By Janet Early
Elimination diets have become a very popular trend over the past decade. They involve exactly what the name implies: restricting foods from your diet in order to lose weight.
Unfortunately, elimination diets often ignore the wellness piece of health. Self-deprivation can have some nasty side effects, such as increased feelings of anxiety and strong cravings for the foods that you “can’t” have.
While these harmful side effects can be true for a nutritional diet, a Mental Elimination Diet – let’s call it a Mental Replacement Program in which you reduce the negatives and up the positives in your mind – can work wonders on your daily mood, energy levels and even weight management journey.
To embark on a thorough mental cleanse, try this Mental Replacement Program:
Focus On Removing These From Your Daily Thought Process:
And Replacing Them With:
Easier said than done, yes. But here’s how you can do this (and you CAN do this!):
#1. Start Right Away
I have come away from many an article thinking “that had really practical advice. I should try some of those tips sometime.” Spoiler: “Sometime” never comes, because we are busy people with a lot going on.
Make “sometime” now. Get started on your Mental Replacement Program by sitting for 3-5 minutes right now wherever you are, closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing and activate mindfulness.
Or, jot down 3 things that you are grateful for that happened yesterday and 3 health goals that you wish to accomplish by the end of the week. Stop pondering on all the negativity and see just how much good there is in your life right now – this alone can make drastic, yet incredible alterations to your mentality.
#2. Recognize When The Negative Thoughts Come Up
Just like if you were doing a food-based elimination diet, it is important to recognize when cravings for the stuff you are trying to avoid arise.
For example, if someone acts rudely towards you at work and your first reaction is anger, acknowledge the impulse and then transition yourself towards empathy.
Maybe that person is having a really bad day or has a major stressor going on in his/her personal life. You never know what people are dealing with on an intimate basis, just like most people don’t realize the struggles you are facing.
One of my favorite quotes is by Plato:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Another instance that could occur is if you judge yourself too harshly in the mirror. Thoughts like “if only I was thinner,” or “the bags under my eyes are ugly” are not going to do you any good or make you any happier!
So get ‘em outta there and focus on the beautiful parts of yourself. For example, “my hair is on fleek today,” or “these jeans make my curves look amazing.” Self understanding is way more powerful than self-doubt or self-pity. And the latter emotions will ultimately take you backwards in your health journey, not forward – so why waste any more time with them
#3. Retrain Your Mind
The biggest flaw with elimination diets is that they are usually used only temporarily. Once people either give up or reach the results they were aiming for, they often return to their previous ways and restart munching on processed and chemical-laden foods.
We are not going to do that in our Mental Replacement Program, because this program is designed to work for life.
To make the positive mental changes you make permanent improvements in your life, you need to retrain your mind to #1: Acknowledge the negatives and #2: Learn to respond to them in an automatic positive way.
It is going to be a conscious process at first until your brain gets the hang of the new, more positive you.
This means that you need to be diligent about transitioning to a positive thought process after you recognize that you are experiencing a negative emotion like guilt, worry, or jealousy and succeed it with a positive reaction like forgiveness or compassion.
After a while, you won’t even need to try. You will have repowered your brain to be a positive responder and not a volatile reactor.
#4. Enjoy The Results!
This one’s easy. Once you develop an optimistic outlook, daily life will radically improve.
Adopting a positive mindset creates a warm energy around you that attracts others, helps you cope with stress and reduces anxiety. Plus, it has powerful physical benefits as well that you will start to notice, like improved skin and healthier weight management results.
This Mental Replacement Program is 100% an elimination diet that we can get behind!
When do you plan to start building a more positive mindset? Do you have any other tips for adopting an optimistic outlook? Please comment below and join the conversation!
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