The Mental Aspect of Your Diet and Exercise Program

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The mental aspect of your dieting and exercise program is absolutely crucial for obtaining your goals. True success will be found by learning and adhering to three key words:

  1. Discipline
  2. Self-Control
  3. Consistency

Discipline is defined as “training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior”. If you make a goal, accomplish it and make a new one. When you are starting out, make attainable goals and learn to maintain discipline by adhering to them. These goals could be to simply cut out mayonnaise from your diet. That’s it, just forget about the mayo. Once you learn to have discipline in small goals, this will grow into larger and larger goals which you will set on your path to a healthier lifestyle.

Self-control really boils down to wanting it bad enough. In terms of dieting, moderation truly comes into play here. Learn how to take one or two bites of something like a dessert. Have the control to truly taste the food and enjoy it rather than gorge yourself. It’s easy to overeat, but ask yourself “why am I eating handfuls of this or that”. It will usually boil down to an emotional issue. Why are you over eating? Are you depressed? Are these comfort foods to fill a void somewhere else? Finding the answers to these questions will truly help you to resolve your issues and find a healthy relationship with food.

Consistency is defined as ”maximizing shared rules across tasks”. Always remember that it did not take you a month to gain those extra 20-30 pounds. It probably took several years to pack on the pounds, so it sure will not come off in a month! Be patient and see the results happen. Keep a journal and even take pictures and better yet if you have a video camera, you can do a nice video documentary of your fitness journey to see how you evolve. This will help you stick to your program better by witnessing the amazing changes and how your body is evolving.

Learn to change the word from “diet” to “lifestyle”. “Diet” means temporary and will always end in failure, period. Just think how irrational it is. You are going to eat healthy food for 2-3 months and then think for some miracle, by switching back to your old habits of sweets and fast food, this will not effect you because you were so good for that length of time. The body simply does not work that way. Once the old habits come back, so does the extra weight. So, train your mind and body for a lifestyle change. It may sound scary being that it’s a life commitment but don’t think of it that way. Most people think of healthy foods as being steamed broccoli, tofu and wheat grass. The truth is that “healthy” usually means simply cutting out the empty calorie additions one makes to common foods such as mayonnaise and cheese. By simply cutting out these items and adding some no-calorie mustard, you have just consumed a healthy meal.

Finally, Don’t beat yourself up. Everyone and I mean everyone cheats from time to time. You will have times when you truly want a dessert or a pizza. In these instances, always get ready for a “planned cheat” and enjoy it. If you have a planned cheat, setup a day where you can eat anything you like. But, make sure you put some type of portion control on this meal. Maybe, 1 small pizza or 1 big slice of apple pie. Planned cheats are usually building blocks of self-control and discipline. By adhering to a specific portion of a cheat food, you have just stuck with your plan of attack. Make sure to bounce right back the next day and get back on track with your healthy eating and exercise program.

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