The health dangers and pitfalls of the standard American diet are common knowledge. There is a wave of health-conscious transitioning to more healthy diets. The more we learn about medical science, the more we realize the effect our diets have on not just our physical health, but our mental and emotional health as well. There are plenty of options to implement; paleo, keto, vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, and so on. Deciding on which diet to use is relatively easy. Putting that plan into practice is difficult. Here are some key strategies to help.
1) The battle begins at the grocery store
If the food excluded by your new diet isn’t in your kitchen, its difficult to eat it. To have the discipline to not buy that food is a key step to transition to a healthy diet. When you’re going to the grocery store, have a conversation with yourself about your health goals. Remind yourself of the reason you are changing diets and the consequences if you continue to eat poorly. Strength when buying the food will make up for weakness later. When you crave certain foods your success rate in abstaining rises exponentially when the food isn’t there.
Deep inhales and long exhales. Simple, yet effective. We all have weak moments, and by breathing you can enforce your defenses against faltering from your diet. When you have a craving, breathe. When you see something forbidden at the store that looks good, breathe. When you’re out for dinner and the dessert menu comes out, breathe. Your success rate will rise exponentially if you… breathe!
3) Focus on the benefits
Read the benefits of the diet you are incorporating often. Feel those benefits when they occur. Record how you feel those benefits in a journal and review it during difficult times when you’re tempted to cheat. Often during a switch from an unhealthy diet, there is a detox phase–enjoy it. Be grateful all those toxins are leaving your system. Imagine all you can do and be with the benefits of all the nutrients in your new, clean diet.
4) Have an accountability partner
These battles are best fought with someone else. With the technology available to us we can have a partner who lives anywhere in the world. Decide the frequency with which you will check in with each other, and commit to it. It’s always best to document what the commitment is and to hold each another to it. To raise efficacy, have an element of competition in it. We, humans, are team players by nature, and to focus our nature to our benefit is an effective strategy.
5) Write down your “why”
Ask yourself many questions about why you want to change diets. Is it for brain health? To increase focus, concentration, and memory? Is it to have more mental and physical energy? The reasons to move to a healthy diet are numerous, but constantly reminding yourself of them will fuel you with the necessary motivation to stick with it. Equally as effective is to remind yourself of the pain associated with an unhealthy diet. Is it to control your weight? Is it to not feel sluggish? Use the pleasure and pain of the decision to your advantage.
Growth is hard and it can be unpleasant, but it’s worth it. With all we know about nutrition, it would behoove us to take advantage of that. Getting your diet sorted out will give you an advantage in a highly competitive world. Ready to change your diet? Talk to us today to discuss your nutritional health.