Diet Mistake

Dwelling on what we stand to lose rather than what can be gained from healthy changes

CONTRIBUTOR Megan Shanahan, RD, LD

PHOTOGRAPH BY Daxiao Productions

THE FLAW: When we adopt a wellness goal, our intentions often begin positively, with talk of greater energy or a stronger body. We’re driven by purpose. However, we quickly start thinking of all we must sacrifice to sustain these lifestyle changes. For example, “I have to cut out sweets, carbs and {favorite food} to lose weight,” “I’m giving up sleep for a morning run,” or “I can’t meet friends for dinner because of my diet.” A scarcity mindset focuses on the negative aspects of a habit change. And with this thinking comes doubt, fatigue and even failure.

THE FIX: An abundance mindset reframes a habit change as an opportunity to produce positive effects. “A morning run helps me focus and handle daily stressors,” or “I get to try healthy new foods that help me feel amazing.” Making light of these gains motivates us to keep going. To shift your mindset, you need to first be aware of your thought patterns. Try journaling or talking to a friend to understand your current perspective, then adjust as needed.