Now that 2020 is officially here, before setting new goals, especially relating to diet and weight, it can be helpful to reflect upon any goals set for 2019 and whether they were achieved or simply shelved for another time!
Specifically, if year after year, you set diet and weight goals, which are never achieved, or you quickly lose motivation, paying closer attention to your mindset and beliefs around weight and diet may be the missing piece of the puzzle.
So, before you embark on creating a better version of you, I am sharing some common diet and weight mindsets and beliefs, which can derail taking action and achieving your goals!
One size fits all
Its not uncommon for people to start a diet based on other people’s experiences and when results are not obtained, give up, quit the diet and return to poor eating habits. If there were a magic bullet or a single diet, which worked for everyone, the world would be a very different place! The right diet for you depends upon an array of factors such as your genetic make up, hormone balance, lifestyle and preferences. If you are a bit lost, a good starting point can be to loosely adopt an eating style with good foundations, such as the Mediterranean diet or flexitarian diet and then start making modifications to suit. This will set you on the right path towards discovering the right long-term eating approach for you.
Small changes aren’t effective
I can understand why people choose to adopt an ‘all or nothing’ approach to their diet and exercise regimes, especially if seeking fast results or feel like cold turkey is the only answer to ditching old habits. However, it’s commonly the case that only small changes are needed and these are often overlooked. For instance, swapping from 6 small meals per day to 3 well balanced satisfying meals and fasting in-between meals can be all that is needed to kick start weight loss or to improve energy. However, because this sounds ‘too simple’ people aren’t willing to give it a go. If this rings true, aim for small, gradual changes and see the difference it can make!
Diet and health are static
I commonly hear ‘but I haven’t changed anything’ when people are puzzled by things like recent weight gain, poor sleep or low energy. It’s important to remember that our diet and health are fluid and doing the same thing day in day out, does not guarantee a certain outcome. You need to make changes based on factors, which may be happening to you, such as poor sleep, illness or increased stress. For example, if you are going through a stressful period and are in fight or flight mode daily, high intensity cardio is likely not a good exercise choice because it puts additional stress on the body. Instead, opting for restorative exercise, which focuses on breathing such as yoga, pilates or tai chi, would be a better option to counteract the additional stress and keep your body in balance. Therefore, keep an open mind to being fluid with your diet, exercise and lifestyle and make changes to support any areas of your life not currently in balance.
Sustainable results happen over night
Adopting regimes, which offer a quick fix, can be incredibly tempting especially after a few weeks of indulgence. However, I am not the first person to say that fad diets do not work and usually only result in regaining any weight lost. Not only this, the restriction and deprivation can cause you to develop a negative relationship with food and your body. Instead, be compassionate towards yourself and understand that if you work with your body, it will work with you. Slow changes over a reasonable period of time can lead to lasting results. Have patience and most importantly use this time to gain insight into what works best for your body.
Only diet matters
When it comes to weight loss or improving our health, obviously the food we choose to consume is incredibly important but health should always be viewed holistically. This will not only improve the quality of your life but also make achieving your goals easier because a holistic approach to health is all about creating a lifestyle as opposed to temporary regime. For example, research has shown that irrespective of goals, those who exercise organically eat better compared to people who don’t exercise. Similarly, when we are stressed we can reach for comfort foods, but if we include stress reduction techniques as part of our lifestyle and reduce overall stress, we won’t crave comfort foods and will naturally eat better. Think about the areas on your life not currently working for you and ways you can make changes in other areas, to help balance this out.