Are you sabotaging your own success by putting up barriers to eating well?
According to YouGov, 16% of Britons make New Years Resolutions and over 40% of those resolutions are around changing the diet and weight loss. That is a lot of people each year working on eating well. So why then is the failure rate of these good intentions so high?
I believe that people set the intentions but don’t take into account the likely barriers to eating well. By knowing what these key barriers are you may be able to but things in place that help you the next time you want to make dietary changes and actually stick to them.
So, here are my top 5 barriers to eating well
1. Setting an unrealistic target
When it comes to setting targets around health it isn’t a case of “go big or go home”. You actually want to set small but achievable targets. I hear people tell me they want to drop 3 dress sizes, lose 5 stone, drop their body fat by 10% and other quite big targets. These are great as ultimate goals but if you are at the beginning of such a long journey it can feel quite daunting. With that comes self-preservation and then self-doubt can kick in fairly early leaving you feeling that it's too hard and not worth the bother.
You are much better having a smaller target such as to lose 1 pound a week which is much more realistic and achievable. It might be so “wow-y” but you do at least stand a bet change of nailing it! Better still to focus on energy thought than a weight goal but that is a whole other blog post!
2. Not having a "why"
People sometimes make health goals for all the wrong reasons. The whole New Year thing for starters is madness – you have to be ready to make changes and the 1st January might not be the right time for you. If you just jump on that band wagon then you really do have no “why” and without that purpose there is no point in making a lot of change.
I hear people tell me they want to be a certain weight because they feel they should be……but if they feel well, people love them for who they are and the person is not unhappy with themselves then there really is no incentive to make those changes and any new eating regime is likely to fail.
So, be clear why you are wanting to make changes. What are the benefits, what is that incentive and what will change when you reach your goal?
3. Trying to go solo
Accountability is a very big part of making change. How much easier is it to go for a run or an exercise class with a friend….you are much more inclined to go even when you don’t feel like it! It is the same with eating. If someone is keeping you accountable in some way then it really does help with keeping you on track. This can be done by utilising a friend, an app or a trained professional. Clearly I’m always going to say the trained professional is best (an for details on how to work with me please do click here) but whichever you go with it is much easier than going solo.
4. Failing to plan
Change takes time and your new healthy eating habits won’t become second nature straight away. Planning can help with this. If your home is full of temptations and lacking in lean proteins and fruits and vegetables then you really are setting yourself up for failure. Simply put, if there is no chocolate in the house then it is much harder to eat it.
If you plan your meals and buy only what you need then it will be easier to stick to the plan and succeed.
5. Not rewarding your efforts
We really are simple souls and all love a pat on the back when we have done something well. Change is hard and our normal habits (however unhealthy) are easier to live with. So, we need to reward ourselves many times along the way to congratulate each milestone. Rewards just can’t be food or drink related. So instead of having a bottle of wine or a take away for being good all week, schedule in a massage or get your nails done. Buy yourself flowers or a new book….whatever works for you and keep on saying well done.
There are many barriers to eating well but with some planning, guidance and purpose you can succeed