Diet change is one of the hardest lifestyle adjustments you’ll make. Staying motivated will be an uphill battle if you don’t have the correct mindset.
You’ll find yourself being good for a while.
Then one day you’ll eat a whole bag of potato chips.
This is a classic example of yo-yo dieting. There’s a way to get off the hamster wheel for good.
It starts with you finding your deep “why”.
You have to know why you want to change in order for you to stay motivated. If you don’t know your “why” you’ll remain on the hamster wheel.
Once you know your “why” your change will become easier.
Personally, I attempted to change my diet many times before it stuck. It got to the point that I could barely do my job.
My “why” was that I wanted enough energy so I could support myself. My lifestyle was doing the opposite.
Perhaps your “why” is that you want to be more active with your children. Or live a long and happy life free of pain and medications.
Maybe you want to feel better about your body so you can feel sexy inside and out.
Find your “why”. Then you can start with the action steps.
Create a healthy living system
First, design a healthy living system.
This could be:
- Creating a whole foods diet filled with foods that you love eating.
- Going grocery shopping on the same day and time each week.
- Having an exercise routine that supports your interests and body.
- Forming morning a night routine.
The key is to create a system that is filled with things that support you.
Start with one change at a time
Diet change is usually a good first step to take.
When you focus on what you’re putting in your mouth first, all other changes will be 10x easier.
Here are some ideas that’ll help you stick to your goals:
- Educate yourself on the ingredients in the foods you consume. A little education goes a long way. You don’t have to become a health guru.
- Stick with whole minimally processed foods as much as possible. These foods are easy to prepare with basic some cooking skills.
- Batch prep time intensive meals. Crock pots and healthy casseroles help.
- Stick to natural sugars. Fruit, local honey, maple syrup, and organic dark chocolate work best if you have a sweet tooth.
- Develop awareness around your daily thoughts.
Before I found my “why” I was always thinking negative thoughts. Those thoughts were sabotaging my efforts to eat a good diet.
I would call myself fat, lazy, and ugly. I always gave away my power. I never thought I was good enough to lose the weight I wanted.
This of course was all untrue.
But if you’ve been thinking negative thoughts about yourself for decades it’s easy to not be aware.
Negative thoughts become your default way of thinking.
The first step to take towards more positive thinking is to simply observe the thoughts that are going through your mind.
Our minds never shut up so its easy to tune into the stream of chatter. You don’t have to attach to any of your thoughts or judge them.
Once you do this for a while you can start catching them and reframing them.
Look at the negative thoughts with love. They don’t have power over you.
Meditation helps a ton.
A meditation habit helps you develop a deeper awareness around what you’re thinking.
I still catch myself thinking bad things about myself but I’m much more aware of my thoughts.
This type of awareness will help you think more positively about yourself.
Then you’ll have an easier time sticking to the changes you’ve made.
Avoid getting stick in ruts
While changing your diet is a great start, to make it last you must work from the inside out.
Like I just mentioned your thoughts rule. They have a great impact on whether or not you’ll stay motivated with your change.
Working from the inside out will painful at times.
You may find yourself:
- Crying on the couch
- Going back to old habits
- Becoming angry and frustrated with yourself
- Feeling anxious and vulnerable
- Experiencing depression symptoms
All of this is normal. It’s part of your growth.
This is why many of us have trouble making changes like diet stick. The work inside must be done.
One of the best ways to get through the more painful moments is to allow yourself to feel.
Let yourself cry or be angry.
This will get easier over time. You’ll experience the most profound growth that you’ve ever had in your life.
Be kind to yourself as you go through this change.
Don’t be strict all the time with your diet. If you are too rigid you’ll be prone to failure.
While I don’t advocate cheat days, having a bit of cake every once in a while won’t kill you.
What you eat and do daily matters much more than the occasional indulgence.
Make sure that you’re having fun.
One of the easiest ways to become unmotivated is to become stuck in a rut filled with all work and no fun.
Start taking positive action like becoming aware of your thoughts. Motivation will become automatic.
Focus one change at a time.
Work from the outside in.
You’ll have no trouble staying motivated for the long-term.
For more practices that’ll make motivation automatic
Get the guide to Less, Stress, Less Weight. There are 10 more practices that you can implement in your daily life with ease.