When taking steps to improve our health and wellbeing it is important to not only look at our nutritional intake and exercise habits but also to look at our relationship with food. If you are constantly on a ‘diet’ this relationship probably isn’t great. The first step towards living a healthier, happier life should be to work on your mindset, read my simple advice on how to turn your mentality from dieting to healthy living.
What’s your motivation?
Nobody can do this for you and you have to want to make these changes, I or any other health care professional can provide you with a nutrition plan, you can receive lots of advice and support but ultimately if you don’t have the motivation to change the chances are you won’t. We all have different reasons for wanting to change, maybe you have recently had a baby and want to get back to your pre pregnancy shape, or you’re fed up with a life time of yo-yo dieting, maybe you want to set a good example for your children, whatever your reason, remember why you started and you will stay motivated.
Stop thinking of it as and calling it a ‘diet’
‘Diets’ have an expiration date, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t. I recommend making small manageable changes that you can continue with and build on. Diets are not sustainable, they are all about numbers; your weight, counting calories, macros or even points. When you live a healthy lifestyle you will very rarely need to count any of these, you will know what the right foods are to eat and will be able to make smart food choices every day.
Counting calories and macro nutrients has its place, but for most people who are taking steps towards living a healthier life, the first port of call should be going back to basics and eating whole, real unprocessed food, and learning to cook simple, healthy, tasty meals. This is unfortunately often over complicated for no reason at all.
Stop making excuses
There will always be a party, a wedding, a holiday. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean staying in and avoiding all social occasions, you must to be able to enjoy your life. Another reason why diets don’t work is the notion that you have ‘ruined everything’ when you have a big night out or a takeaway, the reality is you won’t have, in fact if you go back to eating healthy foods asap and throw in an extra gym session, the chances are that dominos and ice cream won’t have made much difference at all, just don’t do it every night. It’s the typical dieting attitude of ‘I’ll start the diet again on Monday’ that ruins progress not the occasional treat.
One of the most common excuses is I hear is “I’m too busy to eat healthy / exercise” Nobody is too busy to live a healthy lifestyle, ok you might have to spend a little bit more time getting organised but it is far from impossible, you just need to find a way to fit it into your own lifestyle, again this is why generic diet plans or exercise programmes that don’t take into account your lifestyle simply do not work.
Change your perception of healthy food
Changing your nutrition habits is an important element of any health improvement plan but this doesn’t have to mean eating tasteless boring food. if you don’t enjoy the foods you eat they will never become a part of your lifestyle. The enjoyment and satisfaction we get from our food is massively important to our health, happiness and determining how likely we are to sticking to this healthier way of living.
I try and regularly create new recipes that show how delicious healthy, wholesome, natural food can be, if you need some inspiration why not check out my recipe page
Take some time to learn what the right foods are to eat and why, if you just blindly follow a nutrition plan without understanding any of the theory behind it, you will struggle to make this a long term change. Nutrition education will empower you to make healthy food choices wherever you are, plan your own meals and will prevent you from getting sucked into any future fads.
Have The Right Attitude
I believe that having a positive mental attitude is so important in all areas of life, particularly when it comes to health, if you believe that you can achieve your health goals you’re half way there. It may seem difficult at times and doing things properly by taking small daily / weekly / monthly steps to improve your health might take longer than crash dieting, but this time the results will last and you will be healthy and happy and not in diet hell. Have faith that what you’re doing is right, fuel your body with healthy foods, get active and the results will come.