What you have done today? Have you decided on a soup or a salad over a slice of pizza today? Did you say "no" to these biscuits and a protein bar instead? Did you manage to fit into an exercise or will you do one tomorrow? It is the accumulation of these seemingly small, insignificant decisions that determine how successful we are at losing weight.
These opportunities to choose good (or bad) often arise in the course of our day. As we become more aware of this, we can stop, take a moment (about ten seconds is ideal), and then make a decision that will bring us closer to our goal. Then we can ask practical questions like, "Will this choice bring me closer or further from my goals?"
What we're up to: the global giants
The food industry wields immense political power around the world through political campaign contributions and other means. They spend a significant amount of money to lead us (and our children) to processed foods that are cheap to produce but add to obesity.
A clear example of this is the positioning of sweets and sugary drinks near cash registers or the reluctance of many manufacturers to list ingredients on their labels or not to print misleading information such as “healthy”. We just cannot let them make the right decisions for us and our families, nor can we put all our trust in our government to protect us. We need to educate the public and take back control to become much more aware of health behavior.
The same applies to the mobile communications industry. Should we trust phone makers and app developers to keep our kids safe and monitor our own phone addictions when devices are designed to be addicting? Similar to food, if we do not apply discipline and rules, we will be dependent on huge industries that make money from our disease. It's time we tried to outsmart the global food companies.
Check out this interesting video on “Food Architecture” where the way food is presented to us affects our choices both positively and negatively.
The obstacles to a good choice
In addition to the obese environment we live in, which makes it easier to be overweight and obese than a healthy weight, there are also economic and practical factors (this is by no means an exhaustive list, but points out some of the barriers that we all come across). .
1) The cost of food is a major factor influencing food choices, especially for low-income consumers. There is often the misconception that eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive, but this is a myth and doesn't have to be the case at all. The potential for food waste leads to reluctance to try "new" healthy foods for fear that the family will refuse them. In addition, a lack of knowledge and cooking skills can hamper the purchase and preparation of meals from basic ingredients. That's where Education is the key. Our weight loss consultants know how consumers can, for example, increase their vegetable consumption and learn to switch to unprocessed carbohydrates, but in an affordable way.
2) A change in our eating culture is needed. Efforts by governments and health agencies to promote healthy food as value for money could also make a positive contribution to diet changes, and this is something we encourage as an organization, but all too often our government falls short. Download our report, "An Unhealthy, Healthy Ireland".
3) Time restrictions are frequently mentioned by individuals and families for failing to follow dietary recommendations. This has been reflected in the last decade in the shift of the fruit and vegetable market from loose to prepackaged, prepared and ready-to-cook products (which, as is well known, contributes massively to our plastic dilemma). These products are also often more expensive than bulk products, but people seem to prioritize the convenience they bring.
Change behavior for better results
Changing your diet is not easy, especially when it comes to habits that have been built over a lifetime. We know this when we work in this area every day. The good news, however, is that this is entirely possible under the right conditions. One of them is the motivation to change. This is where our weight loss consultants can help you as they can help you highlight the trigger points that are causing you to change.
In Motivation, we use a range of behavior change techniques that help our customers achieve a healthy weight successfully over the long term.