If there is one thing that can sabotage any healthy eating plan it is the ‘all or nothing’ mindset.
Many of the clients I see are real over-achievers in life.Managers, business owners, directors, mums who do an amazing job of raising their families.People who are high achievers in life often strive for excellence and perfection.For many, their weight and food is the one thing they just can’t get right.I believe that a large part of the problem is due to this desire for perfection which leads to the ‘all or nothing’ mindset.
With ‘All or nothing’ we are either on our plan, or we are not.If we are on our plan then we follow it with 100% compliance, sticking to it with the same determination and dedication we apply to other areas of our life that we can manage successfully.However, if we deviate from our plan and have a forbidden ‘treat’ then it quickly spirals downwards.The subsequent guilt often ends up in a single thought: “Oh well I’ve blown it now so I may as well just eat what I want and start again tomorrow/on Monday/next month”.It is a simple pattern I see so often with clients and the results are devastating.
This habitual pattern not only stops you achieving your weight loss goal but it plays havoc with your mind and fuels the feeling of failure simply because you couldn’t do it perfectly.
The fact is that life is not an ‘all or nothing’ deal.It is about compromise and change.Things come up during the day that are unplanned and all we can do is take the best action possible and roll with the punches. We just have to do our best within the situation we are faced with.The same philosophy applies to our eating.
I have a simple strategy you can put in place to help you deal with this situation:
STOP and THINK/TAKE ACTION/MOVE FORWARD
STOP and THINK:Take a quick moment to look at what you have done.Don’t feel guilt over it, just own it and take responsibility for your actions by writing the snack in your food diary.
TAKE ACTION:What is one positive thing you can do to get straight back on track?
- -Get away from the kitchen and distance yourself from any further temptations
- -Go for a quick walk
- -Call a friend
- -Sit down, look at your food plan and make sure you are organised for your next meal
MOVE FORWARD:Get back on track at your next meal.Don’t let one mistake lead to a free-for-all that ends up in hundreds of extra calories.Make sure your next meal includes protein and fat, to help get those blood sugar levels balanced as soon as possible.
By following this simple strategy you can quickly get back on track and minimise the impact of destructive eating behaviours.