5 Steps for Achieving a Sustainable Change in Your Diet
Discover the biggest mistake dieters make when taking small steps toward achieving a sustainable change in their diet and the 5 steps you need to follow to avoid failure.
You’ve decided that this is the year you are going to really lose weight and have made a list of all the changes you are going to incorporate into your new lifestyle. Better yet, all of these changes are small ones insuring that this time you can’t go wrong. Or can you?
According to EatThisMuch.com—a website that helps dieters plan their meals around their weight loss goals—making small changes to your lifestyle is a good plan, but likely to fail if you make more than one change at a time.
“Research in the field of Change Psychology showed that if you add one new behavior change to your life and do it each and every day for 2-4 weeks, you have an 85% chance of success. BUT, if you add two new behavior changes to your life, that success rate falls down to 35%. And, if you are extra ambitious and try and do three things at once, well now you can bank on less than 10%.”
EatThisMuch.com says that what dieters really need to do is to incorporate a mindset shift where they stop searching for diets with their specific regimens and instead, look for strategies that they can use that will work in their daily life. In other words, don’t set yourself up for failure on a diet that you know is likely to be too difficult in the long term to stick with; but instead, adopt good habits and behaviors that are doable and sustainable in the long run. The benefit is that you will lose weight gradually and without slipping back into your current physical state.
The following is a summary of a five-step game plan EatThisMuch.com recommends for making a mindset shift with habit change choices.
The Five-Step Game Plan
Step 1: Choose one simple, easy change to implement.
Choose a single small change that you are confident that you can stick with and focus on it. For example, make a piece of fruit your go-to snack every day during that mid-day energy low.
Step 2: Be mentally prepared for the hard point.
Understand that at some point during this process—even with something as simple as eating an apple at 4 p.m. every day—that eventually by days 5-7 it’s going to get hard to pick up that apple and take a bite. And that’s ok. Just prepare yourself that it will happen and it’s a normal part of building a habit process.
Step 3: Get rid of on or off thinking.
Don’t treat this new habit as one you can and will give up once things are better e.g. you’ve dropped 10 pounds. View it as something you are doing that is forever, and eventually it won’t ever be an issue for you that preys on your thoughts.
Step 4: Practice, practice, practice.
Repetition here really matters and ensures that your new habit is a successful lifelong change. And if you slip once in a while, let the negativity go and resume your habit change. Your aim is making it a practice, not an act of perfection.
Step 5: Focus on the behaviors you are doing.
Stop going to the scales and focusing on how much weight you will or should be losing based on the new habit. Rather, focus on that you are doing something about your behavior and are succeeding at it. Losing weight is just the calorie-free frosting on top of your success at making sustainable lifelong changes for better health.
For more about how to make small changes with a style of non-diet dieting that encourages making easy and sensible lifestyle changes, follow the links below for the first 8 out of 10 steps from “Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide.”
Step 1: First Things First
Step 2: The Most Important Change is the Easiest
Step 3: Clean Up Your Plate
Step 4: The Only Weight Loss Exercise You’ll Ever Really Need
Step 5: Your Internal Bathroom Scales
Step 6: An Atypical New Year Resolution Could Change How You Look
Step 7: How to Not Hate Veggies
Step 8: Beating Back Pain
Reference: “5 Techniques That Work for Making a Sustainable Change in Your Diet”
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