Andrea Harrn Counselling Services

How to Stick to your Diet – 5 Key questions

I recently held a one day workshop on the psychological factors around eating and being on a diet.   This workshop was held as a fundraiser for breast cancer and included lunch!!!   Yes I cooked (with some help which was gratefully received).

12 lovely ladies turned up of all different shapes and sizes.  Their reasons for attending were quite different too.  Some wanted to lose weight after Christmas.  Others have spent most of their lives on one diet or another and just wanted some new ideas.  Others were not looking to lose weight but were interested in the psychology and emotional issues related to food.

I did not recommend any particular diets or eating plans or give specific advice on healthy foods or exercise other than to say exercise will help lose weight and that personally I try to eat a raw food meat-free diet myself.  There is a lot of information out there already on the importance of 5 a day fruit and vegetables etc.  and we all know about junk food (don’t we?)

I started the first session with 5 key questions:

1.  What is your goal and how important is it to you?  

Maybe your goal is to lose weight on the scales and if that is the case how much weight do you want to lose.  Set yourself an achievable goal and you are more likely to be successful.  What will it mean to you to achieve this goal.  How will you feel about yourself if you do.  Or perhaps your goal is to be healthier.  Be specific when you answer this question.

2.  Why now?

What is different about this moment in time.  Perhaps you have been given advice by a doctor to lose weight or maybe there is a special occasion coming up.  Thinking about this question will help you to focus more on your goal

3.  Who are you doing this for?

Are you doing this because you feel judged by others or are you doing this for you?  You are more likely to be successful if you are doing it for yourself.  If you are doing it for somebody else do you think they are going to like you more or love you more if you lose weight.  Would you love them any more or less if they were a different weight.  Think about who you are trying to please or impress.

4.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of pursing your goal?  Focus on the short term and long term.

The advantages may be numerous such as feeling healthier, fitting into clothes, feeling more confident etc.  The disadvantages may be feeling you have to give up something or feel deprived.  Writing this out will help you identify your thinking clearly.

5.  Are you prepared to put in the time and investment?

How much time will it take and can you afford it.  If your time and money is in short supply recognising this at an early stage will help you to make the right choices for yourself.  If you know in your heart that you are not prepared to put in time and investment then perhaps you don’t want the goal as much as you thought.  That’s ok too.  Its all your choice but be true to yourself.

I will be writing more about this in future posts but for now I will leave you with the 5 key questions to think about.

Bye for now


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