A happy, heathy diet is more than losing weight and being happy about it. It is a real improvement in someone’s lifestyle, a change in approaching nutrition. That’s why the main challenge proves to be sticking with the good new habits, rather than deciding to finally let go of the bad habits. It comes also with a shift in our self-perception, and here is where mindfulness support comes into conversation.
Set the Right Mindset for A Successful Happy Healthy Diet
Starting a diet – regardless of whether it’s a short, medium or long-term one – begins with setting the intention. Maybe we’re aiming to lose weight. Maybe we want to reduce the amount of sugar in our diet. Maybe our intention is to give up meat. Or maybe we are eager to try a new trend, like keto diet for example. Apparently, what’s promised by each and every diet becomes the goal of our dieting programme.
But think again. What lies deep down? Could it be our way of honouring our body? Could it be the necessity of staying healthy or improving/regaining our health? Could it be a way of fighting ageing? Could it be the need to become a better (looking) person in order to feel loved, especially by ourselves?
In my opinion, the purpose of a diet is more of the latter – rather than the urge to fit into 2 size smaller jeans. It comes from not being confident with who we are at a particular moment. And it’s supposed to lead us to a better version of ourselves – outside and inside. So, the problem is not only the food we eat, but also the thoughts we constantly feed our mind.
Succeeding With a Happy Healthy Diet
In order to succeed with our dieting plan, we need to turn our attention inwards, looking for the things we don’t like about ourselves, or we think will improve through dieting. We also need to look for fears, old anxieties, unaddressed frustrations. Also, we can find long-time forgotten goals, that didn’t materialise and which we buried deep down, hoping they’ll never bother us again. But everything is there, inside us, playing with our mind, feelings and self-control … And, unless these questions are addressed from the start, everything will fight against our new nutritional plan.
Our self-esteem is not great when starting a diet, therefore, as a consequence, subconsciously, we don’t really believe we deserve to succeed. We want to, we try to, sometimes we might even try too hard. But at some point, we feel powerless, overwhelmed, frustrated, irritated, grumpy, and if we cannot objectify those feelings, we’ll eventually crack.
How to Be Wiser Than Your Mind
Before starting a diet, take some time to find its ultimate purpose. Ask yourself continuously ‘why’ and don’t stop as soon as you have the first answer. Do you remember the positive effect of turning problems into questions, right? So, keep questioning yourself, go deeper and deeper into your consciousness until you reach that point of clarity where you see everything you ever wanted to be. There is your strength.
Unconsciously, we link the results of a diet with that beautiful image of ourselves – the person we are about to become if succeeding. Take advantage of this powerful link while dieting. Come back to this point every time you lose control over your emotions, every time you are on the edge, every time you consider giving up or eating something you’re not supposed to.
Then it won’t be about the frustration of not eating your favourite cake because you think you’re too fat to deserve it. But about celebrating a commitment to a better and more powerful ‘you’.
It won’t be about punishing yourself for being that fat either, but more about kindly helping yourself to overcome an emotional blockage.
It will not be about failure, even if you have a cheat-day from time to time. But about rewarding yourself for a great effort. Of course, don’t take this last one as an advice to eat whatever you want. But as an opportunity to show some self-compassion every once in a while, when you need some love in your life. To accomplish this, you don’t need to eat the biggest ice-cream in the world, because food is only a substitute. A spoon of handmade ice-cream would be enough. It will prove to you how deep your commitment to yourself, as a better person, can be.
If you really can’t stop, then you didn’t sort out the why dieting question, yet. But you can try again, there’s no shame or guilt in doing so, quite the opposite.
By being conscious of your real needs, you are already better, more beautiful and stronger. You actually are that special person you love. You already have what you wanted in the first place, even if you are not skinnier yet. This will help you a great deal to turn your healthy diet into a happy one and, eventually, into a lifestyle.
If you’re dieting or about to begin a diet, look further into mindfulness practice with our How To Turn A Happy Heathy Diet Into A Lifestyle- Pat II article, in order to set the right stress-free environment that brings you one step closer to succeeding.
SparkYourBloom Today and Everyday!
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Radiana is an editorial and marketing content strategist and creator with over 20 years of experience. Her projects are driven by her passion and her commitment, becoming a member of each community she engages with. She’s inspired by people around her and is an avid mindfulness and yoga practitioner.