How To Improve Your Healthy Eating Mindset

This week we have a mammoth collection of tips on changing the way you think about eating and exercise.

Your mindset will make the difference between succeeding and failing.

Tip #1: Stop Being A Victim

10959790_414609088703237_513694214371311436_nHow can you spot if you are thinking like a victim? Do you often justify poor choices like this:

– “I don’t have time to cook healthy food.”
– “Someone brought doughnuts into the office and I didn’t want to be rude.”
– “My husband didn’t have time to cook, so we had we a take-away.”
– “I was staying in a hotel, so I had to eat what was available.”
– “My parents cooked lunch and went to so much effort I couldn’t say no.”
– “I went out for drinks, so had to have a couple to be sociable.”

These are all real world examples from clients. Notice that in each one, something else is controlling how you eat, whether it is time, convenience or other people. These are just excuses.

You are the only person responsible for what goes into your mouth, so stop thinking like a victim and take control.

The great thing about deciding that everything you are going to eat will be healthy, and sticking to it, is that it inspires other people around you too.

Here’s how those examples above could change if you stopped being a victim:

– Block off time in your diary to make big batches of healthy food.
– If you stop eating doughnuts in the office, your colleagues may well stop too.
– Find some super-healthy easy meals for your freezer or cupboard that you can make when tired or rushed.
– Take your own food when staying in hotels. Really.
– Phone your parents in advance and ask them to change to healthy ingredients and drop the dessert.
– Order a black coffee in the pub instead of a pint.


Tip #2: Build Your Healthy Eating Support Network

10408114_415477005283112_2386154539341429143_nA recent study showed that people who eat with overweight friends tend to eat larger portions and make unhealthier choices.

What you eat is influenced by who you eat it with, so hang around with people who eat healthily!

Be aware that friends, family and colleagues are often scared and challenged by a new healthy you. Your change in lifestyle often highlights their own poor choices, which makes them feel defensive.

Sometimes this can result in people trying to sabotage your efforts. It’s not usually malicious; they are just protecting themselves.

Talk it through with them and let them know that you need their encouragement and support, NOT a little devil whispering “oh go one, just one chocolate”.

If there are people in your life who aren’t supportive and constantly seek to hinder your lifestyle changes by mocking or encouraging you to cheat, then it’s time to spend less time around them. Be ruthless and cut negative people out of your life.


Tip #3: Start Thinking About Exercising DAILY

10991129_416573225173490_5136663571718325094_nThe new national recommendation is that we exercise with intensity FIVE times per week. That should include a combination of strength and fitness training.

Forget five-a-day, it is all about the FIVE-A-WEEK now.

Clients look at me with horror when I tell them this. We have been led to believe that playing squash once per week or walking to work will keep us healthy. It won’t.

If you aren’t getting sweaty on a daily basis, you aren’t optimising your health.

Bonus Tip: Struggling to fit exercise in? Download a 7 minute workout app for your phone.


Tip #4: Be Ready To Make Big Changes

10986686_416575421839937_8248035341124117213_nIf you want to make changes to your body you are going to have to make changes to your lifestyle.

You can’t carry on eating and drinking like you did before and expecting a different result.

That means cutting out the big carbs, alcohol and other junk food.

The more healthy changes you are prepared to make, the better the results will be.



Tip #5: Don’t Confuse Treats With Habits

10968532_417062998457846_5238323984397842127_nAre you rewarding yourself with a glass of wine in the evening for making it through the day?

What about a bit of mid-morning cake every so often?

A chocolate bar occasionally?

If you are indulging in something more than once per month then it is no longer a ‘treat’ it is a habit.

These habits, masquerading as treats or rewards, pop up all the time and we often fail to include them in what we think of as part of our normal eating.

Be honest with yourself about what you actually eat, and then you can decide whether this fits in to your healthy eating plan!


Tip #6: Don’t Assume You Eat Healthily

10386240_417796711717808_1563534375562336151_nI have lost count of the number of clients who come to me overweight but then claim that they are already eating “healthily” or that their diet is “pretty good”.

If you look in the mirror and aren’t happy with what you see then odds are your nutrition is neither healthy nor pretty good.

Most people’s nutritional ‘knowledge’ is constructed from a jumble of newspaper scare stories, misleading marketing and things they heard from friends. Most of it is wrong, a lot of it is outdated and some of it is dangerous.

Assume that what you ‘know’ is junk and start learning from scratch. Or hire a nutritionist to help you.


Tip #7: Commit 100% To Your Goals

10394035_419957314835081_4970490156854454347_nDon’t go into a new nutritional lifestyle half-hearted.

If you think that you are just going to “try it and see if I like it” or “just try eating a bit less” then you are planning to fail.

Most diets fail and it’s usually because people don’t commit fully and give up when things don’t go perfectly.

Commit to your goal of a healthy new you for the long term and you WILL succeed.



Tip #8: Stop Planning An End Date

11017001_420417424789070_294583402260599710_nIf you are thinking of ‘dieting’ for a month or two and then going back to your previous unhealthy eating, you are just setting yourself up for a future of yo-yo dieting.

It doesn’t work, and studies show that yo-yo dieters actually make themselves fatter and unhealthier over time.

Instead, look at switching to a permanent new healthy lifestyle.

You can still have periods of cutting calories (‘dieting’) to lose fat, but you will keep the fat off afterwards AND feel amazing.


Tip #9: Be Patient

10488361_421153434715469_1077147398552431777_nWe are constantly bombarded with messages about ‘blitzing fat’, ‘six weeks to a six pack’ and ‘packing on muscle fast’. It’s no wonder we expect immediate results.

In reality, it is long term consistency that brings those results that you really want… and let’s you keep them. There are no short cuts that are also healthy.

Be patient, be consistent and you WILL get there.

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