The Secret Power of CBT for Clean Eating
One of the hardest parts of eating clean is turning down the tasty snacks that you know are bad for you. You don’t have to starve yourself of course or eat all that strictly. There’s nothing wrong with a nice pasta dish packed with vegetables and meats…
But what you should avoid is that massive chocolate cake after dinner that will add 450 calories to your diet and leave you feeling sick. It provides zero nutrition and it sets your diet back in a way that can sometimes be hard to recover from psychologically.
But don’t worry – there’s a trick!
What is CBT?
CBT stands for ‘cognitive behavioural therapy’. This is a psychotherapeutic approach that involves training the brain to overcome negative thoughts. The belief is that your thoughts can reinforce negative beliefs and can have unwanted effects on your behaviour.
For instance, if you’re trying to get over a phobia of heights, the thing you need to change is the thought process that involves imagining falling or telling yourself it’s not safe!
What Does This Have to do With Eating Clean?
So what does all this have to do with eating clean?
Simple: it gives you the ability to reprogram your thoughts and thereby to remove the desire to indulge in cakes etc.
To do this, you simply need to think ahead and focus on how you’re going to feel after the meal. Focus on the cake and the taste and you’ll produce the reward hormone dopamine. Instead, you need to focus on the last time you made yourself feel sick from eating too much cake. You probably felt bloating, stuffed and guilty and most likely you couldn’t finish it. Concentrate on that sensation and suddenly the cake doesn’t seem so appealing.
Now instead, imagine how good it would feel to have a refreshing dessert that would perk you up and leave you feeling good about yourself. How about a hot drink? Or maybe you could get an ice cold lemon sorbet that will cleanse your palette without adding too many calories!
This makes all the difference to your desire for pudding and you’ll find that you actually would prefer the fresher dessert. If you do this regularly enough, then you will actually create new associations to the point where you actually don’t want to eat that huge cake.
The same goes for reprogramming your diet in every other area too!