Monday, 5 May 2014
Some common motivational techniques that people suggest are: keep a food diary, have pictures around you of what you want your body to look like, and look at pictures of healthy food throughout the day. While I think the last option might work in terms of maybe assisting you in altering your cravings...I really don't believe in the first two.
Keeping a food diary...
...if it works for you then I have nothing against that! Just in terms of getting you started on the right track at the beginning of the healthy living journey, I don't believe this is that strong of a motivational tool. If you do happen to slip up and consume too many unhealthy foods in a day, it forces you to take note of those slip ups, which in a lot of cases makes one feel guilty. It's important to eat what your body is craving, just in moderation and always thinking of the healthy alternatives!
Have pictures of what you want your body to look like...
...I believe this is way too much pressure to place on yourself, and can lead to negative thoughts if you aren't seeing the fitness/health gains you'd like to see take place. It's important to weigh yourself occasionally and to take note of your weight (if you are on a weight loss journey), however no more than once every 1 to 2 weeks! That way you can keep track of your long term weight loss, and can see the results in numbers, without pressuring yourself based on whole body images you surround yourself with.
Look at pictures of healthy food...
...I think it's important to eat what your body craves but to make healthy decisions, and to eat unhealthy foods that you crave in moderation. If you post pictures of healthy foods on your fridge it may help to alter your cravings so that if you see a picture of an apple when you're reaching for chocolate cake, it may help to change your mind. But I also think that it can lead you to feel guilty if you see the apple and still decide to eat the chocolate cake your body is naturally craving.
...Keep a list of healthy alternatives to your favourite unhealthy foods on your fridge. It'll remind you that if you're craving chocolate chips to maybe try cacao nibs next time instead!
...If you have trouble eating in moderation and making healthy decisions then maybe decide to only buy healthy alternatives to your favourite foods next time you go food shopping, and ditch the unhealthy foods in your house. This helps to reduce cravings and improve your self control.
...Once you start to crave healthier foods, you can reintroduce some of your favourite guilty pleasures into your diet by buying one bag of baked chips for example, and start to work on your self control and ability to snack in moderation!