On and on it goes as you march up the driveway, steeling yourself for the conversation to be had when you unlock the door and sneak inside with the Tupperware (let's be honest) you never really needed. As we've seen, sweet foods throw your blood sugar out of balance and contribute to insulin resistance, which quickly leads to weight gain. Imbalanced hormones disrupt your thyroid (which regulates metabolism) and your sex hormones (which, among other things, regulate your sex drive and your feelings of sensuality). So next time you're tempted by a sweet treat, remember how unsexy it can make you feel! These rats actually suffered from withdrawal-like symptoms when they were deprived of their sweet, high-fat diet--which is often the experience my patients describe. Sugar triggers many feel-good brain chemicals, to which some people have a much stronger response than others. If you are one of these people, it may be even harder for you to resist sugar. Unfortunately, the effects of sugar never last long, and then you start looking for another fix. I encourage you to choose longer-lasting and healthier forms of satisfaction. Artificial sweeteners also make it difficult to lose weight because they interfere with the body's ability to associate sweetness with a high-calorie food. This is called calorie dysregulation, and it explains how you can keep eating long after your body has had all the calories it requires. How can I bond with people if I don't know what's funny to them? It's a good question. Gradually, over Molly's two years of experience, first at St. John's on the Lake and then at Eastcastle Place, where she joined the choir and formed enduring friendships, Molly found her rhythm. Still, differences in generational humor could catch her off guard. One of her best friends at Eastcastle Place was a woman named Pat, who shared Molly's sharp wit. They were screen-printing small doodles that Molly had originally created as part of her senior thesis project. One of the doodles was a ring. Admiring the drawing, Pat told Molly she should open up a jewelry store when she grows up.

Then I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, wrote Molly, and she promptly responded, `In a casket! One by one, each of these cognitive biases probably wouldn't have gotten you into a situation like spending an afternoon with an acquaintance you don't really know out of obligation or sneaking into the house with Tupperware you don't really need. But together, this ensemble of cognitive biases completely derailed an entire Saturday afternoon and thirty dollars of your pocket money. Though the Tupperware party is a classic example highlighting the nature of the Lollapalooza Effect, there are also positive ways this mental model can affect your life. Take Alcoholics Anonymous, for example: When understood and used benevolently, a system of overlapping cognitive biases can create a powerful mental model used to urge you forward. If you know you're sensitive to the social proof bias (which states that when you're unsure, you'll do what everyone else is doing), you can surround yourself with people you look up to. That way, when you're subject to the social prof bias and find yourself flailing and copying someone else, you'll know it's at least a worthy decision. Similarly, if you're aware that the reciprocity bias typically reels you in, you can live your life prepared to give willingly and generously. You might find that the key to desensitizing yourself to this bias is generous to someone before they have a chance to be kind to you. Going through life with that kind of a mindset can't steer you wrong. Restore your natural sense of hunger and fullness by avoiding both real sweeteners (including honey) and artificial ones. The three exceptions are stevia, xylitol, and erythritol, all of which are natural ingredients that don't seem to alter your blood-sugar levels nearly as much as other sugars, which makes them safe to use as you will. One of the worst things you can do for your hormone balance is to load your caffeinated drinks up with sugar. The combination of sugar and caffeine sends your adrenal glands into overdrive, fooding your body with stress hormones and contributing to weight gain, insulin resistance, and hormonal imbalance. Food sensitivities are surprisingly common--and frequently misunderstood. When I first told Chantelle that I wanted to test her for food sensitivities, she was confused. I don't think I'm allergic to anything, she told me. I've always been able to eat whatever I wanted. I explained to Chantelle that food allergies are one type of immune-system reaction, in which the body responds to otherwise harmless foods as though they were dangerous invaders.

