Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Getting Mentally Ready To Start a Diet

Getting Mentally Ready to Start a Diet

Whether you're doing the DASH diet, attempting Atkins or trying the TLC diet, finding the right mindset is your first step.

Make a commitment to change. Starting a diet on a whim might work, but the most successful people are truly prepared to make a change. It's about incorporating changes into your life to make a lasting difference. People have to have some sort of commitment and plan in mind. There are five stages of change.

Learn from past attempts - If you've failed at diets in the past, don't blame yourself. To get mentally prepared for future success, people should think about and learn from what they've already attempted and whether that's had any real sticking power.

Have an "if-then" plan in place - Being strategic and plotting key decision points makes it easier to avoid willpower pitfalls. Such as When you go to the grocery store, say "I am going to do X, Y, Z," or "At lunchtime, I'm going to do X, Y, Z." "Getting very specific helps make the behavioral choice in the context automatic.

Add, don't subtract - Deprivation can sap motivation. Add healthier food as one of your approaches, rather than take food away. Food plays an enormous emotional role in our lives. Instead of saying, "I will never eat a cookie again," how about when you have a cookie, you also serve yourself some fruit? Adding on instead of eliminating works well for many people. You will be more likely to eat only one cookie instead of a few.

Eat mindfully - You don't need to follow the MIND diet to be thoughtful about eating. The premise of mindfulness eating is that you eat with attention and awareness, it's really the opposite of mindless eating. With mindful eating, there are no good or bad foods. Be aware of how much you eat, and eating food with intention. You're tasting it, noticing its flavor and noticing if it's satisfying or not. Over time, excess food starts to fall away, and people who need to lose weight discover they're consuming fewer calories.

Be realistic, not rigid - Weight loss fluctuates, and there are so many variables over which we have little control, [such as] hormone cycles and salt retention.. A behavioral goal, for instance, could be having a daily salad. The jury's still out on whether routinely weighing yourself is helpful, but that can lead to disappointment if scale numbers don't reflect your efforts. Too-rigid food rules can cause people to throw in the towel. Instead, you should think in terms of continuums of success.

Check your emotions - Two kinds of hunger exist. There's physical hunger to satisfy your body's requirement for nourishment. Then there's our emotional hunger that meets our requirement for some sort of emotional soothing. The bottom line is if you're emotionally hungry, food isn't going to satisfy you. Learn to ask yourself: "What are you really hungry for?" "Is it food, a friend or a hug? " The more you're able to pursue that – the friend, the hug, the cry, the shout; whatever it is that you need – you won't lean on the food as a coping mechanism."

Tie food choices to feeling good - What you want is a daily, consistent, health-related choice to be associated with a continued positivity. It could be you feel more energy' or you feel better about yourself when you make this choice.

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