Are you (and your patients) suffering from decision fatigue?

If you are going to commit a crime and end up in court, a little tip for you…. ask for your court hearing to be first thing in the morning or straight after lunch.

This will give you the best chance of getting a light sentence, maybe getting away with a community service order or making parole.

You see, when it comes to making decisions, we have a limited amount we can make before we default to the easy option.

In the case of the judges in the study, at the start of a session judges were 65% more likely to give a favourable ruling to the offenders then at the end when it dropped to nearly zero.

It didn’t matter what the crime was, the key thing was the time of day.

So what’s going on here and how does it affect us Chiropractors?

Making decisions is tiring, the more you make the more tired you get, just like doing reps in the gym. It’s especially bad as you blood sugar levels start to drop – remember your brain is a glucose eating machine.

If you really think about this, you know this has affected you in clinic and in your personal life.

Ever planned a wedding or bought a car? The sales people are very VERY aware of decision fatigue so they give you so many options to choose from and then as you start to fatigue you default to the normal/standard choice (which will be more expensive than you need or want) or you simply give in and say yes to everything.

In clinic at the end of a long session, you have been running late, its very, VERY easy to miss something, maybe not to quite assess as objectively as you might, maybe not quite as thorough as the first few patients…

So how can we mitigate this with two things:

  • Manage your blood sugar levels
  • Use protocols to provide a 100% bespoke care for every patient

Make sure you are getting enough fat and protein with your meals to give you system a chance to maintain the blood glucose levels. If you really struggle mid afternoon, try some raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) with your meal. It also may have some effect on tissue pH and thus joint/muscle pains (the effect for this varies considerably).

I love products like ACV, it’s a good example of Core Commandments “treatment stacking”. We always try to use foods and supplements that give multiple effects. In this case it’s actually three: Blood sugar control, aches & pains and it may help with digestion by increasing stomach acidity.

If you are doing long shifts, it may also be useful to use products like HUEL which is a powdered meal product with ⅓ fat, ⅓ protein and ⅓ slow release carbs which you can add water or milk to and use as a quick and easy meal replacement.

You could also try C8 MCT (Medium chain triglycerides) oil from coconuts. C8 molecule is absorbed without the action of bile high in the small intestine, and within minutes the liver has converted it into ketones.

The basis of the Atkins and keto diets is that your cells will preferentially burn glucose but if glucose in the blood drops consistently low, it will start to mobilise its fat reserves into ketones.

This is evolution in action as we would have had periods of feasting and famine. The ability to switch between glucose and our fat reserves as ketones as fuel kept us alive.

The trouble is these days we have the feasting everyday but never the famine. This principle is why intermittent fasting works so well, it tunes into our ancestral roots. I personally do a 16:8 fast Monday – Friday and it has been revolutionary for me.

So the beauty of C8 oil is you can get ketones in minutes that burn like sugar for energy, with no sugar or insulin spike, plus it takes no time and no bits between your teeth.

In Core Concepts in Chiropractic Nutrition we recognise the 80/20 rule. 80% of your patients have the same 20% of good nutrients missing or bad things they need to avoid, remove or replace (FITSS = Foods, Infections, Toxins, Stress & Sleep).

So we use that to make protocols with consistent advice on diet and supplements with 20% tweaking to personalise it, less decisions to make.

That’s also where the IN Health System also comes into play.

I am steadily building a library of patient education videos so the education is all done for me.

Consider the decision fatigue of your patients too. If you are educating them or giving them options on care, consider the time of day. They are less likely to take on board information when they are tired and hungry than earlier in the day.

This is worth thinking about with your children too, never give your kids more than two options, especially when they are tired and hungry, you know how that goes……

Action to take today: Buy some apple cider vinegar (ACV) or order some HUEL or C8 MCT and consume it during the day at work to maintain concentration and focus and to facilitate better decision making.

And as always, don’t waste those valuable adjustments…