Roadmap to Diet Success

Another Key to Freedom: The Good-Better-Best Method

July 14, 2022 Season 1 Episode 7
Roadmap to Diet Success
Another Key to Freedom: The Good-Better-Best Method
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 7: Another Key to Freedom: The Good-Better-Best Method

The Good-Better-Best method is a great way to make your next best decision - whether that is with your next meal or choosing water instead of a sugared drink. Let's get out of all-or-nothing thinking  which will never be achieved anyway. Don't let the misguided striving for perfection be the enemy of good - which is the first step any of us need to take. 

Also learn about decision fatigue here and more on my blog about why the Good-Better-Best Method is one of the strongest tools in your arsenal for getting out of diet prison. 

Here is your free guide to the Good-Better-Best Method.

1:14.     Learn to cut off decision fatigue at the knees
3:21.      What is the one decision you must make?
3:34.      Examples of GOOD choices
4:31.      Examples of BETTER choices
5:28.      Examples of BEST choices
7:23.      What mistakes are we making?
8:47.      Good is a valid option on your journey
10:35.    Why are we making these mistakes?
11:23.    What is the cost of making these mistakes?
12:07.    Calling out a new way
13:49.     This week's ACTIONABLE COACHING advice
16:55.     Special Offer
19:04.     Episode 8, coming up

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You’re Listening to the Roadmap to Diet Success Podcast, Episode #7, Another key to Freedom: The Good-Better-Best Method.

 "Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Breaking Free From Diet Prison, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl! 

 Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or services, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!
1:14.     Learning to cut off decision fatigue at the knees, using the good-better-

best method is a fast and direct route out of diet prison.

·       Usually I start my episodes with a bit of a personal story but today I am going to jump right in with the concept of decision fatigue and how learning ways to avoid it might be the strongest key in your arsenal, next to using your hunger scale, to escape from diet prison.

·       In an article from the Washington Post that I put as a reference for you in the show notes, Stacy Colino talks about the concept of decision fatigue. She talks about how from the moment we wake up each day we are faced with a continuous stream of choices. She goes on to talk about how when there are too many options, we tend to feel overwhelmed, anxious and stressed. This is a state of mental overload, or, as it is also called, decision fatigue.

·       What does that mean for us when we are faced with having to make decisions when we eat out, go to parties, or just open the fridge at home with no meal plan? What does it especially mean if you are on an eating plan that has you counting calories, Points or macros? 

·       Mostly it means that we become overwhelmed by the situation which could include 

o   Too many food choices 

o   Being tired from always having to make the "right" food choices

o   A permissive attitude of "I'll start again tomorrow"

o   A defeatist attitude of "I just can't deal with this" 

o    Just general confusion of "How the heck am I supposed to know the portion sizes that fit into my plan?" 

·       Instead of dealing with all of this, your decision-making muscles just collapse under the weight, and you eat nothing or you eat it all. How about if you tell yourself you must make only ONE decision going into the situation?

3:21.    What is this one decision?

o   You just must make one decision. That is to decide which piece of the Good-Better-Best puzzle will you play.

o   Here are examples of Good, Better and Best.

3:34.   Examples of Good choices

You don't need a food scale or a tracker or a measuring cup to make the one best decision at the time. These are all decisions you can make ahead of time, cutting out the need to make decisions that might not sit well with you later. 

  • You will have whatever you want, but you will have one plate of food (if it is a buffet, for instance).
  • You will not order an appetizer or dessert, but have what you would love for the main course.
  • You will order an appetizer and a dessert but no main course.
  • You will have a main course and one dessert (and eat only half), but if you do that promise yourself that you will not have bread from the bread basket, and you will order an extra green vegetable instead of the starch being offered.  

4:31.  Examples of BETTER choices

You might 

  • Order as plain a main course as possible (grilled steak, not chicken parmesan, for instance) without the bread and starch but also have a small dessert or an appetizer.
  • Make a rule to not eat standing up. At a party it will help you say no to so many things!
  • Order whatever you want (appetizers, main course and dessert), eat only half the appetizer and main course and eat only a few spoons of the dessert. 
  • Make an effort to stick to the food plan you are following. For instance, if it is keto, right there you know what you can and cannot order, but you can be a little more lenient with quantities - but always stop when you are satisfied. That's why we have take-home containers!

5:28.  Examples of BEST choices

·       Drink hot tea, iced water or hot coffee while everyone is having appetizers. 

