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Mates with Motivation

Last week I brought you news of a new initiative in New York City on the promotion of Farmer’s Markets. However, for anyone who has ever struggled with weight will know, fighting fat loss is about so much more than simply eating more vegies.

Often we know what to do – eat well, don’t go hungry between meals but don’t overeat, move everyday and keep workouts challenging. But even our best laid plans can get scarpered by everyday living, making staying on track tricky.

What often lurks beneath our best intentions, slowly sabotaging our inner slender svelte self is the belief that our ultimate goal is, quite frankly, unreachable. When talking about obesity, this feeling of hopelessness is often compounded by addiction. Addiction to processed junk created in laboratories by scientists and sold as food.

Food scientists, with vast R&D budgets and supported by teams of marketing people, create concoctions of precisely mixed ratios of cheap but addictive ingredients like salt and sugar and fats to engineer products to specifically target the ‘reward’ part of our brain.

Reward is a very powerful behaviour motivator and crucial to survival of mankind. Think about sex, for example, the desires and how it makes you feel! The reward factor associated with this behaviour ensures procreation and survival of the human race.

Exploiting this same reward area of the brain, scientists have learnt to engineer foods so addictive that willpower is powerless, making victims of us all.

Being mindful which are your trigger foods, while understanding why they must be removed completely from the diet forever, is one factor in the fight for fat loss and continued health.

The other is maintaining motivation.

Removing addictive foods can be a scary proposition. Learning tips and tricks on how to replace trigger foods with healthy options and keeping meals delicious, interesting and varied is the best step to ensuring that both nutrient needs are met, while taste buds are tantalised.

When changing habits, staying on track for the long-haul is a journey more likely reached when taken with others.

Social contact with like-minded people is a powerful reinforcer and whether it’s your partner, your mates, the people at work or professional trainer or nutritionist, it’s a proven way of staying motivated when the first flushes of inspiration wear off.

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