Five reasons why you can’t stick to your healthy eating plan

Many of us will have started the new year with the same resolution – to lose weight and eat healthier. However, as February slowly rolls around, it may be becoming slightly harder to stick to a healthy eating plan.

Here are five reasons why you might be struggling to do so given by Dr Rachel Evans PhD.

1. You haven’t set clear goals

It is often not clear enough to say that you simply want to consume ‘less sugar’ or ‘more fruit and vegetables.’ This is because without specific goals, you don’t know what you’re working towards and track progress.

So, instead of saying ‘I want to eat more fruits and vegetables’, set yourself a goal, such as, ‘I want to eat at least five fruits and vegetables per day.’

2. The goals you have set are too restrictive

Even if you have clear goals, if your plan is too restrictive it can lead to a state of physiological and psychological deprivation. When you find yourself craving ‘junk’ foods, this is often because your body is not satisfied with what you have given it thus far.

An important part of sticking to a healthy eating plan is not restricting yourself of foods you enjoy. By incorporating these into your diet in moderation, you can make your health journey go the distance.

3. You think you have ‘blown it’

If you believe you have ‘blown it’, in psychology this is called the abstinence violation effect; when you have one thing off-plan which leads to total collapse. For example, people commonly ‘mess up’ their healthy eating and consequently tell themselves that they will start again on Monday.

Doing this often results in people eating more unhealthy foods than usual,  because they believe they won’t be able to eat that food again when they get back on plan – which can be damaging to long term healthy eating plans altogether.

4. You are trying to get by on pure willpower

Dr Rachel Evans says: “We often believe that willpower is all we need to stick to a diet, but my own research has found that good self-control did not predict how well people could stick to their intentions to eat healthily; habits and how people ate in the past was more important.”

5. You have subconscious beliefs about food

If you ever feel like you know exactly what you should be doing to stick to your plan, but something is keeping you stuck in old habits of overeating, it can often feel like you are sabotaging yourself over and over again, and this behaviour is likely to be driven by deep subconscious beliefs about food and yourself which can be difficult to break.

One of the most effective ways to combat negative subconscious beliefs and bad eating patterns is to recognise patterns from childhood and when exactly they are showing up in life now.

Another way to tackle these behaviours is to look into hypnotherapy, to directly access the subconscious mind and find the root of eating issues – through hypnotherapy, these can be rewired for more helpful thought patterns, to help healthy eating become more achievable.

Feature image credit: @element5digital – Unsplash

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