It's really easy for health professionals to say "Do this, do that". It's not always so easy to get your body to do what it should, over what it wants. Especially if you are caught in a taste bud trap; taste buds get used to certain substances and flavours. Sometimes what we want comes from a more superficial, impatient place - such as craving sugar and salt for a quick and short-lived satisfaction or high, over the desire for something to sink in deeply and change how you'll feel for the day (and it goes without saying, that it will then affect what you choose in the days following, as well). So, how do we learn to WANT the right things? This is a pretty simple concept that helps me frequently, and also was the foray into my changed lifestyle back in high school.
Learn to TASTE the ingredients in your food. Are you going to eat fast food today? Maybe a sloppy burrito, a burger, or pizza? Maybe you'll kick off the day with a donut? When you take a bite, let it sit in your mouth for a minute, and explore its contents with your taste. With the burger, you might begin to taste the sugar and salt. (YES I said sugar). With the donut, you might taste this initial plug of sugar, and then the shortening. You may find that what you taste is a presence of chemicals - a punch, but then a lagging, dull flavour of something that is not food. Something not designed to benefit humans. Suddenly, you're chewing some strange doughy substance that feels like it was injected with artificial flavour, and now all you have is a foreign substance floating around in your body while your intestinal system struggles with what the hell to do with it.
When you eat a big salad, blooming with colour and flavours from the earth, have it sit in your mouth for a moment. Maybe you don't like the initial taste of something that lacks the punch of sugar and salt that you get from your fast food. But, pay attention. Pay attention to the sweetness from your cranberries, the crunch of your pumpkin seeds, the energizing freshness of your spinach and filling nature of your salmon, or eggs, or chick peas. When you are eating real, nutritious food, you can almost feel it buzzing into your bloodstream. You can almost feel it fuelling you with energy, clear-headedness and a great mood.
It can be hard at first to make the right choice. I often advise clients to pick their meals in advance, shut off their wants or negotiations and follow through. I have never had a client who stuck to their guns on their more healthful order, regret it. More often than not, if you choose something nutritious, you're not only going to enjoy it more but as soon as that food is out of its chewing zone and down in your body with forever effects, you're going to feel pretty damn good.
Push a little to get some good stuff in your body. Taste the empty, false foods for what they are. Sometimes I eat processed, cardboard-y food just to really pay attention to this divide and reinforce why I prefer to eat the way that I do the majority of the time. When you put your brain into your taste buds, it can change what you want.
And when it comes to changing your lifestyle, you will be significantly more successful if what you WANT changes, too. So remain engaged, patient - listen and watch. Be present in your changes. If you want permanent and sustainable results, this tip is going to help you out enormously.
*fast food photo borrowed from kidsandbabies.info