We often use occasions, events, friends, and family as excuses for not sticking to our diet. We say things like, “I mean, I had all the best intentions to stick to my plan, but the family Christmas dinner did me in!” or “It was that office party, all that mouth-watering food, I just couldn’t help it.” It isn’t easy to say no, even when you know that you probably should. But, it isn’t impossible either. When it comes to your health and fitness goals, assertiveness can go a long way. Here’s how you can go about it.
1. Be Assertive – Mean It, Look It
While it might seem like things “aren’t in your hands,” the truth is far from it. Whether you’re at a social gathering or at home with family, if you can be assertive with your looks and words, you will succeed. Often, we’re not too dedicated about our own diets and aren’t willing to resist the temptation of cheating on it. This reflects in our body language as well. It’s important to believe in your fitness plans. Ensure that when you say no, you do so with not just your voice but also your body language.1
2. Do Yourself A Favor – Love Yourself
When we love someone, we go all out to ensure their well-being. If they are ill and are asked to follow certain dietary restrictions, we make sure that they stick with it. Why can’t we care for ourselves the same way? Learn to love yourself to ensure that you do whatever it takes to care for your body.2
3. Announce Your Intentions To The World
The best way to get your loved ones to believe in you and your goals is to be open about them. If you let people know your goals and beliefs in advance, they are more likely to go with it. This might mean that you will get to head to the salad bar at a wedding or a party without being ridiculed for it. You might even be offered alternatives by the people who really care for you. 3
4. Incentivize Your Diet Goals
It doesn’t feel good to have to avoid certain foods. But, you could make it easier by allowing yourself cheat days. Start by writing down your goals and monitoring them strictly. Allow yourself a cheat meal if you are able to meet a certain set of goals in a certain period of time. This could be avoiding chocolate all week or successfully exercising every day. This cheat meal then becomes your reward for honoring your diet.4
5. Lead A Stress-Free Life
Studies show that stress highly influences our eating habits and dietary choices. If you manage stress, then half the battle toward being assertive is won. This is because we’re more likely to give into cravings if we’re stressed out. Luckily, stress can be easily managed through ways like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or other means of relaxation.5.
The path to a healthy life is not easy. It tests our will power and our commitment to our goals. But, by being assertive and building your own support system around you, there is no reason why you won’t succeed.
|↑1||Johnston, Anita. Eating In The Light Of The Moon:How Women Can Transform Their Relationship With Food Through Myths Metaphors And StoryTelling. GurzeBooks, 2010.|
|↑2||Richardson, Ani. Love Or Diet: Nurture Yourself And Release The Need To Be Comforted By Food. John Hunt Publishing,2013.|
|↑3||Blackman, DR. Melinda. Mind Your Diet: The Psychology Behind Sticking To Any Diet. Xlibris Corporation, 2008.|
|↑4||Greenwood, PamelaM, Parasumraman, Raja. Nuturing The older Brain And Mind. MITPress,2012.|
|↑5||Kinetics Human, Organization. Health And Wellness For Life. HumanKinetics, 2010.|