“Just 3 weeks to go until my wedding!”
“I wanna lose 7 pounds in 3 weeks.”
“What if I’m unable to get in shape before my wedding?”
Such thoughts, and many others, flood our mind when setting goals for healthy eating and fitness. 99.99% of the time our goals will be overpowered by excuses that defeat the motivation within us.
So the question is – Can humans be demotivated so easily?
On the contrary, we see so many success stories around us. Athletes. Celebrities. Fitness freaks. Even ordinary people like you.
We’ll uncover why most of us are demotivated so easily when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. In doing so, we’ll figure out a cheat code to beat this demotivation in its own game.
The Human Psychology Behind Goal Setting
Whatever we do or want to do in life has a deep connection with psychology. The way we eat, the food we like or dislike – everything is governed by psychological principles.
For example, eating healthy means following a disciplined diet plan. We often associate discipline with pain, don’t we?
Wait a minute! We won’t end up relating demotivation with depression in this blog. The internet has enough of such articles already.
Coming back to our topic, we are here to understand why most diet plans fail at some point in time and leave us frustrated. So let’s find out about the same.
The Missing Rewards in Our Lifestyle
Our mind (a.k.a. psychology) associates goals with rewards. Speaking about a diet plan, let’s say your goal is to lose X percentage of fat in Y number of months.
The goal is set.
You’ve started working towards it.
A week passes by. