More and more we are understanding that DIETS DON'T WORK!
More and more we are figuring out that restriction not only strips us of joy, but it turns the experience into a battle and a constant struggle to hold the line and use "willpower" to get us through.
But every single time we do well for a bit, fall off the wagon, fall back into old habits, lament, accept defeat, and then in a few months time try to jump back on the wagon.
When most people try to jump back on, the day before they start a new diet, they go on a massive binge. "Today is going to be the LAST day of my life I can have these doughnuts, or croissants, or cheeseburger. Tomorrow I will eat clean....forever."
It's daunting! Unrealistic and setting you up for "failure".
The question is HOW do we change our lifestyle for the better without continuously falling back into old unsupportive habits?
HERE ARE SOME EASY TO LIVE BY "RULES":
1) FOCUS ON ADDING
When you put the focus on adding in things like more water, more veggies, more healthy snacks you are taking the focus off of what you "can't have" and more on what you can have. Make a list of all your favorite fruits and veggies and healthy recipes and add in these foods more often into your routine. Healthy eating shouldn't mean eating things you don't like!
Add in 2 extra home cooked meals a week
Add in 2 new recipes a week to play with
Add in healthy desserts
Add in more sleep
Add in JOY!
Add in self-care
2) "Today I won't, tomorrow I will"
This little psychological trick is INCREDIBLE because it WORKS!
Instead of the binge day of "I will eat everything now" and tomorrow and forever after "I will never eat this ever again", it is more realistic and doable to take it ONE day at a time.
"Today I won't have that Coke, or I won't have that doughnut, but tomorrow I will".
When tomorrow comes, repeat the same phrase. "Today I won't, tomorrow I will". You may last 1 day or 3 or 7 or a whole month! But when you finally do have that food, there is NO GUILT, you are not falling off the wagon, and it means you can take the next day as a NEW DAY!
I used to play with this and see how many days I could go without and then enjoy that food. The next day I started fresh and went even longer without! It took my croissant ham & cheese addiction from daily to 3-4 times a year! It means that I can still enjoy these foods (NO RESTRICTION), but they no longer control my life, effect my waistline, and make me revert to old habits.
3) Accept that we are cyclical creatures
The earth follows seasons, plants have life cycles and animals hibernate. Yet with our hustle and bustle 24/7 365 days a year go-go-go mentality,it does not allow for rest, regeneration and the ups & downs that are essential to life. If you can accept that you can't be "ON" all the time and that falling "off" is PART OF the journey, it is easier to flow through the cycle and understand why your body wanted to go back to its old ways so that you can shorten the down time and lengthen the up time. When I allow my body to go through its cycles I'm likely to continue my positive self talk and keep the focus on what I am doing right versus what I am not doing.
4) Visualize your Day
Adding takes planning! It is harder to ADD in more beneficial things if you don't plan to buy the veggies or make the recipes. Set a few minutes aside at night to see what went well for you today and what you would like to continue to add in tomorrow. Visualize yourself moving through the day adding these things in. Maybe you visualize yourself adding in a green smoothie for breakfast, or adding in a side salad for lunch. The more you visualize how you want your day to go, when those moments arise the choice seems natural and planned versus feeling like you have to make a hard choice in the moment.
5) Start with ONE thing
Restriction usually means cutting a bunch of things out ALL AT ONCE! Even though it seems SO slow, you will make MORE progress adding in ONE THING AT A TIME. This week just focus on adding in more water, or adding in supplements. Work on creating a system or habit that works for you and keep tweaking until it becomes easier. Then add in a new thing to experiment with.
6) Enjoy the process instead of fixating on the results
There are more and more studies that show that people who focus more on improving and enjoying the process of something will reach their end goal more quickly. When we only focus on getting to a certain weight, or having a perfect healthy lifestyle we lose sight of just enjoying the delicious dinner we made, or enjoying the workout, or enjoying finding time to focus on yourself. You will find a more sustainable lifestyle if you ENJOY THE MOMENTS OF YOUR LIFE!
If you follow these guidelines, little by little you will realize that you've added in so many beautiful things into your life that you are living that healthy & joyous lifestyle that you've been waiting for.
In health & ADDING,