Starting a healthy diet can be really hard but what’s even harder is sticking with it. Studies show old habits die hard Whether it’s weight loss cutting back on sugary foods or reducing meat Most people struggle to stick to a new healthier diet. up to 80% end up relapsing and go back to their old ways 80%? if the odds are that bad is it even worth trying? I mean, maybe we’re just doomed to fail… definitely not. we all know people who changed for good and studies show It’s very possible to stick to lifestyle and dietary changes for a decade and beyond So what separates those who succeed from those who don’t know how to stick to a diet? Maybe it all comes down to willpower. Maybe I have to resist every single temptation And if I can’t that just means I’m weak? no. willpower seems to be a minor factor For example, it explains less than 5% of BMI differences. So the key must lie elsewhere Lucky for us, scientists have already asked this question It turns out that when it comes to sticking to a healthy diet the same difficulties are reported over and over again That’s good news. If we know what difficulties lie ahead then we can come up with strategies to get over them So here are the top 5 issues people report when trying to stick to a healthy diet: number 5, People thought it was very difficult to remain pure Whether the goal is cutting carbs avoiding fat or reducing meat This idea of perfection seems to be a turn-off and actually pushes people toward relapsing. number 4 was insufficient interaction with other people with similar goals. trying to do things in a vacuum can create a sense of isolation And build this illusion that I’m somehow the only person in the world dealing with these problems Number 3 was not being able to identify with the new diet Maybe you’re trying to cut back on refined sugar but sweets candy cakes are an important tradition in your family or even your whole culture Or maybe I’m trying to cut back on meat but I can’t see myself as a vegetarian. That’s an obvious source of conflict It’s what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. I want to do something but my beliefs don’t align with that behavior So obviously this conflict is going to make it much harder for me to stick to my new dietary habits The second most cited difficulty was feeling that the new habit makes you stick out from the crowd We all like to feel accepted so feeling like we’re different Can be really hard for most people. and finally The number one difficulty people mentioned when it came to sticking to a healthy diet was not being involved in a community. like a group or an organization. the social support and the guidance of people who have gone through the same challenges and were Successful can provide a lot of motivation. Okay, so that’s really interesting, notice how nobody mentioned lack of willpower in fact they’re all fixable problems and They all seem related to each other which means the solutions should be easier to find. so based on all of that Here are 3 key strategies for sticking to a healthy diet: number one, go easy on yourself We live in a culture of instant gratification and we obsess over performance and success. What do we want? Results, when do we want them? Uh, yesterday. I definitely have that problem and let me know if you have that problem as well Where sometimes I just gotta calm down and remind myself that this is a process And real meaningful change always takes time. Our habits are built over years sometimes our whole lives So it’s not easy to just drop them overnight. Take your time Progress gradually step by step and give yourself some leeway. when something is completely off limits We just want it even more. Dr. Ornish jokes that the first nutritional intervention was God telling Adam the Apple was forbidden. We all know how that turned out. So try not to impose absolute limits on yourself This isn’t the Olympics. You’re not being scored on your performance. instead of trying to be perfect with your diet Just focus on continuous improvement week after week and month after month. you ate something less than ideal today? Not the end of the world. It’s not failure or cheating or ruining all the hard work Just eat a little bit better tomorrow and keep moving forward. if absolute labels are holding you back Just get rid of them. refined sugar is not off limits You’re just cutting back And if you happen to be phasing out your animal products You don’t have to call yourself a vegan or a vegetarian if you don’t like it You’re just somebody avoiding meat or trying to clean up your diet for a bit. You don’t need a special name You’re still the same person. use the semantics to help you towards your goal, not hold you back. strategy number 2: Find your tribe We’re all influenced by the people around us, for good and for bad. this recent study put people on a weight loss program The participants lost weight and so did their partners even though they weren’t on the program at all. the researchers call this a ripple effect Yeah… Cuz they all got rippled to shreds! surrounding ourselves with like-minded people is crucial whether it’s a buddy with similar goals or a community or a group that brings people together. Even virtual interactions will increase your sense of inclusion, from meetups to Facebook groups to actual Organizations, in this day and age the options are endless. Now, ideally I would suggest choosing a group that focuses on health rather than selling a product and also one that bases its advice on Science not fads. One example I know personally is PlantPure Communities They’re a nonprofit helping people connect and transition to a whole foods plant-based diet So if that’s something you’re interested in, check them out, they don’t cost anything. They’re not paying me to promote them They’re completely free. plenty of other options out there for weight loss and healthy eating in general So don’t make things harder on yourself than they need to be by trying to fight your battles in a vacuum There’s a ton of strength in numbers, so link up. and finally strategy number 3: know your whyS Studies show having more than one reason behind your change improves your odds of sticking with it long-term for example the majority of former vegetarians or vegans Reported that health was their only motivation While most current vegetarians or vegans have more than one concern. health is still the major cause but animal protection and the environment among other issues also contribute to their decisions I’ve noticed this as well Over the years as I changed my diet the more I learned and the more I read about nutrition the more different reasons I had behind my decisions and the easier it became, the more Organic and natural those choices became and the less I had to rely on pure willpower So try to diversify your portfolio of reasons and also try to make them as specific as you possibly can. to give a common example, if looking better at the beach is my only motivation to eat healthy that’s gonna be very hard for most people to stick with. but if I’m doing it to look better and to lose weight so I can run around and play with my kids without getting winded and So I can reduce my blood pressure of diabetes medications and so I can play tennis with my friends like we used to That’s a lot stronger and will be a lot easier to stick with. go easy on yourself, find your tribe, know your whyS So let me know if all that makes sense and how those strategies work for you and above all keep moving forward Subscribe below for more videos and I’ll see you on the next one