My #1 piece of advice about dieting – and it’s not what you think!
As a weight loss coach, I’m often asked what my number one piece of advice is for people starting a weight loss journey.
My advice is simple; don’t start! Well at least don’t start until your mind is in such a great place, that the physical process of dieting becomes easy.
Starting a diet can be frightening and overwhelming, so before you begin there is a lot of prep work to do. First off you need to get your head around the diet itself, learn what foods you can eat, which ones you need to avoid and which ones you have to give up completely. Saying goodbye to foods that have been ‘there for you’ when life got stressful can be too much for some people. Even to a point where it’s difficult to get started. Then you need to pick a start date, clear out the kitchen and bring in new healthy foods to create an environment where it’s impossible to fail. Another part of the mental preparation is to consider the social implications of what you are about to do. The thought of surviving a meeting in a cafe next to a cabinet full of ‘treats’, or social gatherings involving food can lead to procrastination (I’ll start after the wedding next month) and a start/stop approach to dieting. It’s too easy to be tempted, especially in the early days of dieting.
Needless to say, many people procrastinate about starting a diet while others find themselves completely overwhelmed once they start. The answer to this is don’t start your diet until your mind is in the right place. Start with a mindset diet first!
There are two aspects of our mind; the Inner Critic, who sabotages your weight loss efforts, even downright derails you at times, causes you to suffer an inability to cope with stress and triggers emotional eating. Then there’s the Inner Coach, who loves you unconditionally and only wants the very best for you.
Will power only lasts for so long before the Inner Critic overrides you! This is why will power doesn’t work! You can muster enough will power at times, however, eventually, the Inner Critic will sabotage and derail you. This is why a mindset diet is the most critical element of any weight loss journey.
Will power is like a little ball of positivity that’s sitting atop of a steep mountain of negativity. One little bump and it rolls downhill, so, I’d encourage you to look at what could prevent you from succeeding, address the underlying reasons for being overweight in the first place, and remember diet is 10% food and 90% mindset! Work on your mind first and the rest will follow. As you change the inner world, the outer world will start to materialize the way you want it to.
Developing the wisdom and courage to cope with life’s stress triggers is far more useful than forcing yourself to diet when you aren’t quite ready. So, remember mind first, and the body will follow!
I filmed a short video on this you can view here.
Lots of love, Deborah Murtagh