If you ask most people they will be able to identify the difference between healthy and not so healthy foods. What are your particular favourites? Do you have a sweet or savoury tooth?
Check out this video and ask yourself these two questions, then continue reading for actionable steps.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight and been on a diet it’s probably been about cutting down. Reducing what you eat. The bad news is: that strategy doesn’t work! The good news is: Now you know…You can do something about it.
There are loads of strategies, such as replacing the amount of sugar and refined foods you eat, but there are some more fundamental questions you need to answer first…
Where are you now?
Without knowing where you are at now, you can’t move forward in the right direction. It’s important to understand yourself, your eating habits and then make a plan to improve them.
Question 1: What is your food weakness?
Mine is chocolate. Well, any sugar really. Cakes, sweets, etc. But chocolate is a big one. What is yours? It could be crisps, chocolate, cheese, cakes, biscuits or anything else. It could be all of them…We want to concentrate on one thing at a time, so pick your biggest vice.
Question 2: What is your weakness time?
This is often overlooked but is key. I can resist chocolate no problem in the morning and day time, but at night I find it irresistible. No idea why, that’s just the way it is. What is the time of day that you can’t resist …… (insert answer from Q1 above)?
Putting it together
Once you know what your weakness is and what time those cravings usually kick in you can devise a plan to work around it.
Food weakness: Chocolate and sugar
Weakness time: Evenings
Symptoms: Excessive eating of sugar and in particular chocolate in the evenings. An irresistible urge to reach for the biscuit tin.
Cause: Unsure, but bad habits of excessively eating sugar over many years from early childhood. Sweets seen as a reward for good work, doing well and as a comfort food. Sugar is a drug…
Accept that these cravings will never totally go. You have to learn to manage them. There is no quick fix, restrictive diet or magic slimming pill that will work. It doesn’t exist. Accept that, too, and start working on the basics.
Build a plan to help build new, healthier habits. It’s not easy, but with a little practice it will become easier over time. There will be ups and downs and that’s just part of the process. There is no smooth, linear route from where you are to where you want to go. Everything worthwhile takes time and effort. Are you prepared to put the effort in to make the change?
Step 1: Ask yourself…
Do you genuinely want to change? If you answer yes, why do you want to change? Motivation and your own mindset are the keys here. No one can make you do anything YOU don’t want to do. So you had better have a good level of motivation to start this because change is hard.
Step 2: Preparation
Now you know what your weaknesses are, you can prepare to overcome them. Using my example above, I stock up on fruits and healthy snacks so that I can eat those when I get the cravings in the evenings. And trust me, you will have big cravings in the beginning…
Make sure you clear all the bad foods out of your house. Get the support of your housemates on this one, otherwise it’s a recipe for disaster. There should be no chocolate, crisps, etc within your home.
Step 3: Identify the cravings
When you get the cravings. Really concentrate on them. I know it sounds weird, but really try to feel where they are coming from. Are you actually hungry or is it just a habit? How does your body feel? Tired, lethargic, anxious, etc?
Step 4: New habits
After about 1 week you should notice that the bad cravings subside. Supposedly it takes around 3 weeks to build a new habit so keep up the good work.
Step 5: This is not a diet…
This is a lifestyle change. Not a temporary diet. If you want change you have to change something. If you decide to go back to your old eating ways you’ll get what you used to have. Only when you change your foods for healthier options and they are part of your daily routine will you start to see long lasting changes.
Change is not easy. You need to be motivated and have a plan. What’s your motivation and what is your plan? Without knowing where you are going and why, your motivation will reduce and you’ll go back to the old, unhealthy habits very easily.
It takes a long time to make a permanent change. It will not happen overnight. You will have good days and bad days, that’s part of the process. Accept that and embrace it. Look back at where you were and what good changes you have made.
If you have any questions drop me a message or leave a comment below. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more info.