A common question asked of trainers is what have I got to cut out to lose weight or get healthy?
I find a much more effective answer than giving a list of foods not to eat is a few items that they really should be eating. As soon as I say to someone don’t eat that whole block of chocolate in your pantry, guess what they are focusing on all day? What if I said eat whatever you like, but tomorrow I want you to get at least one small plate of a leafy salad in somewhere?
If they commit to picking up a few ingredients on the way home if they don’t have them, it could be anything they like. Have a walk around the green grocers. Go bananas or at least eat one.
There is a lot more to put in a salad than a bit of old lettuce and tomato. So they buy a few things that they like the look of, take it home and even chuck a few pieces in a container ready for work.
Chances are, that bit of advice is more likely to get done than the ‘never eat’ chocolate suggestion.
And the really good bit is if we make a small commitment like that and stick it out, it has a great empowering effect on our decision to do more positive things. It really reinforces that we are in control of every single thing we put in our mouth.
However, if we make some sort of incredibly hard-to-stick-to goal, and then fail to complete it, we get the opposite effect and become a bit disempowered and start thinking that maybe we just can’t do anything we should do, maybe we just don’t have enough willpower. I can tell you, even working with world class athletes, from the moaning and excuses they have been known to offer me at times, willpower is not something you’re born with and never have to work at.
Everyone has good and bad days. So don’t set yourself up for a fall with some ideal lofty goal that isn’t realistic. Get honest. Think what is one thing that I could eat tomorrow that I know will be good for me? Whether it’s an apple or a fresh organic garden salad with a grass fed medium rare steak.