Highlight the positives!
If you were to do an exam and you got 75/100 I’m sure most of us would think, “Nice I passed!!”
It’s not very often you’ll think “I didn’t get 100%, I failed!”
For some reason when it comes to nutrition we tend to focus on the negatives, the slip-ups, the things that didn’t go so well. We think that one slip up, one day off planned means we’ve failed.
If we hit protein and plants for 3 out of 4 meals, we feel like a failure because we missed once? But it’s 75%!
If we nail our nutrition every weekday but overindulge on a Saturday and then nail it again on Sunday, we only focus on the Saturday? But that’s 6/7 – 86%!
We pay more attention to negative events than positive ones. It is a fairly common human trait to focus on the negatives. 9 things go well in a day but you’ll probably notice the 1 that goes wrong. It’s known as negative bias.
Let’s shift it to a positive bias!
There is research that suggests that when humans take time to look for the good things that happen to them every day, after one month our brains start scanning the world for positives rather than negatives. Other research shows that when people practise gratitude and positivity it can result in improved sleep quality, greater life satisfaction, and well-being.
But why is this important for nutrition?
Highlighting what went well can help you feel more positive about your nutritional habits.
You may feel less stressed about your diet, you may improve your sleep quality whilst having overall greater health and happiness as a result. And if you’re feeling good about it, you may be more likely to stick to it.
The next step is to reflect on WHY certain parts went well.
If you nail your breakfast every day, reflect on why. Is it because you’re prepared?
If you nail your weekdays, reflect on why. Is it because you have a plan?
If you do really well-buying food at a restaurant, reflect on why. Is it because you know how to scan the menu for protein and plants?
See if you can use the common traits that lead to your success in the areas of your nutrition that need a bit of work