To Make A Successful Healthy Paleo Diet Shift, Start With A Strong Mind
We all have varying relationships with food, most of which are complex. All too often, we end up choosing food based on habits or for emotional needs and satisfaction instead of merely responding to hunger – all without even knowing it.
Tell me, when was the last time you noticed yourself eating something or craving for a particular food but not because you are truly hungry? On many occasions, we use food to relieve boredom, to celebrate an event, or make us feel better whenever we feel lonely, unhappy or stressed.
Suffice it to say, our food mindset is significantly influenced by moods, situations, people and places that prompt us to eat and choose certain food.
The problem is many of us unwittingly eat not to satisfy physiological hunger but to respond to a psychological need. We have grown used to indulging these urges that we have grown more unaware of the psychological cues that prompt us to eat even when we are not hungry as well as the physiological signs that tell us our bodies are suffering from inadequate nutrition.
Understanding the psychology behind your food choices and eating habits will help you identify the things you need to correct and be more aware and enlightened when it comes to food and eating. Below are some helpful tips on how you can establish healthier relationship with food:
1. Identify Your Triggers
For a full month, try to keep a food diary. This will help you keep track of what you ate, when you ate, why you ate and how much food you have eaten. After you have compiled a full month, take time to study your eating habits, not based on your personal assessment but according to the unblemished truth reflected from your food diary.
2. Keep A Record
Keep a record of your food choices. At the end of the month, take time to review your food diary and create a list of common triggers that typically prompt you to eat, especially on occasions that you are not really hungry.
3. Create An Action Plan
After you are able to create a summary of your trigger factors, come up with possible solutions and ways to avoid situations that prompt you to indulge. The strategies will help you modify your behavioral patterns to avoid or change the way you think, behave and respond whenever you are faced with those triggers.
For example, if you always come home famished and end up eating a box of pizza instead of preparing dinner, then you can choose to plan ahead of time and make necessary adjustments to avoid such situations. For instance, you can eat a piece of banana before you leave the office so you will not arrive home too hungry. You can also consider cooking large meals ahead of time so you simply re-heat your food instead of caving in to the temptation of ordering food takeout or delivery.
4. Pay Better Attention To What You Eat
Ever experienced talking to someone over the phone and unconsciously reaching out for the bag of chips in front of you? What about eating while watching TV or surfing the net? Too often, we continually do something while eating that takes away our attention from food. By paying more attention to the food in front of you, you will not be able create a more engaging experience but also effectively reduce the possibility of overeating.
5. Don’t Eat When Not Really Hungry
This is something most of us are secretly guilty of. Whether or not you are trying to lose weight, train yourself to only respond to physiological hunger and avoid using food as an emotional crutch or a temporary escape. It can be difficult to break old habits or changing deeply ingrained behavioral patterns. This is something that you will not be able to change overnight.
6. Breaking Negative Eating Behavior Patterns
We are creatures of habit. This is one of the most common underlying factors why most people fail in adapting a healthier change when it comes to their diet. In this day and age where so many factors work against us, despite the best of intentions and commitment, it is difficult to sustain that change.
In order to rake in the positive results of the Paleo diet, it is important that you don’t only focus on eating this and avoiding that. In order to sustain the change required, you need to change the way you think about food.
If you are so used to eating convenient food products, it can be very difficult to adapt a new habit of preparing meals from scratch and steering clear from processed food. If you want to re-program your mind to better adapt the Paleo diet, you can practice the steps provided below in order to change your behavior. You can apply the process below in letting go of any old and unproductive behaviors and introduce new, healthier habits into your life.
7. Change The Way You Think
If you have gone through a number of diet programs with less than stellar results, chances are, you may have unconsciously lost faith in your ability to control and stick to healthy eating patterns. An aggravating factor is the numerous products in the market today that programmed you to think you can cheat your way to becoming healthy and feel good about yourself, which includes herbal remedies, slimming pills and counting calories.
For many people who fell into the vicious cycle of on and off dieting and failing to stick to the program, they have unwittingly developed this belief that they are not in full control, which is a serious demotivating and all too often depressing cycle. This negative thinking often leads to a cyclical behavior that can wreck havoc to emotions and health.
So in order to prepare yourself mentally to adapt Paleo, you first need to break this negative behavior pattern and make room for adapting new ones. Acknowledge the fact that you are in full control of your body and the food choices you make. You are not a victim of any pressure, situation or limitation. Take full control.