·       Don't order dessert.

  • Don't look at the menu but decide in advance what you will order. Almost all places will accommodate the customer even if an item is not on the menu. What I mean by this is that, without looking at the menu, you can ask for grilled steak, chicken or fish (no breading), two side vegetables (no starch) and a green salad with dressing on the side. If you know in advance where you are going, you can always look up the menu on line.
  • If you are eating at someone's house of course you cannot put in your order, but you are intelligent and not at your first rodeo. You know what to eat that best suits your food plan. Furthermore, if you promise yourself that you won't eat unless you are hungry and will stop when satisfied (translation: probably no seconds!), then you don't have to worry unless you have food allergies and sensitivities that truly prevent you from eating certain foods. 
  • Sometimes when eating according to the "best" puzzle piece we forget that it is not food's mission in life to entertain us (although it is certainly helpful if you like it!). Enjoy the occasion and the people you are with. Don't set yourself up with a "woe is me" deprivation mindset. If you are eating at a nice place, even a simple order will come to you in an attractive way. Believe me, when you leave the party or restaurant not stuffed and not having to start over in the morning, that will feel more delicious than the appetizer or dessert would have tasted.

7:23.  What mistakes we making?

o   The first mistake we make is believing there must be absolute absolutes.

o   There should be no absolutes on your journey. Even if you are following a plan like keto, and there are absolutes such as no sugar or no wheat products, you can allow yourself some leeway with other choices, so don’t feel you are in prison.

o   Here are some more examples to add to those above: The scenario is that you are following a Keto eating plan, and you are at a party. Green beans sautéed with butter and almonds are being served. If you are strictly counting macros and you know that with the salad, the green beans might be too many carbohydrates for you, then:

·       A GOOD choice might be to have a small serving.

·       A BETTER choice might be to take them and pick off the almonds (which are allowed on Keto but add carbohydrates) while also having a smaller serving of the salad or other vegetables.

·       A BEST choice might be to have the salad or the green beans but not both. 

·       So, see - even with strict parameters, you can still make a food choice using GOOD-BETTER-BEST and not get totally derailed because you are eating something that might not have been planned.

8:47.   The second mistake we make is that we get derailed when we get hung up with good not being the best.

            Let me say this:  Good is a valid option on your journey. 

·       For now, leave the Land of Perfection and enter the Land of Good Enough using the Good-Better-Best method.

o   When we set ourselves up to work only in the Land of Perfection where only the best is acceptable, we jeopardize our chances of keeping the path to our goals open and clear. We focus on (usually unimportant) minutia instead of the big picture.

o   When you were learning to drive, did your instructor tell you to keep your eyes ahead and not on the end of the hood of the car? Same thing here! If you don't keep your eyes on the road in front of you, you will tend to crash into a wall because you are really not looking where you need to go.

o   Here are a few examples where good choices are good enough:

·       If you need to do fast food, order a salad and cut up a burger without the bun (or a grilled chicken) to put on top. 

·       If you can’t drink all your water one day, just do your best to be hydrated with non-sugar beverages. 

·       If you are flat-out busy or exhausted and cannot go walking, do some ankle pumps and ankle circles to get the circulation going in your legs or just drop your head and try to reach the floor so you get a good stretch in. 

o   When you can do better, you will do better. But if you give up, then nothing gets done.

o   Don’t look at the one thing, look at the whole.

10:35.  Why are we making these mistakes?

o   We tend to make these mistakes of absolutes and all or nothing thinking because we have been living in a diet prison of weighing and measuring our food; downloading digital trackers; joining commercial diet programs – all with the payoff of being ON a diet or OFF a diet.

o   We haven’t been given leeway or wiggle room while still being allowed to think of ourselves as successful.

o   We haven’t been taught to think for ourselves. We trust diet programs instead of ourselves.

o   We have received the applause in the room for the two pounds lost, not for the actions and decisions that we have made.

11:23.   What is the cost of making these mistakes?

o   In addition to the usual not learning to trust ourselves and thinking it is our fault that we cannot stick with a plan … 

·       Because we give up when we are faced with food decisions that we couldn’t predict when we planned our food for the day.

·       Because we might be faced with overwhelming urges when we see all the food, unable to reconcile eating all of it with those consequences that follow.

·       Because we go against just making the next-best decision to have a small bite of something and know that it might not have been the best of the best decisions, but it doesn’t throw us into purgatory either.

12:07.  I want to call out a new way of doing things.

