STAY GUILT FREE
Most people struggling with healthy eating need a perspective shift in order to take control. With a few exceptions there are not, good foods, & bad foods. Some foods are simply more indulgent, but should not be seen as bad. These more indulgent foods should however, be eaten less frequently & in smaller quantities. We always want what we can't have & also will reward ourselves with what we are not allowed when stressed, tired or anxious. Remove feelings of guilt attached to 'bad' foods, enjoy them in the quantity & frequency that allows you to meet your goals & you CAN take control.
Person A: Goes out for a meal for a family members birthday, orders a steak and swaps chips for new potatoes, limits themselves to 1-2 drinks & then shares a pudding with the person next to you (not the cookie dough mega mountain). They leave having had a great night, enjoyed their food and are proud of themselves for managing their evening without blowing their whole weeks progress. They maintain their healthy eating habits and continue to manage social occasions. Person A has a healthy emotional relationship with food & can eat indulgent foods GUILT FREE allowing them to stay in control.
Person B: Goes out for a meal, intends to be super strict before arriving, on arrival smells the food but tells themselves they are not allowed any, which makes them wants it 10x more. Peer pressure & temptation cause them to give in. They decide to give up on the day & start healthy eating again the next day. They order a mixed grill with chips, have a few drinks & a pudding. Demoralized from what they perceive as a failure & projecting that emotion onto their view of themselves, they do not get back to healthy habit for another 3 days. Person B always views indulgent foods as a bad thing & has feelings of guilt attached to their consumption. They do not have control over their eating & adopt an all or nothing approach.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
In order to successfully create good habits you need to allow yourself to believe that you have them. As I’ve mentioned already, we always want what we can’t have. I want you to tell yourself ‘you do not snack on crisps at work’, this is a completely different mindset to ‘you cannot snack on crisps’. Studies have shown that the language change can help the effectiveness of your ability to resist unhealthy habits. Another example, ‘I don’t buy fizzy drinks, I can have them on occasions but it’s not in my routine to do so’. This may not even be true at first but keep repeating this in your head, or out loud, try to believe it and it can soon become your reality. These temptations are not contraband, they are simply not part your daily eating habits.
See my 'Services & Prices Page' for details on my personalised nutrition plans with included accountability & support.
Author - Tom Peto
Available for magazine & website articles