Written by me and originally published on the BePure blog. Supporting individuals who wish make changes in their diet in order to improve their health and well-being.
1. CHOOSE YOUR WORDS
Have a play with changing the words around what you can and can't eat and the restrictions around the same. Try changing it to: "I choose not to eat...."(because you are on a health journey and this will be best for you in the long term). Think about how this is a chance to do the best thing for you. "I am doing all this for the best health of myself.” “I am choosing to do this " (this is not being forced upon me etc.) Have a play with this concept. Words can make a big difference in our mind!
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Having too much choice can be yet another source of stress. Find a few recipes which you really enjoy and can be your go-to. Think about foods which you love and that you can enjoy (seasonal fruits for example). Find three lovely breakfast / dinner ideas which you can rotate - still feel like you are having your favourite foods to eat. Always cook extra at dinner time to have for lunch the next day. This both ensures that you don’t overeat at dinner time (because you are saving the leftovers!) and that you have a prepared lunch for the following day.
3. SNACK BOX
I often suggest to people to have a get a ‘snack box' which lives in the fridge and is only for you to eat. Fill it in with lovely things such as hummus, pesto, pickles, sauerkraut – which you can snack on if the need arises. We all love having the pre-dinner snacks - but it’s easy to fill up on the less than healthy options. Adding to this - if you are wanting to reduce alcohol but still want the pre-dinner drink - try some of the delicious ready made kefir / kombucha drinks available - or even better - make it yourself. Super cheap, you can flavour it any way you like and it’s got some good bacteria for your gut!
4. JOURNAL FOR JOY
Sit down one evening this week and write a list of at least of ten things that bring you joy. These can be very simple but are particularly personal to you – food, activities, people etc. If coffee or alcohol is one of them – that is okay – but make sure when you are drinking coffee/alcohol, you acknowledge that this is something that you really enjoy (often we drink it and don't even notice that we have had it!)
Best Possible Self Exercise I really love this exercise. It can help keep us focused in the short-term when trying to obtain longer-term goals. It helps to change our mindset and make good day to day choices – because we know it helps us to get to our longer-term goal.
5. TAKE TIME OUT
Make time each day to take a break. This can be something from your list of things which give you joy – or simply five minutes with your feet up, listening to a podcast, app, music or bird song (or the sound of silence!) It’s common for us to make poor choices when we are stressed – in which case we tend to rush and grab foods that aren’t necessarily the most nourishing.
Taking five minutes out lets our minds settle and re-calibrate. When we have a busy mind, our stress hormone, cortisol increases, and when cortisol increases, so does insulin, the fat storage hormone. If healthy weight is one of your health goals, bringing more calm into your day will be hugely beneficial.