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Train your mind to eat healthy

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Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living!

When people think that it's high time to do something good for their health and body, they pick a date to start a healthy diet plan and indulge in their favorite foods till that date. When the start day arrives, they bid goodbye to the junk by indulging in them for one last time and they go to bed with a heavy heart because they have to eat a plateful of salad instead of chips next day onward. But they think that it must be done and hope it all turns out to be worth the effort they'll be putting in. And then comes D-Day, which starts off on a perfect note. Days and weeks pass by and then suddenly you're back to square one! What the hell happened?

There's a psychology behind it. To follow a healthy lifestyle one needs to train their mind. Here are a few easy ways to do that:

Think of it as a long-term change. Most people think of diet as starvation and a short-term affair, but it actually means eating the right food at the right time in the right quantity and understanding your own body needs, appetite, likes and dislikes. It does not mean eating bland, boring food, but using wholesome, nutritious ingredients in all your meals.

Do not self pity. People think they're in a losing spot when on a diet and pity themselves for not being able to eat all the delicious food others are relishing. Think of how well nourished and energetic your body is going to be in comparison to theirs. Look at the bright side and you'll feel that as compared to others, you are in a better position healthwise.

Say 'don't' instead of 'can't'. When someone offers you something unhealthy like be it a burger, pizza, cake, samosa etc. instead of saying 'I can't eat that', change the phrase 'I don't eat that'. The former indicates that you are forcing yourself to do something, whereas the latter means you are in full control and exactly aware of the choices you are making.

Bind yourself in a promise. If you find yourself wanting to cheat once in a while, do it without guilt and stress. In return, make a promise to yourself that you will eat healthy in the next meal and fulfill that promise. This will add a bit of discipline to your eating habits and you'll be able to enjoy eating without constantly stressing about food.

To sum it up, make sure to think before what you eat, make it interesting, and love yourself! Self care is health care.
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