Stop Dieting and Eat Healthy with a Healthy Mindset

One area that we specialize in here at Core Principles is helping our members work on their nutrition habits. Many of our clients use our personalized nutrition programs in order to enhance their results and get back to healthy eating patterns. If you read some of our previous blogs, you know that what we focus on at CP is building healthy nutrition habits as opposed to encouraging people to start crazy dieting or stick to rigorous meal plans.


I noticed that some folks still have a hard time recognizing the difference between the two, and when someone is starting a nutrition program they often default to thinking of it as a strict form of dietary plan that they can either succeed at or fail.


I’m here to try to break that mindset, as it is not really “healthy” to think of your eating habits as something that’s either black or white. If you’re familiar with psychology, the term black-and-white thinking is often identified as a cognitive distortion that makes people think in two bilateral extremes. Bringing it back to nutrition, if you think of your “diet” or eating program in those two polar opposites and view it as a PASS or FAIL assignment, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment down the road.


Say you’re working on eating whole, non-processed foods throughout the week and you do a great job of that Monday-Friday, but go out to dinner Saturday and order pasta that comes with bread and cheese, and a have a couple glasses of wine. If you view that meal in the “all-or-nothing” thinking category, you’re more likely to be negative when you approach the subject and think something that sounds a little bit like this: “Oh no, I did so good at dieting all week and now failed at my eating assignment. I just ruined my entire week of hard work.”


This type of thinking is going to lead you to be frustrated and feel like a failure (this is NOT what we’re going for here!)


What we encourage our clients to do is start changing their perspective and view their eating programs as exactly what they are – practice building solid and healthy eating habits.


Let’s take the same scenario and pretend you’ve been eating non-processed foods Monday-Friday, then Saturday you indulge into your favorite pasta dish, have some desert, and feel a little too full for your liking. If you use a healthy eating mindset your inner voice may sound a little different, and say something along the lines of:


“Hmm, I think I overate a little at dinner, but I was really craving pasta and bread. Oh well… It’s just one meal. I did really well on my eating plan all week, so this is not the end of the world. I’ll just wake up tomorrow and have my healthy egg-white omelet for breakfast.”


See the difference? In the latter example, the person is able to recognize the accomplishments they’ve made at eating healthy and view that one dinner as what it is – one little cheat meal (no biggie!). Person B is more likely to be okay with the fact they’ve steered away from their nutrition program and still feel good about themselves and their achievements at building good eating skills throughout the week.


Now a million dollar question… Which one of these two people is more likely to say “Screw it, I’ve already failed at eating healthy so might as well eat bad the entire weekend… Bring out the chocolate cake!??


You guessed it!


Person A.


This is due to the fact that if you feel frustrated and down on yourself, you will want to feel better by eating more “comfort” foods to push away the guilt and feel happy again!


That in turn, can create a vicious cycle and lead you to feeling more depressed about not being able to follow your nutrition program and eating more junk food.


So, how do we break away from that and create a more realistic and positive outlook on eating?


First, let’s begin with starting to pay attention to your inner voice and dialogue.


What is it saying? Is it motivating you to keep going or a criticizing your healthy eating attempts?


Once you’re able to become more aware of your thoughts and recognize some of those negative thinking patterns, you can catch yourself and practice challenging those pessimistic beliefs and being more compassionate towards yourself.


If you start believeing that you’re doing “bad” on your eating plan because you sneaked a donut at lunch time, try to examine that statement and ask yourself “is that really true?”


Chances are that it’s probably just your “perfectionism” talking and you may have been sticking to your nutrition plan on most days/meals. If you indulge a little here or there, it’s not the end of the world and your eating habits may actually be improving overall! Maybe you recognize that you have challenges in particular situations (i.e. eating out, or reaching for junk while you’re stressed) and may want to speak with your coach about a strategy to help you improve.


But just because you’re not perfect at one thing, or all your meals aren’t carb or sugar free that doesn’t mean you’ve failed and should beat yourself up about it!


I hope this blog is helpful in making you recognize that there’s more to eating healthy than JUST eating healthy.


It’s all about how you approach situations, and the perspective or mindset you create around your nutrition and eating habits.


If you’re interested in learning more, want to try our nutrition program or work with an accountability coach who can guide you through your health journey, be sure to contact us at


Thanks for reading!

Coach Jojo


More from our blog:

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