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Set yourself up to succeed

Step one, identify your goals. Step two, understand your why. Step three, map your road to success. Step four, ask yourself, "what are my biggest obstacles?"

And let's not forget step five, decide on your strategies to overcome each of the potential obstacles you identified.

Despite most of my clients having a reasonable idea of what they should and shouldn't be eating, the way their environment is structured makes it really hard to make better choices. Especially early on in a goal, building new habits can be hard because you first have to break old ones. Unfortunately, when it comes down to mind over matter, it can also be a disheartening road to self blame.

But there are ways to set up your environment to help you succeed. Step five can't be skipped. We all have triggers. It might be a bad day, or an unplanned trip to the shops. For some it's shopping while hungry or just knowing there's a sneaky stash in the cupboard, or a partner with a sweet tooth.

Take away your need to rely on willpower early on in the piece and create obstacles for your obstacles. If chocolate is your kryptonite then don't keep it in the house, and you've automatically added a layer of difficulty when the cravings strike. If your partner is the main purchaser of discretionary foods, involve them in your journey. I always like to suggest that my clients sit down with the people they live with, and any other significant people in their ;lives who influence their behaviours and tell them about your goals. They find suddenly they have an army on their side, and often partners jump onboard too.

Now remember, I don't like to exclude any foods, I believe that all foods can be part of a healthy diet. So depending on where you are in your journey, invest in smaller dishes. If ice cream is your thing, buy a ramekin or two and eat from your tiny bowl with a teaspoon. It not only forces you to take a smaller serve because the vessel itself is smaller, but it also forces you to take your time to savour and enjoy your food.

Meal planning is another great strategy. The more organised you can be, the less unplanned trips to the shops, possibly while hungry, which is when impulse purchases happen.

And finally, make healthier choices readily accessible. Keep your fridge and pantry well stocked with healthy snacks, especially, that you do enjoy eating and have them be visible and prominent.

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