Our relationship with food is massively influenced by habits that we have tuned since our childhood and by our personal rewards system. The good news is that it’s possible to train psychologically as well as physically.
Simply deciding to give up all your dietary habits one day, replacing them with completely new habits the next day, won’t work: you’ll soon be overwhelmed and will quickly become frustrated and give up. Instead, it makes sense to address things step-by-step and introduce one new habit after another. It might be enough just to change particular foods or meals first, then involve eating at different times or cooking your own food, planning and shopping accordingly or increasing your water consumption. This method will have more long-term success than going flat out for a few days or weeks and then falling back into your old habits, throwing everything away. Don’t be too hard on yourself as this will cause both physical and psychological stress. Change needs to be rooted in your mind and that takes time – estimates range from approximately 100 days upwards. Setbacks can happen to anyone but they no longer matter if you remain focused and stay on the ball no matter what.
Always bear in mind that changing your diet is a major deal as it involved rewarding yourself with an athletic body. Choosing sugar-laden cakes is not a way to reward yourself – they damage your body, your most valuable possession.
As a first step, we recommend our Nutrition Guide, which is based on the principles set out above, taking you closer to the goal of a long-lasting, goal-oriented diet week-by-week.