This is to work to understand and have confidence in using the Good-Better-Best Method.

o   It is good to have an overall plan, even if that overall plan is to do the best you can do in a certain situation.

  • Look at your choices and pick something that is not outrageously out of your carbohydrate (or calorie or Points) parameters (GOOD).
  • Can you tweak it by leaving off the bread or saying no to the croutons and the side of potatoes (BETTER)?
  • Can you go further and order (or choose) something that you absolutely know will fit your parameters such as steak or chicken (no breading), salad (no croutons), a green vegetable and fruit for dessert (BEST)?
  • You are an intelligent human being and for sure you know that:
    • At a party, an appetizer of crudités, cheese, olives, and a few crackers is a lower-carb choice than chips, pretzels and dip. 
  • At a lunch restaurant, a Cobb salad topped with deli meats, eggs, (and if you are following keto) bacon and blue cheese crumbles, is a better choice than a burger with the bun with sides of onion rings and French fries. 
  • Sometimes the differences in choices may not be so obvious. But you will eventually come to trust your knowledge and be able to engage in the practice of GOOD-BETTER-BEST, which is just what it implies. 


I would like you to look ahead to three meals and look back at one meal. 

·       Pick three separate meals coming up. 

o   For each meal I want you to look at possible options, then for one, I want you to pick a good option, for a second pick a better option and for the third meal pick a best option. 

o   Let’s say you are looking at three breakfasts.

§  One morning have a piece of toast with butter, juice and eggs. (GOOD)

§  One morning have a piece of toast with butter, eggs and a piece of whole fruit. (BETTER)

§  One morning have eggs, ½ avocado and freshly sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. (BEST)

·       You have gone from juice to fresh fruit and veggies and avocado instead of toast and butter.

o   I want to make it very clear here that this would be MY progression of Good-Better-Best, and am only giving it to you as an example. 

o   Your three meals do not have to be a change up in just one, such as this breakfast. Maybe at lunch you could sub out veggie sticks for chips. For dinner you could order steamed veggies and chicken instead of your usual Chinese food fare.

·       At the end of the week (or the day after) I would like you to look back at one meal and see which one you think you went “off” your diet on. Look at it from two directions:

o   Were your choices reasonable? Were they at least good and not the worst choices you could have made? 

o   Were you able to realize that you are not a reflection of your food choices? Maybe you ate out and had the bread, and the potatoes and the dessert and all the wine. Maybe these were NOT good choices but that does mean you are not a good person. 

o   If your choices were not the best, were you able to look at them and tell yourself “It’s only food” and make the next best decision with your next meal or beverage?

·       Your action steps this week are designed to move you out of the Land of Perfection – which doesn’t exist anyway – and into the Land of Good Enough. Granted it’s good to settle in a territory somewhere in between – you don’t always want to be just good enough, but it’s not a place to hang yourself either!


As I gave you in other episodes, I will ask you again to download the Good-Better-Best Method guide if you haven’t already done so. Do your coaching actions with the guide handy.

Now that you have listened to the full episode about it, you might be on higher alert as to how to use the guide and how important this method is. It is available at

 And also, while you are on my website to get the guide, be sure to check out the blogs and recipes. I have so many great low carb summertime recipes such as BBQ baked chicken, fauxtato salad and coleslaw.

And, I want to ask you: How would it feel to hear your name featured on my podcast and shared with my community? When you leave a 5-star review, you’ll get the chance to be featured on air as our next listener of the week! Just scroll down in your Apple app, or wherever you listen to this podcast, tap the 5 stars and leave a sentence or two letting me know how this show has impacted your life or how you expect it to. Your review helps others find the show, and I would be so grateful to receive these reviews, especially because I am just starting out. Positive reviews by my listeners are so important.

By the way!! If you’ve ever got a question you’d like to ask me or share a topic idea that you would like to have me cover on a future episode, don’t be a stranger! I hang out on Instagram @Roadmap to Diet Success, or you can contact me through my Facebook page, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, which I would love you to Like and Join. I always look forward to hearing from listeners like you. You can also email me directly…


Coming up in the next episode I will be talking about doing what you say you are going to do, and the advantage of a daily food plan.

I will teach you how to do things a little differently with my “Protocol Meal Plan” that will free you up to enjoy exactly what you want to eat, yet put some guard rails on that road.

 So go share the show with your friends, let them know that’s coming up in the next episode, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison with my Roadmap to Diet Success.

Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time!