Can You Eat Just One?Creating change. It’s always necessary, yet usually dreaded. The most effective way to create change is by creating habits. This acquired behavior pattern can become so engrained that you create the change you’ve been trying to achieve. There is no one size fits all when it comes to habit forming, because we are all very unique in our own right. However the one thing that goes across the board and is true for everyone, is to create a habit you must fully understand yourself. You must know what you do-and that is the first step to moving forward to create habits that.

Can You Eat Just One?

Many years ago Lay’s potato chips had a marketing campaign, “bet you can’t eat just one.” It was clever and worked well for them. The question of “can you eat just one?” is a good one for better understanding your habits. While we would all like to think we have control and can regulate our eating pattern this question may be exactly what you need to help you create change and build a habit. Does “everything in moderation” work well for you? A good way to find out is to answer the question…can you eat just one?

If yes, you may be a moderator. A moderator does better having foods in small quantities, occasionally, as the thought of never having a particular food is unbearable. If not, you may be more likely to be an abstainer, a person that goes along with the “all or nothing” mindset. As Gretchin Rubin describes in her book, Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives the characteristics of both are quite different, yet are well defined.

  • Get panicky at the thought of ‘never’ being able to have a food again
  • Enjoy the first bite of something, then it begins to lose it appeal
  • May begin to eat something, such as a piece of cake, but do not feel the need to finish it
  • Do well with 80/20 rule, where 20% of the time you let your guard down and “give in”
  • Can not eat “just one bite”
  • The thought of never having something is not necessarily appealing, yet there is a sense of conserving energy & willpower by vowing to abstain from certain foods
  • Always finish the entire piece of cake, without much thought to how they are enjoying it

You can certainly be a little of both. This is where it becomes important to understand your habits. If your habit is to eat a particular food until it’s gone you may want to consider abstaining from that food. It sounds more difficult than it actually is. For instance, I am a moderator when it comes to a glass of wine or Lay’s potato chips. I have no problem having a half of a glass of wine, or eating just one potato chip. It doesn’t phase me and I may not think about it again.  However, I do know my downfalls. I abstain from corn chips (any  kind) and chocolate chip cookies. I will not just have just one, or even a few. I eat them until they are gone. I know that about  myself so I abstain from eating them.

Some common foods to understand are the ones that can become mindless eating-usually sweets or salty snacks, such as popcorn, potato or corn chips, pretzels, candy, cookies, cakes, pies, brownies, ice cream, and the list goes on. Being able to identify your challenges will make it easier to create the habit of


What about you? Can you identify foods that you should abstain from because you can’t eat just one?