By Matt O'Neill, MSc(Nut&Diet), APD
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You know you should eat an apple instead of a muffin, but unless you've got your head in the right place, you won't. To help you eat that apple more often & get moving here's a quick mindset makeover with my best advice.
Step 1 - Build your willpower
Willpower is like a muscle & gets stronger when you use it. But willpower also becomes fatigued if you don't look after it & know your limits of willpower.
Here are 7 ways to support your willpower:
1. Set a powerful goal - Set one powerfully, personal goal to focus on. Post it on your fridge!
2. Make a plan - A plan is a rehearsal for success. Weekly menus, shopping lists, exercise schedules all help.
3. Remove temptations - Until your willpower has stamina, don't challenge it. Remove treats from the house.
4. Recruit support - Ask family, friends or workmates to support you & not to undermine your self-control.
5. Set reminders - Use Post-it notes & alarms on your phone until willpower works automatically.
6. Manage your mood - Poor sleep & stress fatigue willpower fast. Charge your willpower with sleep & relaxation.
7. Strengthen with self-control - Resisting a treat takes effort. But do it once or twice and willpower grows stronger.
Step 2 - Learn from slip-ups
Just because you ate a two crisps doesn't mean you have to finish off the bowl. And if you do finish the bowl, it doesn't mean you've blown your diet for the week.
Here are 7 ways to stop slip-ups becoming major set-backs:
1. Expect slip-ups - Know that you will experience slips because you can't control everything.
2. Everyone has slips-ups - Other people slip up too, it's normal & it should be no different for me.
3. Prepared for high-risk situations - Know your diet danger zones, such as eating out. Have a strategy.
4. Enjoy the occasional indulgence - Allow yourself to relax & be in control of this choice, rather than blow out.
5. Learn from slips-ups - Every slip is an opportunity to learn and make changes to reduce the chance of repeating it.
6. Start with a clean slate - After a slip-up, press the reset button, start fresh & ditch the guilt.
7. A slip doesn't affect everything - Just because your eating took a detour to treatsville, it doesn't mean you've failed or can't be successful. Keep the emotion in perspective.
Step 3 - Believe you can do it
I believe you can eat nutrient-rich & be active. But I need you to believe it too.
Here are 7 ways to believe in yourself:
1. Stop comparing yourself to others - Focus on your own strengths and qualities. Practise gratitude for your talents.
2. List your positive characteristics - What makes you special? List down what a good friend would say about you.
3. Say affirmations - I am worthy, I have the resolve to succeed and I am deserving of happiness. You deserve it.
4. Start saying 'No' - Stop saying 'Yes' to everyone else's demands. Saying 'No' will teach people to respect you.
5. Schedule "Me Time" - Prioritise time out for yourself and allow yourself to have a rest without feeling guilty or lazy.
6. Stop saying bad things about yourself - Treat yourself like your very best friend would. Don't beat yourself up.
7. Let go of the past - Drop your emotional baggage by forgiving others and forgiving yourself.
I guarantee you, if you apply more of the ideas above to your thinking (& eat using my eating system), you'll give yourself a mindset makeover & enjoy the breakthrough you deserve.
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