By Zaheen Nanji
Anytime you change or improve your eating habits, you are on a diet? However, the word ‘diet’ has been overused in the media and has a negative connotation to it. Whenever, you eliminate a certain food or add nutritious food, you are changing your diet! That’s why we have dieticians! Instead of looking at this negatively, view this as a smart eating plan! In fact, let’s change the word ‘diet’ to ‘Smart Eating’. It’s not the normal way you used to eat, but is an unbalanced way of eating and this causes physiological and biochemical changes in the body which in turn could affect your mind and you experience different moods and feelings. A part of you will want to give in because it doesn’t like being in this state – it misses the ‘old’ you.
Here are 4 ways to implement smart eating, also called the POOP theory! That’s right, keep the POOP going so that you are better equipped:
1. Plan ahead
What makes you want to grab a quick bite to eat or eat out most of the time? One of the reasons is the lack of meal planning. I hear the following excuses:
“I don’t have time to cook”
“I don’t know what to cook”
I don’t like cooking for one person”
As a busy mother and entrepreneur, I don’t have time to cook everyday either. However, I make at least two to three meals on Sunday that lasts for a couple of days and I use the slow cooker frequently on other days. Another great idea is to pre-cook ground beef ahead of time and freeze up portions for those days when you need something quick to prepare.
2. Obstacle mastery
Life throws us curveballs. You will be faced with challenges and you will be stretched to your limits, but learning how to deal with these situations and emotions makes you resilient. So how do you master obstacles? Whenever you begin a lifestyle change or plan your meals to improve your relationship with food, look ahead to 4 weeks. Make note of any obstacles that could get in the way, for example a dinner party. Now find two ways you can overcome or embrace that obstacle so you are in control. How can you control the situation instead of the situation controlling you?
3. Outcome orientation
People who are successful at anything have the tendency to visualize the outcome and check in with their feelings before the action has even taken place. When a certain food or a restaurant menu is presented to a naturally thin people or people who have been successful at weight management, they will visualize how they will feel after eating a certain food and then decide whether to eat that food or not. This takes practice and replaces the notion of instant gratification.
4. Play with food
Unfortunately, some of us label ourselves as bad cooks and if you hold that belief, it will always be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Chefs love cooking because they like to play with their food and make creative concoctions. They look at a set of ingredients as an experiment and if doesn’t turn out to their liking they will keep trying. Use that same philosophy when you are in your kitchen. There are thousands of recipes on the internet and until last year, I didn’t know that I could make a cauliflower crust pizza – it was delicious!
If you dwell on what’s not working, you are attracting that very thing – something not working – and then what do most of us do – give up! Instead change this right now and turn it around into the attitude of self-care and self-alignment. Think about this unbalanced process of smart eating as way of your mind and body self-aligning. Your body and mind are going through a process of better nourishment and each needs to go through a ‘healing crisis’ before it can bounce back. It is difficult at first but if you don’t believe then you will never attract your ideal weight. You need to find what works for you and make consistent smart decisions – it took me 10 years to figure this out! Trust and believe in the process and yourself, create a smart affirmation to help you with your journey, learn about your body, become aware of your negative habits and take time to find effective strategies, and I promise you will attract your ideal weight.
– Zaheen Nanji is a resilience champion and teaches people how to embrace change and bounce back. She is also the author of an award-winning book, Attract Your Ideal Weight – 8 Secrets of People Who Lose Weight and Keep it Off. She can be reached at attractyouridealweight.com.