count down, but you also have an anchor thought in place to help you calm down. 


The anchor thought might be something like this:  when I avoid this donut, I am one step closer to being able to wear my favorite dress to dinner with my husband, again. 


Or maybe…


I will get to enjoy that trip to Disney World with my grandchildren. 


Whatever thought helps you see the reason that you are doing or are not doing the thing (in this case avoiding the unhealthy foods), can be an anchor thought. 


So, to recap:


The basic description of The 5 Second Rule is that after you count down from 5 you need to act.  Do not stop and think about it, because your brain will tell you all the reasons that it’s a bad or even dangerous idea to do the thing. 


If you need to, add in an anchor thought.  This can be your “why” for having the goal in the first place, but you may need to focus on a smaller reason and really anchor in on that thought to redirect your brain from thinking about all the ways you could die without eating the donut (hint: avoiding all the donuts actually won’t kill you, I promise.)


There is my food for thought, but as a 5 Second Newb, I am definitely not giving Robbins’ book and message the justice it deserves.  So, here is one of her MANY YouTube videos on the topic, I chose a short one for those of you who are all about time efficiency, but if you want to know more just do a quick search.  Or purchase the book!


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