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The mental game of sticking to an eating plan

Sticking to an eating plan can be challenging. It’s often easy to get started, but it may become difficult over time when other distractions present themselves.

One possible obstacle is decision fatigue. In one day’s time, there are only so many decisions that can be made before the quality of those decisions becomes poor. One strategy is to remove certain decisions from your day. For example, eliminate any questions about what foods you are going to eat. Pack a healthy lunch or cook meals in advance. Remove bad food choices from your house if you can. Planning ahead is key.

Another issue could be triggers. A trigger is something that causes you to fall off the wagon, so to speak. One trigger could be stress. Experiencing such stress could cause you to want sugar or comfort food. To avoid derailing your progress as a result of a trigger, It’s important to know what your triggers are. Document your strategies in a journal. Write in that journal about what you experienced and how you reacted. This will help you in dealing with these triggers in the future. Accountability is another great strategy for dealing with triggers. When you see the trigger approaching, reach out to someone who can help keep you on track.

Finally, a slip is another potential obstacle. Recognize that you’re going to slip from time to time. Realize that there’s no value to beating yourself up about it. The important thing to remember is that a slip doesn’t have to be a fall. It’s only failure if you quit.

Sticking to an eating plan starts and ends with commitment. Commit to yourself. Find your “why” as to the real reasons you want to make a change. This will give most people that initial push to move in right direction. When plateaus occur, remind yourself of your vows to stay committed to sticking to your plan, and use that commitment to keep pushing you forward.

Why can't I stop? | Dr. Bruce Odlaug