Most individuals are creatures of habit, and once we’ve grown into them, getting out can be a major issue. You might be one to gorge yourself with ice cream after a bad day, or even someone to sneak in the butter in your popcorn during movie marathons, but following through with such unhealthy diets will just keep you further away from a healthier lifestyle and a toned body. But then we’ve all tried to get there, taken up a few diets while finding a day to go to the gym. The problem, though, is sticking to this diet, or simply believing that it would ever work.
John Foreyt, PhD, director of the Baylor College of Medicine Behavioral Medicine Research Center explains, “Many people are skeptical about changing their diets because they have grown accustomed to eating or drinking the same foods, and there is a fear of the unknown or trying something new.” He suggests that as time passes, these unhealthy gorging sessions will become learned behavior, a habit, and therefore have a larger influence on you than any new habits you’re trying to incorporate. Therefore, sometimes, when you start a diet plan, you might just go back to your old ways.
It is a difficult initiative, but quite possible. An intimidating and even daunting process, starting out with a diet plan only gets easier with time and motivation. There are certain ideals that need to be understood to apply as you choose to incorporate this proposal.
The science behind your cravings
First, you need to understand just how your hunger is being processed, perhaps even the science behind your ‘cravings’. When you’re feeling hungry, what is actually happening is your stomach interacting with a neurotransmitter to signal your body’s low level of energy. So if you do let your energy levels reach a very low point, carbohydrates will feel exquisitely filling and tasty at the same time.
There’s another aspect of science behind your taste buds as well. Considering survival skills required since the time we’ve supposedly existed in this world, our body created its own mechanism to be nourished. Therefore, to be able to digest the several food groups required, such as minerals, vitamins, proteins, etc. your mind is wired to prefer variety over consistency. This is why repetition of very healthy food can seem tiring after a particular point. In contrast, sugary substances, or even any other carbohydrate food, doesn’t tire your mind as much, considering how important keeping your energy levels high is. It’s no wonder that we tend to gorge ourselves.
No consistency, no diets (hooray)
As we’ve come to understand above, to be able to happily digest healthier food, you’ll require a variety in your eating habits, not the same plain old specifics mentioned by a book you read on crash diets. According to a study conducted on fasting and crash diets, where participants were provided pictures of their favorite junk food as they spent days not allowed to eat them, the brain was activated in several areas that indicated desire. So suddenly getting into a diet plan isn’t easy unless you have a really good reason.
A better diet plan instead would include a set of variety as you keep your day going, while including the different food groups on to your plate. Perhaps even cooking them a different manner, boiled eggs one day, scrambled another.
Reminding yourself – Your Motivation
There are a few psychological methods to help you focus on motivating yourself to keep up with the diet plan that you’ve chosen to follow:
- Making yourself aware of the bad eating habits that you currently possess, not denying them any further
- Understanding just why these habits exist, getting back to the roots of them
- Once you’ve understood why, breaking the habit becomes much easier, devising a plan becomes much easier.
Gradually incorporating these new habits would make your body more comfortable, while adjusting your stubborn mind to the changes as well.
Grab Some New Plates
There are many dieticians that will tell you to reduce your portion sizes, but, another old habit, doing that would be a hard task in itself. The simplest fix for this, though, is getting rid of your old, larger, plates, and replacing them with smaller, newer, plates. You’re involuntarily more likely to grab smaller portions, resulting in a psychological filling feeling after a few portions, which comparatively would be very less of what is regularly practiced.
You could do this with every other utensil as well, buying smaller pots and pans to cook smaller portions as well, purchasing smaller bowls, reducing your cereal or ice cream intake.
Stock up on Healthy Snacks
If you’re one to love a few snacks in between your meals, stocking up on a few healthy snacks instead of the usual crisps from the supermarket, is a healthier alternative. There are too many healthier and tastier options for snacks among your favorite junk food, and purchasing them instead could just help you shed a few pounds.
Almonds, for example, would actually fill you up for a few hours. Some other alternatives would include fruits, Greek yogurt instead of regular ones. Gorging on these instead of your regular chocolates and ice cream would improve your general health as well, providing you with actual minerals and vitamins that you would have otherwise missed out on, resulting in an eventual deficiency.
Breakfast is necessary
It’s not known as the most essential meal throughout the day for no regular reason. Considering how long you keep your stomach on hold throughout the night, as you sleep, your body would require a proper level of nutrition to be able to function well throughout the day. Low energy reserves are a side effect of missing breakfast, keeping you with a sense of exhaustion throughout the day.
To conclude, a diet would require, at the most, an improved mental ability to be able to process it and keep at it.
Do let us know what you thought of this article in the comment section provided below.