Okay, well DiSalvo talks about the “what the hell,” effect but WTF is a stronger hook.

Ever been out to dinner with people, maybe a business luncheon or dinner, and despite your best intentions to stay with your diet, you end up eating everything you can get your hands on and drinking more than you wanted to – just like everyone else.

In continuing with the previous blog theme, that essentially says we are great followers of the crowd, the what-the-hell effect happens when you make that first step away from what you intended on doing. You may have intended to skip the appetizer and order salad and fish, but that first bite of appetizer launches you on a journey that may soon, and exponentially, move you away from your goal.

You decide a few appetizers are okay, then a few more. Then the waiter comes by and you figure you’ve already blown your original goal so why not order the ribs instead of fish. Ah, what-the-hell, you think. Then dessert comes, and a post dinner port wine, or maybe a latte to wrap up.

The sad fact, every step you take away from your initial goal provides more fuel to the what-the-hell phenomena.

My take on this: the what-the-hell phenomena is very dangerous because it just takes that first bad decision and you’re off and running. The key is the first decision – make the right decision and the what the hell effect gets easier to avoid. In fact, by sticking to your first decision (salad instead of fried appetizer) creates the momentum to order the fish instead of the ribs, and also to say no to dessert. Choose your first step wisely – it can determine your entire outcome.


2 Responses to WTF

    • My wife and I struggle with this as well. We know that after the kids are in bed, the longer we hang out in the kitchen, the more we just continue to eat. On the weekends, I definitely hit the WTF-Tipping Point and just keep shoving food in until we’re either out of food, or I hate myself.

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