When this happens, immunoglobulin E--a type of antibody that plays a large role in allergies--mobilizes the body's resources against the foods, creating immediate symptoms such as hives, rashes, swelling, a scratchy throat, and, in extreme cases, difficulty breathing. ' I'm laughing right now just thinking about it. At the end of their yearlong experience, the student artists in residence share final reflections on what they learned. The themes have been consistent across the four years the program has been evolving: student artists in residence learn patience, empathy, how to engage people with disabilities in art-making, and how to approach aging and frailty in their own families and lives. Tania was a student artist in residence at St. John's on the Lake working with people with memory loss as well as those in their independent apartments--a handful of whom had been professional artists. For Tania, the experience helped her process her own challenging relationships with her abuelo and abuela, who had raised her. Through her experiences with the elders at St. John's, Tania said she was able to see them as people with different life experiences and expectations--not just demanding grandparents. For this, and for the healing it helped me have with my abuela before her passing, I will be forever grateful for being part of this beautiful program, wrote Tania. Christina always thought of herself as a patient and easygoing person. Be aware of the cognitive biases you're sensitive to. We've only studied a few of the many hundreds of kinds of biases in this article. Go online and research a list. One by one, make your way through the cognitive biases, thinking of how each could have a place in your life. If you're unaware of the biases you're subject to, you're leaving no room for change. Free yourself from the cognitive biases that might be holding you back. Study obligatory situations like the Tupperware party for cognitive biases that might be in play. If you find yourself thinking, What am I doing here? or, This isn't how I wanted to spend my day (or my money), you might be able to find a few cognitive biases hidden somewhere.

Use these biases for good in your life! Food sensitivities, by contrast, are also an immune-system reaction but they involve less aggressive antibodies. These symptoms may be delayed for hours or even days, making them much harder to detect. For a look at potential symptoms, see the box entitled Some Symptoms of Food Sensitivity. Both food allergies and food sensitivities differ from a third condition known as lactose intolerance, which is not an immune-system reaction but simply the result of the lack of an enzyme needed to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. While a food sensitivity won't put your life at risk, it can play havoc with your hormonal health as well as your weight and overall health. Food sensitivities also create the immune-system reaction of inflammation. If you're already struggling with PMS, painful periods, or perimenopause, food sensitivities can give you a double whammy. You have three options here. An integrative practitioner can test you for food sensitivities with a simple blood test. You can also go to the Resources section and find a practitioner who can test you. But her experience at Chai Point put this patience to the test in a very specific place--at the elevator. With all the walkers, wheelchairs, and canes, and the general snail's pace of walking and life in a care community, doing something that normally took Christina a few seconds could take what seemed like forever. Older people, she observed, needed time to mentally register that the elevator has arrived and then needed more time to get inside. In the beginning this pace drove her crazy. But gradually, she came to see time quite differently. Moments like this help remind me that time truly is a man-made concept and that I really never need to be rushing around quite as much as I think. I have come to realize that having a rushed feeling about you can come off as abrasive to some, and that taking a couple extra minutes in certain cases can help communicate respect, she wrote. Christina had other realizations as well, particularly about people with memory loss. She described herself as wanting people to get to the point of everything and having to fight that wiring within herself in her daily encounters at Chai Point.

She would get anxious and annoyed when Sarah would tell the same long story about being a schoolteacher. Manipulate yourself into sticking to your habits or running towards your goals by using the cognitive biases that seem to have the most presence in your life. Determine which mental models you can introduce cognitive biases into to make them even more powerful. Would the first principles model be easier for you to think through if you talked through it with someone you liked, using the liking bias? Would you be more motivated to complete an Eisenhower box if your friend checked in on you, using the commitment and consistency bias? Strengthen your toolkit by pairing your tools. Before you started reading this article, you might not have known what mental models were. You might have heard the term before but not understood what they were. You might've done a little bit of research but not fully understood how to put them into place. Take a moment and congratulate yourself. You have come so far from the person who opened this article for the first time. Or you can cut out some of the most common trigger foods for three weeks and see if you feel better. Many people have hidden sensitivities to gluten (found in grains and baked goods), dairy products (especially those made with cow's milk; products from goats and sheep may be okay), eggs, and peanuts. Soy and corn are also challenging for some people, as are citrus and berries. Try pulling some or all of these foods from your diet and see what happens. If your skin clears up, your energy increases, and your mood brightens, you may do better without those foods, at least for a while. Sometimes eliminating the food eliminates the sensitivity so every three to six months you can try reintroducing problem foods and see if any of your symptoms come back. My 28-day plan includes suggestions for all the basic supplements you need (see SUPPLEMENTS). Even if you don't follow the entire plan, I urge you to add the supplements to your daily routine.