Eating healthy is easier said than done because it is not so much the diet, but the psychology of the diet that is likely to trip you up.
Finding the right path to a healthy diet that is suitable for your body takes time and energy, but using mind tricks to train your brain helps you get there faster.
1. Use Smaller Plates
Feeling full is a feeling, and for many, it has little to do with whether your body has physically had enough to eat. It can take a while to learn how much you really need for your body to function at optimal levels.
Even then, there are days where all you want to do is eat until you’re emotionally comfortable. For those days especially, use a smaller plate to dish up your food. Your portions look larger when they come in a smaller dish; and you can get that feeling of eating a whole bowl of something without consuming all the extra calories.
2. Drink More Water
Water is the elixir of life, and drinking more water is the oldest diet advice in the book. Not only is water calorie-free, but it also helps your body run more efficiently. It is a win-win situation. Like everything, drinking more water is easier said than done. You may sometimes need to overcome some obstacles to make sure you get enough.
Start by always keeping water nearby. Keep your water bottle next to you, and keep any other drinks out of sight. Another tip from a reputable online bikini body guide tip is to keep juices and sodas in the cupboard where they are warm, which means you need to put them in the fridge for a while before you drink them.
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You can also make plain water a little more fun. You do not need to buy a $10 bottle of water to do it; just pick up a water bottle with a design you like. You’re more likely to drink something you find aesthetically pleasing. Alternatively, make your own flavored water by adding fruit or herbs to your bottle to infuse natural flavors. Berries are always a good addition, but if you’re looking something more savory, add some fresh mint, cucumber, or ginger.
3. Keep Healthy Foods at Eye Level
As you are on your way out the door, you are likely to grab the first food item you see. Make that snack a healthy one by keeping your healthy snacks at eye level and making them easy to reach.
In cognitive science, this technique is known as nudging. It’s helpful for dieting because you do not need to throw out the food you want to avoid. Instead, you are ensuring that in the future, you to make better decisions for your body by nudging yourself to choose the healthiest option.
4. Leave Guilt Behind
Using guilt to regulate cravings for foods that are not in line with your beach body goals seems helpful at first. In theory, it should encourage you to only eat healthy food to avoid feeling bad. Unfortunately, that is not quite how it works.
Feeling guilty when you eat foods you have deemed as “bad” can actually be detrimental to your goal of shaping up. When you treat your relationship with food emotionally, you may end up making illogical decisions, like bingeing in response to deviating from your plan, or worse, starting a strict diet that results in yo-yoing. Ditch the guilt when it comes to food. Sure, not all food helps you achieve defined abs, but it all helps your body function, and that is a positive thing.
5. Focus on Feeling Better Every Day – Not Looking Better Later
The key to making a change stick, and to living a satisfied life, is to look for small goals every day and rise to meet them. This is also the key to losing weight, toning up, or changing your body shape in general.
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Depending on your goals, seeing real change in your body takes weeks or even months. So instead of slogging through a diet you do not really like, to achieve changes that may or may not happen and judging your progress based on seemingly hopeless standards, try assessing your progress based on how you feel.
If you feel more energetic, happier, and healthier every day, celebrate those successes. If you are proud of your food choices one day, enjoy it. Just take a minute to celebrate the progress you have made today. It will help you enjoy the process of improving your health and keep you motivated enough to achieve your goals.
Achieving your beach body is actually all in your head. Use these five mind tricks to prepare yourself for success and look great in a bathing suit or in your winter parka.
Featured photo credit: Trang Angels via flickr.com