Anyone who has ever tried a new diet knows how easy it is to create a healthy eating plan. Thanks to the presence of such a plan, it is easier for a person to lose weight, gain willpower and solve his problem after a certain time. This is because we are giving time and attention to new, healthy habits that we need and that will then become automatic. The results of a study of habits have been published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. It turned out that on average it takes a person 66 days to adopt a new behavior. Of course, everyone is different – some lucky people can form a habit in just 18 days, someone in 254 days. In any case, this takes time.
“Many of us give up new habits because we crave instant gratification,” says Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Indiana State University. “But healthy behavior can take just as much time, energy and effort as establishing bad behavior.”
But work on yourself should not be rough. A mindful and careful approach will help you enjoy the process of forming a healthy, mindful eating habit, whether your goal is to replace refined carbohydrates with vegetables to lose weight, or to eliminate meat from the diet in accordance with your ethics. Mindfulness helps reduce the effort you experience when making a change. It helps connect us to more powerful ways to change those old neural pathways that have become ingrained in the brain and work to create and strengthen new ones.
We offer you a 10-week plan to help bring mindfulness, smart food choices, and enjoyment into your diet.
Week 1: Create foundation
Science shows that the first step to creating a new habit is to ask yourself an important question: what do I want to achieve? Realize the purpose, why you are doing it, what you want to get. When you understand why, you will get the answer to the question “how”.
Week 2: Assess your nutrition
Write down what you eat and how you feel after certain foods. This process will tell you which foods work well and which do not, which foods digest quickly and nourish your body, and which ones deplete you. Follow your feelings.
Week 3: Stop berating yourself for vices
When you eat something harmful, you scold yourself, believing that you did something bad. If you’re used to rewarding yourself with sweets after a deed, but you still feel like you’re doing something terrible, this week, start replacing store-bought sweets with healthy alternatives. There are a lot of delicious, sweet, but healthy dessert recipes on our site!
Week 4: Manage Obstacles
There will always be something that threatens to kick you out of your healthy diet. But what matters is how you respond to these obstacles. If you can plan ahead, then you can manage them. When you take a short break from your meal plan, be sure to come back.
Week 5: Enjoy food
Start enjoying every meal. Even if you have a salad with cabbage for lunch, decorate it with greens and enjoy your food. Let the process of pleasure be present at every level of your consciousness and subconsciousness.
Week 6: Mark your changes
Think back over the past 5 weeks and note what you have achieved. What changes have happened to your body? How did you start to feel about food?
Week 7: Strengthening Mindful Eating
For the next seven days, focus on the practice you did in the first week. Remember why you are following the plan and what you want to achieve.
Week 8: Track your emotions
It’s time to take a look at your thoughts and beliefs about yourself. What foods make you feel bad about yourself? And which ones are good?
Week 9: Set yourself up for continued success
Track your habits, and if you feel like you’re slipping, return to the plan to continue on your course. This week you may realize that mindful eating is not a diet, but a habit.
Week 10: Start dreaming
Now that you’ve gotten the basics and understood what mindful eating is, you can move on. Start dreaming, visualize your goals and go towards them. Start keeping a diary of your desires and goals, making a plan to achieve them, just like you made a 10-week mindful eating plan.