Replace and upgrade. Don’t feel deprived!

Ever noticed the reaction when you take a toy off a child? Not the happiest bunnies are they?! On occasions though, when you replace it with another, which may even be a better toy (bit of acting required here sometimes!) they happily carry on playing and completely forget about the old toy. Us big kids (adults) can be exactly the same. When things are taken away from us (a favourite food, a habit of watching tv, having a few beers or glass of wine in the evening etc) we don’t really like it! This change may last for a while but inevitably we rebel against this outrage and re-instate the subtracted item. This feeling of ‘being deprived’ is a major reason why many attempts at improving our health don’t always last as long as we’d like!

Throughout my life, right up until a couple of years ago I was completely and utterly addicted to bread. I couldn’t go without, even after learning how bad it was for me and the affect it was having on my health, energy levels and belly fat/love handles etc . I’d be ‘good’ for a few weeks and then a walk through the bakery of a well known supermarket and my willpower would crumble and the biggest egg sandwich would be concocted followed by multiple rounds of jam on toast!! I then would proceed to beat myself up for ‘failing’ again and go through the whole emotional roller coaster of ‘starting over’! Ever felt that way about something similar?! This went on for years and obviously, is ridiculous, but I didn’t know how to get out of it. That is until a good friend of mine mentioned a concept called ‘give and take’. The term was nothing new, but I’d never really thought that it could help me with my physical goals! Upon application things changed instantly.

How to apply a bit of ‘give and take’!

Find the aspects of your life that are detrimental to your goals, pick the ones you want to take out, then replace those with something similar (and ideally better). This way your body thinks either nothing changed or, if the replacement is better than the original, it is in an even better state! This will help dramatically with creating the lasting change that causes the real results. Let’s make this practical with some real world examples:

– Giving up potatoes is too much for some and the texture of creamy mash is just too much! In this instance, could swop your potato mash for carrot and suede mash (and when you learn that organic cream and butter aren’t actually the work of the devil this food can suddenly become a different beast altogether…!!)

– Instead of using white flour for baking cakes, pastry (like pasties, pies, pizzas, pancakes) or bread try other flours such as gram (chickpea), quinoa, flax or almond.

– Instead of using sugar try natural alternatives like honey, stevia, maple syrup, natural fruit juice

– Replace shop bought milk to raw milk or coconut or almond.

– Switch from commercially grown produce to organic produce (this change alone would be huge!!)

– Add ice and a slice to your fizzy water to make it more interesting!

– Come up with a treat in the evening like a really good book, time with family, walk, massage, bath etc instead of the tv, detrimental food choices, alcohol etc.

Make it your own choice, trial out a few different ideas, make it something you really enjoy so you don’t feel it’s depriving you!

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