Making changes to our diet can be a challenge particularly cutting down on foods that we really love like chocolate, biscuits etc. Doing so, can often leave us feeling deprived and a bit sorry for ourselves which may lead to comfort eating and abandoning our healthy eating plans….’it’s just too hard!’…sound familiar? One way to counteract any feelings of deprivation is to continuously remind yourself of all that you will GAIN from improving your eating habits.
Right now, I’m sure you have many reasons why you want to want to change your eating habits. You could probably rattle off about a dozen of them right now. However, if you’re like most people who struggle with food cravings or comfort eating, you probably don’t automatically think of all these reasons when you’re craving a particular food e.g. chocolate. One essential technique that will help you control your eating habits and increase willpower is to continually remind yourself of what you will gain by adopting a healthier lifestyle. If you focus on all the BENEFITS you’re less likely to feel deprived and your mind-set will automatically be more positive!
The most effective way of doing this is to write down all the reasons why you want to change your eating habits and how you will benefit from doing so. Write them down then put your list somewhere where you can read it every single day. It’s crucial for you to remind yourself again and again exactly what you stand to gain from improving your eating habits, be very specific, for example, ‘ ‘I’ll have more energy to play with my kids’ is more specific than just ‘I’ll have more energy’, you get the gist. If the benefits stay fresh in your mind, you’ll be much more likely to be able to resist temptation when a craving strikes.
Listen to the audio version of this motivational exercise here
Below are some Benefits Lists from my clients to help inspire you:
- I’ll have more energy to play with my kids
- I’ll feel good about cooking healthy meals for my family
- I’ll be setting a good example for my children
- I’ll feel good about taking the kids swimming and getting into the pool with then.
- I’ll enjoy being photographed
- I’ll be able to wear a nice dress to my daughters Communion
- I’ll be at less risk of developing diabetes like my mother
- I’ll feel in control
- I’ll enjoy physical intimacy more
- I will enjoy wearing skirts with bare legs in summer
- I’ll feel like me again.
- Emma, 28
- I’ll be able to wear skinny jeans
- I’ll enjoy shopping and trying on clothes
- I’ll enjoy dancing again
- I’ll be able to wear a bikini on holidays
- I won’t feel judged by my weight
- I will have the confidence to enjoy work nights out
- I’ll feel comfortable in my work skirt
- I feel more alert and focused at work
- My skin will be clear and bright
- I’ll have the confidence to start dating again
- I’ll enjoy being a bridesmaid at my sisters wedding
- I’ll like myself better
- My parent will be proud of me
Sean, 48 .
- My cholesterol will be under control and I can avoid medication
- I’ll feel more in control over my current and future health.
- My digestion will be better, less reflux and indigestion
- I’ll feel more assertive at work and confident giving presentations.
- I’ll be more likely to go for a promotion
- I’ll have more energy and mobility on the golf course
- I’ll be in better form with my family
- I’ll be able to keep up with my sons in the park
- I will be in a better position to manage my stress levels
- I’ll sleep better
Remember, that adopting healthier eating habits will have a domino effect on all aspects of your health and wellbeing including your weight, energy levels, stamina, mood, mental clarity skin, confidence, sleep, digestion, heart health to name but a few. These in turn will have positive effect on all aspects of your life including your daily life i.e. family life, relationships, work, social life, fitness. State all the benefits in the present tense and in a positive way and make them as specific as possible and ideally start with the benefits that mean the most to you.
The following questions will help prompt you:
How will I look? What will I wear? How will others view me? How will I feel? How will my home life improve? How will work be affected? How will my relationships change? How will I feel about myself? What will I do that I wouldn’t do before?, What activities or hobbies will I take up?, How will my immediate health benefit? How will it affect my long term health? What will I do when I have more energy? How will it change my mood? What am I waiting for????
Elsa Jones is a Qualified Nutritional Therapist & Author of No. 1 Bestseller ‘Goodbye Sugar’.