What is the “Diet Mindset”? For me, it’s cycling in and out of weight loss and weight gain without clear goals or sustainability. These cycles are influenced by time of the year, events and environmental factors such as who we surround ourselves with. We’ve all promised ourselves that this New Year’s resolution will be better than the last, we’ve always tried to look our best for a wedding or event, and we all been influenced by Instagram models online.
Another aspect of the diet mindset is observing food as Healthy/ Unhealthy and Good/Bad. No food should be off-limits as part of a diet, especially foods we love. If chocolate helps you get through the week, then include it. If you need biscuits to relieve work stress, then include them too. Restriction and labelling foods as negative can result in cravings and binging after a dieting phase. Encouraging a sustainable approach to diet through lifestyle and behaviour alterations is the best approach to change this mindset once and for all.
3 Tips to Change your Mindset around Diet.
4 Pillars of Health: Health is like a garden, it needs constant work and improvement to see the end result. Stop and all your hard work starts to fade. I don’t advocate cycles of weight loss and weight gain, but instead work towards steady improvements in the 4 pillars of health: Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep & Mindset. So, where do you start?
Begin with little 10% improvements in each quadrant every day. For nutrition this might be adding an extra serving of vegetables to your dinner. For exercise it might be reaching your 10,000 daily steps. Why not add more routine to your sleeping pattern or get in that 10-minute meditation you always don’t have time for? Health is individual to everyone. It doesn’t matter where you start, the main thing is that you start today!
Mindful Eating: Be in touch with your body. Notice how your nutrition makes you feel. Much of the time we consume food on autopilot. We become detached from taste, flavours and the enjoyable experience of eating. Stressful personal lives and current lockdown measures can end up dictating our behaviours causing us to eat due to emotion or boredom. We must be present when we eat and be aware of behaviours that may drive our hunger. The simple questions we can ask ourselves that will make a big difference are:
Having a Scary Goal: A new concept I’ve introduced is “Scary Goals”. If your end goal doesn’t scare you then it’s not big enough. Improving health isn’t an easy road but doing it right is valuable in the long run. Scary goals are individual to each person, but they strategically teach responsibility, self-discipline and self-belief. For me this year my scary goal was a marathon, next it year it may be an Iron Man. For you, it might be running or walking a 5k. Once it sparks an element of determination, that’s all that matters. In addition to this, I always say have your next goal ready before you finish the first goal. Before you reach the 5k, have the 10k in your sights. Health improvements need consistency and having “Scary Goals” is the best way to achieve this.
About Daniel Murphy – @APEXNutrition
My name is Daniel Murphy. I’m a 24-year-old nutritionist from Cork, Ireland. I graduated with a BSc in Public Health and a PGd in Nutritional Sciences in University College Cork. This year I will be pursuing a MSc in Dietetics.
As a teen growing up I always struggles with weight, body image and mindset. At this time, I followed every diet under the sun, being self-conscious from a very young age. I believe my past experiences provide me with a unique outlook on nutrition. This is why I started APEX Nutrition. So nobody has to experience what I did as a teen.
“I want to create sustainability in nutrition and breakdown current misconceptions around food and exercise.”