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Nutrition Psychology Applications: Changing nutrition habits through thoughts

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Are New Years resolutions all about habits?

Coming into the new year, everyone love’s a good “new years resolution” blog about setting the importance of setting new habits. Whilst these are all very helpful, I would like to take things a step further and drill down a bit more into the HOW and WHY this can be successful.

Since I started as a Dietitian, I’ve been humbly inspired whilst following the journey of thousands of my clients improving their nutrition. Close interactions have also allowed me to share their greater life transformations of career, family life, relationships and health.

But what is happening here?

Being in lockdown had some benefits over the break including extra reading time. Below are some summaries from the book “You Are The Placebo” by Dr Joe Dispenza (Neuroscientist) which really hit home for me.

Conditioning

The truth is that the reason we are the way we are is due to conditioning. This happens from the moment we are born. The result? Events, people, places and moments outside of us impact factors like emotions inside of us. Effectively our experience of life is influenced by past memories and thoughts which elicit a response or change of being. This controls our actions.

What is really happening here is that a cue (a stimulus) is creating an experience. We will continue to live this way, unless challenged.

And so on.

So what if we could insert our own new conditioned stimulus? Could we not create a different response, outcome, action and emotion? Could we change our identity, personality or experience of life as we know it. Pretty powerful stuff.

Yep, you guessed it – we can also do this with food habits and choices too.

How to challenge conditioning and thought processes:

  1. Understand yourself: In the words of Dr Dispenza, “in order to change you need to be conscious of your unconscious self”. That’s why our clients often write food diaries and explore their reasons for eating.

  2. Expect a different outcome: We need to stop unconsciously anticipating the future by physiologically holding on to the past. When we are emotionally accepting of a different outcome, the brain finds it difficult to differentiate between what is imagined vs. what is real. That’s why we get our clients to set new expectations for themselves with positive outcomes linked to their goals. We also use motivational interviewing and are pillars of support to encourage change.

  3.  Add meaning to actions: When we understand something we put more intention behind the action. This means we will be more purposeful with our energy, focus and application. That’s why we educate our clients with evidence based nutrition and explain the reasons why individualised nutrition will produce results.

  4. Be patient, as change is uncomfortable: When we choose change this is essentially deep down modifying our genes. There will be the genetic death of our old self; biologically, neurologically and chemically (heavy, right). That’s why we have regular appointments for support and accountability.

  5. Repeat, repeat, repeat: Repetition of thought and action strengthens our neural pathways and hard wires our brain. Hard wire it in the right way, for the new YOU and who you want to be. That’s why the journey with a Dietitian takes time.

There is a reason Body Fusion Dietitian’s can assist with changing lives. We would love to help you, it brings us joy.

Wishing you health, wellness and growth in 2021.

Ash, Larissa and Tatiana

Original Article


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