Health Is Wealth

How To Stick With A Diet – Tips To Beat Those Cravings

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.

Fail Forward

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 Comments

  • Geri

    I absolutely love this article. I can totally relate to this. It is true about all the emotional eating that we do. Really though when we start eating “healthy”, we realize that it’s not so bad after all and in the end we feel better about ourselves. I feel that it’s all about balance. We can still eat the foods that give us pleasure but do so in moderation. Too much of a good thing sometimes ends up not being so great after all.

  • Lee

    Great article here over a big question we all ask ourselves, why we can’t stick to diets. This article really sums up why we choose the easy way out of giving into our cravings and the things we like over the things we don’t like. I’m guilty of going through phases like yourself where I will eat healthy for months and then I will end up going back to take away and eating rubbish. Plus it doesn’t help when you have kids too. Think I will give these books a try and see if I can improve on the things I don’t like.

  • Eco_Catherine

    “Those who suffer now end up having a good life while those who have a good life now, end up suffering.”

    This is the comment that stands out to me in this post. Very motivating. I have to read these books.

  • asmadi

    Your article feels like slapping me real hard.
    It’s very true what you write about stick with a diet. During this time, I prefer pleasure over pain. Where, I felt “It’s very okay to eat just a little bit (little burger, little snack, little ice cream)”. And that happened with me.
    However, I am very grateful for the slap you gave. Because after today, I promised to “Weigh My Options”. And I will try to choose pain over pleasure. Because oftentimes the pleasure that I enjoy is not worth the pain (because of the pain that I will experience).
    By the way, are there any suggestions from you to “fall in love with the pain until it becomes second nature” to me?
    And how long does it take so that I can make it become a habit?

  • Holly

    This article is super helpful– my husband and I enjoy healthy food, but we allow too many splurges and I know my husband struggles with portion sizes. We tend to do really well for awhile, then slip and eat out too much or what have you. However, there is only so much related to our health that we can control, what we eat being one of those few things. So I firmly believe it’s important to take that seriously. I will be checking out those books you suggested. We definitely need help choosing pain over pleasure sometimes!

  • Nimrodngy

    Thanks a lot for sharing with us such an amazing article. 

    For me, this article can be included in the category of motivational articles. Starting a diet with food is very easy if we have ambition and determination. Someone told me that in order to have a healthy body, we must divide 100% in –  80% in healthy eating, and 20% in sports.
    At the beginning of each diet it is a little difficult because our body is not used to this style. Last year I participated in a fitness contest and kept a diet for almost 2 weeks, without eating any processed sugar. After all this time I got to eat an apple and feel it very sweet. Why ? Because my body got used to not eating sugar anymore, and seeing that apple as the sweetest food. I can say that healthy eating makes us always young. (inside and outside)

    Thanks again for this. Wish you all the best! 

  • Paul

    Hi Sergio,

    One of my 2020 resolutions is to eat healthy and focus on my health so your post means a lot to me. Thanks for the article I enjoyed it, I found your article highly uplifting and educational.

    The Pleasure vs Pain factor made me to think deep on the subject. Indeed, doing the things we hate to do and coming out of our comfort zone is the key to success. Thanks for those recommendations and both books are my “To Read” list now.

    The information you shared about Dopamine is an eye-opener for me. You gave us an encyclopedia of knowledge here, thanks a lot!

  • Pablo

    I really must say that your articles are very good. I feel very identified!

    In fact, I understand a lot about why I fail in diets, and in doing the things I know I have to do! I realize that I am ALWAYS choosing pleasure over pain.

    What I liked most about the article is “be prepared for the pain that we are going to experience”

    I didn’t really know these two books. (Yes, I knew Maxwell but not this book). So I’m going to check it out now!

    A doubt I have. How do you deal with the days where you feel emotionally very bad to CHOOSE pain instead of pleasure …)?

    Thank you very much for these article, I have learned a lot! (and much about me!)

    regards
    Pablo

  • Rhain

    It is no longer news that sticking to a diet is just hard. It might even be considered harder by some when the new diet is supposed to be beneficial. It is like forming a new habit and we already know that it almost always requires a great deal of willpower at first.

    As you said, we are more likely to take the easier route, which is the unhealthy option in this regard. At least, I have now learnt that it is necessary to develop a mentality that supports our targets,

    Thanks for sharing 🙏🏾

  • sabrinamou

    Thank you so much for sharing a beautiful article. I really liked your article. I think your article will benefit us all. I think all of us should follow a healthy diet. “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,” I liked this line a lot and this line has inspired me. I’ll try to diet from today. Thanks again.

  • Queen

    That’s so true,  me for one has always considered diet as a way to loose weight but you are right,  it is more of whatever goes into someone as meal.

    My hats off for you for being in this journey for 7 years now consistently.

    This is something I have been trying to achieve, to loose weight and mai tain a healthy diet but like you mentioned in your earlier years, I also keep going back and forth.

    I want to be determined like you to take this step once more and stick to it. I will be checking out these books you recommend to see what value it could add to help me achieve this goal.

    Thanks for sharing…

    Cheers.

  • Mugalu Mansoor

     while it’s true that Westerners of both masculinities occasionally go to extremes to retain their objective charm – in the form of superficial enhancements, fat removal, and any kind of unpleasant and lavish, not to discuss riskily, technique, it’s forlornly true that some of the most important secrets of good health actually cost very little and can help those who follow them .

  • Shanta Rahman

    Many thanks to you for sharing such a beautiful article with us.Your article is great .I am very aware of health and I try to diet .But I can’t figure out why I can’t stick to the diet .I think it would be me. I couldn’t get away from eating emotionally .In fact, if we start eating healthy and we understand what is good for us and what is bad for us then it seems possible to stick to the diet. Through the diet the body is in a balance and we feel good too .However, if you eat the amount of food we like, even if it is diet, it will not be a problem .In fact, those who are now eating the favorite foods will suffer in the future and those who are now dieting regularly will be better in the future. I will definitely shoot related books and become more aware of health .

  • Md Millat

    Hey, thank you for your awesome post. Your writing skills so good. I have got a lot of information about this post.A controlling diet is very important in people’s lives. People prefer unhealthy foods rather than healthy foods that cause people to get worse and disease is more.Young people who are more like fast food like pizza, burger, biryani, chicken biryani, etc.for this reason, our health is at risk for major illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and even cancer.So to avoid these diseases, unhealthy foods need to be avoided.Life must be governed by rules such as eating and drinking according to rules.There is a proverb that health is the root of all happiness.So to keep yourself healthy you need to eat healthy foods and avoid unhealthy foods.

  • PurpleLioness

    Hiya Sergio

    Thank you for your hard hitting article on how to stick with a diet, it was brilliant. Well researched and thought provoking. I am also guilty of doing the pleasure thing and my body has suffered for it. 

    I have bookmarked your site for future reference and I will be looking into the two books you mention. Do you recommend any motivational videos for dieters? Not workouts more lifestyle change success videos. I am going to give it another go with one of the books, thank you for making me think about changes I need to make and providing the tools to stick to it, krs PurpleLioness 

  • Danijel

    Hello Sergio, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I am on a keto diet for 2 weeks and it is really getting hard. Honestly, I don’t know for how long will I last because cravings are getting better lol. I am glad I stumbled upon your article because I learned a lot, I will try to implement your tips and advice in keeping a diet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *