Fighting MenA friend of mine is scheduled to start the Paleo diet at the beginning of next month, and is reading up all he can on the diet in the meantime to be as prepared as possible. I asked him what concerns he had so I could hopefully ease his fears and help him start the diet with confidence. What worries him most is that he works in a restaurant and is very used to seeing, smelling, and eating foods that are not allowed on the diet. Stopping himself from snacking on these things that he is so used to eating is going to very difficult, he said, and that he knows self-control is going to be essential.

This is a very difficult thing that most people face at the start of a new diet. The truth is you have to beat yourself. Your mind is divided against you. Half of you wants to stick to your guns because you know it will make you healthier and SKINNIER, and the other half of you wants the comfort of doing what you’re used to. If you eat when you’re depressed, you need to find another way to cheer yourself up now, because that is going to break your diet every time.

The key to beating yourself is “feeding the side you want to win.” You are starting a diet because you care about your health, because you want to lose weight, because you can’t sleep, or for any number of other reasons. Keep reminding yourself that, and think according to that goal. Don’t think about how good the pizza in front of you will taste, because that doesn’t matter… not in the context of your goal. If you feed the side of you that would rather eat “no-no foods” than lose your fat rear, that side will win. And guess what? Your rear will stay fat.

I talk about this like it is easy… but we all know it’s not. I struggle with this daily. However, what I have learned is that when your mind is in the right place, you can make smart decisions that will keep you on progress toward your overall goal. Once your mind is right, you can have lasagna for dinner as a treat and not be thrown off your diet. Once your mind is right, you don’t have to fight yourself all the time. So that’s my advice- take it or leave it ;)