How to Change Your Diet for Good
Are you fed up with how you feel and think that you should change your eating habits?
Then you may be relieved that winter is the best time to do this!
Why? Because in winter, we tend to spend more time indoors and get less distracted by holidays, events, barbecues and outdoor venues so there is no better time to slow down and pay closer attention to what you eat and why than now! Some of my clients worry about Christmas and see it as a huge distraction to healthy eating, but I always try to convince them that if they can go through Christmas parties and festive season with strong mind, nothing will stop them! And, once it’s over, they will soon notice that it’s just a short blip of time when compared to the rest of the year or life. I have written an article on how to cope with the Christmas feast before so read more by following this link.
If you’re not quite convinced, leave it until January but try to come up with a plan of changes today. This way, you will know exactly what and why you’re doing and it will be much easier for you to make a real, long-lasting change that will last beyond New Year’s resolutions.
Here are a couple of hints on how to do it right and for a lifetime:
- Be clear on why you want to change – ask yourself what will your life look like when you achieve your goals? What is it going to look like if you don’t succeed? Who will support you and who may stand in your way? Write it down and keep at hand.
- Set realistic goals – when you’re trying to achieve more than you can manage, you set yourself to a failure. Decide on what exactly you are trying to achieve and list few specific and realistic goals, e.g. if you’re someone who always misses breakfast, agree you will have it twice a week to begin with and extend to more when ready.
- Change one habit each week – this is in line with being realistic yet persistent in making progress. One new habit each week equals 12 new habits in 3 months and 52 new habits in a year so don’t underestimate such pace!
- Allow time – to change your diet for good you need to create new habits and this requires repetition and time. It takes on average 21 days to get used to a new routine, so be patient.
- Get prepared for setbacks – they will happen and that is a fact! Making a change is not a linear process and you’re expected to experience success, plateau and setbacks. Notice when you fail and reflect on what you can do in the future to cope better. Remind yourself why you’re doing it and move on.
- Find a buddy – you may feel lonely in this process so think of people that can help you change. Make sure your family members are on board with your needs and find a friend you’ll share your progress with.
- Use apps to track progress – monitor change using food and observation diaries and fitness apps to stay on track. ‘See how you eat’, ‘Habits’ and ‘Fitbit’ are a few to recommend.
- Reward yourself – buy yourself a small gift or treat yourself to a massage each time you achieve a goal, small or big. But make sure your rewards are not related to food! Apart from succeeding, you’ll also have something to look forward to.
- Find professional support – get professional advice from a qualified nutritionist who will give you plenty of practical hints and tips to make it easier and who offers regular support.