They make you skinny, for a while. Then they make you fat, then skinny, then fat again. It’s a deeply unhealthy pattern and the eternal dieter, forever carrying unwanted extra pounds, is the only loser.
Except they lose money instead of fat and get trapped in a vicious cycle of unhealthy thinking. Fad diets are based on fake science and they completely mess with your mind.
Fad diets make you feel guilty, and ultimately like a failure. They are not realistic because they are unsustainable. After all it’s impossible to maintain a rigid practice that offers no enjoyment.
They present you with a list of “haves” and “have nots” and remove your ability to make smart food choices based on common sense. They may even encourage extremely unhealthy, disordered eating patterns.
Ultimately, they are gimmicks that drive you away from having a healthy relationship with food.
On some level we all know this, yet the promise of a quick fix, particularly just before "summer body" season, is something that the proponents of these supposed miracle diets know they can count on to get you on board.
If you are serious about managing your weight, you must decide to build a healthy relationship with food first. The body will follow after that.
This is easier said than done when living a world where there are no barriers to indulging in unhealthy foods that offer little nourishment. It takes effort and work, but the only tool you need is your own mind.
If you don’t free your mind then your relationship with food will be an unhealthy and unhappy one for ever more.
It all starts with your thoughts. Your thoughts become your behaviours, and your behaviours determine the outcome.
You must also learn to focus on the effort you put into achieving your goals, not an unrealistic outcome, where you end up looking like a supermodel.
If you mess up from time to time, that’s absolutely OK. In fact, it’s normal.
The healthiest eaters tend to adopt a “little bit of what you like” rule. For maybe 80% of their time, they are mindful of eating nutritional foods that help them be the high-functioning person we can all be at our best.
The remaining 20% of their food intake can centre on produce that is more fun,and yes, food should absolutely have a fun side.
An “all or nothing” mindset is the basis of most fad diets and invariably leads to failure. This is a demeaning way to live and encourages very low self-esteem due to a constant perception of failure. I know this because like a lot of you, I’ve been that obsessive dieter.
But if I learned how to use my mind to change my body for the better, you can too. It is my passion to help empower others, by offering a new way of thinking. Here are some simple steps you can take:
NOTHING IS OFF LIMITS
Don’t eliminate whole food groups. You will only feel like you are being deprived and missing out. Instead, allow yourself some dietary freedom. Choose to eat whole unprocessed foods 80% of the time, but every now and then allow yourself to indulge in a fun food that you enjoy. Nothing should be “off limit”. Give yourself the choice and feel the mental struggle disappear.
SET REALISTIC GOALS
Set behaviour goals that you can control. For example, you can set a behaviour goal of having vegetables with every meal because that is something you can control. An example of a goal that you cannot control is losing two pounds a week. You can choose your behaviours but you cannot choose how your body will react to them. Focus on the behaviours that you can control consistently over a period of time, the body will follow.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied, not stuffed. Ask yourself are you really hungry? Or are you eating for some other reason? Get to know your hunger cues.
Find a nutrition plan that works for you and stick to it consistently over an extended period of time. Even if progress is slow, progress is still progress. Be patient.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Stop beating yourself up if you fall off plan every now and then. Life happens, and we should not punish ourselves for that. Give yourself a break.
Applied knowledge is power. Find a mentor who will teach you why you are making certain decisions about food. If you understand why you should be eating certain things, then you are more likely to choose to do it. You are making an informed conscious decision to get one step closer to your goals.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Instead of focusing on the negative - “I must run 3 miles to burn off the Mars bar I ate” - focus on the positive. Remind yourself why you are exercising - “I am exercising to improve my health and fitness, to enhance my body composition, to make my body stronger.”
YOU DESERVE TO SUCCEED
Say to yourself over and over again “I deserve to reach my goals”. You deserve to make progress, to feel good, and in control. If you stay on plan, you will feel great and ultimately reach your goals.
By changing your mindset, you will create a foundation that will positively influence the outcome of your behaviours, and you will be more confident and happier than any magic diet pill will ever make you.
The body will follow.
Succeeding with fat loss takes a truck load more than mindlessly following a diet.
It takes freeing your mind.
It takes patience an acceptance that it will take time.
It takes consistency and finding a balance that works for you.
It takes setting achievable, realistic goals.
It takes ridding yourself of unnecessary expectations.
It takes giving yourself a break.
It takes eating a Mars bar every now and then.
Thanks for reading,
PS This is why the #1 focus on my Ignition Nutrition program is on mindset. You can quite literally change your mind to change your body. It is not a simple process, and it won’t happen overnight. But by changing how we think about food, we can change our everyday habits and our relationship with food. These everyday habits built up overtime will ultimately determine the outcome. The outcome being improved body composition, better health, a freer mind, and ultimately a happier person. Secure your place on the next months program HERE.