Creating a healthy diet for yourself is simple. The real challenge is being able to stick with it once those cravings kick in. There are dozens of online articles that provide a plethora of knowledge and information on how to create a healthy diet, but none of them provide the methodology that’s required to stick to them when things get tough. Knowing what foods to eat are only half the battle. If you don’t stick to them consistently, then any progress you make goes right out the window. I’m going to give you tips on how to stick with a diet.
What’s A Diet?
There’s a misconception going around when it comes to dieting. When most hear the word “DIET,” the assumption is that in order to have a one, you must be trying to lose weight. That is false. Anything that you consume is considered your diet. It’s a general term used to describe the foods you mainly eat. When we hear the word diet, we usually run the opposite way lol.
Have you ever wondered why we continuously choose bad food choices instead of healthy ones? We know that the body needs proper vitamins and mineral yet we still choose foods that has no nutritional value whatsoever. Even when our health is at risk for major illness such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and even cancer, we still choose foods that we love instead of the ones our bodies need. You wouldn’t water a plant with soda would you? No, you’d give it what it needs to grow and stay alive. Treat your body as you would a plant by also giving it what it needs.
Pleasure Vs Pain Factor
When it comes to making decisions, we usually go with the one that gives us the most pleasure. Anytime we’re subjected to pain or find ourselves in painful situations, the bodys’ immediate response is to stop the pain as soon as possible. I call this the Pleasure vs Pain factor. Anything that you do, for the most part, involves the Pleasure vs Pain factor.
In a previous post, I mentioned how the body influences the mind to continue to feed it junk food after the mind has made a decision to eat healthier. The Pain vs Pleasure factor adds fuel to that fire to help persuade the mind to give the body what it craves. We choose unhealthy foods because they make us “feel” good after consumption. They provide pleasure and satisfaction while healthy foods are usually bland in taste and are often painful to eat with no satisfaction. If you had to choose between eating a pizza and a salad, majority would choose pizza because eating it is pleasurable. Diets often fail because they are simply too painful to stick to.
Why We Choose Pleasure Over Pain?
Here are some examples of how the Pleasure vs Pain factor affects us even if we aren’t aware.
- Sleeping In vs Getting Your Day Started
- Social Media vs Doing Homework
- Eating Out vs Cooking At Home
- Watching TV vs Working Out
- Junk Food vs Healthy Foods
The items listed on the left side are things that gives us pleasure when compared to doing the things on the right. Simply put, we continuously choose the things that gives us pleasure while mainly avoiding the things that causes us pain. There’s a neurotransmitter in the brain called Dopamine that releases chemicals to the body that causes us to “feel good.” This is the reason why we choose foods that are bad for us over healthy ones, even when our health is at risk. They make us “feel good” at the moment but really causes us to “feel bad” once our health declines.
MASTERING YOUR DIET
In order to master your diet, you must mentally prepare for the challenge that lies ahead. There’s an old saying that says “In order to succeed at anything that you do, the key is to continuously do the things you hate doing!” In other words, choose foods you hate to eat more than the junk food that you love. Let’s stop for a moment and take a look at where choosing pleasure over pain has gotten you. Eating the foods that we crave over the foods our bodies need never leads to anywhere good. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. We must go against ourselves and fall in love with the pain until it becomes second nature.
No Pain, No Gain!
We hear this term a lot when it comes to working out, but it literally applies to anything that we do in life, even our diets! No one wants to be in pain, so we try to avoid it at all costs! The only way to see those results that you desire is to eat healthy foods that are painful to eat. We avoid these foods because they don’t contain addictive chemicals that makes us “feel good” after we eat them. This is why you could pack a healthy lunch and still go out and buy fast food instead of eating what you packed. When you fall in love with doing the things that brings you pain, you will see your life transform.
I’ve been on my fitness journey for the past 7 years. Before 2019, I was in this repetitive cycle where I would stick to my diet for a few months, and then I’d fall off and go back to my old lazy and unhealthy ways. I’d gain weight and lose weight, but never seem to improve on a consistent basis. I almost decided to stop trying all together and accept the fact that I loved to indulge in unhealthy foods more than my desire to lose fat.
I possessed all the knowledge of what foods to eat and how to lose weight but I didn’t possess the “know how” when it came to creating that consistency needed to see things through in tough times. My past failures had almost gotten the best of me. Last year I read 2 books that absolutely changed my life! The first was “CANT HURT ME” by David Goggins, and “FAILING FORWARD” by John C. Maxwell. They taught me how to choose pain over pleasure and how to change my outlook on failures while using my past failures to my advantage. I highly recommend these two books to help you get over any obstacles you face. They didn’t only help me stick to a healthy diet to achieve my fitness goals, but they also helped me in my career as well!
Weigh Your Options
The key to sticking to your diet is to first fall in love with the pain of eating healthy foods until it becomes a habit. Get used to waking up everyday doing the things that you hate. The things we hate doing are usually what we need to do to get to where we want to go in life. Those who suffer now end up having a good life while those who have a good life now, end up suffering. Eat those healthy foods that are a pain now so that you can enjoy your health for the rest of your life!
Sticking to a healthy diet is tough. Since the body craves dopamine, you will constantly be tempted to eat foods that makes you feel good. This feeling is only temporary and have no lasting benefits. Be honest with yourself and weigh your options. Do you love junk food more than creating the body that you desire? Are you letting junk food dictate your future? Where has eating junk food gotten you thus far? Where will it lead you?
Take control today and PURPOSEFULLY choose to do more things that cause pain over pleasure. You will be amazed at the change you will discover!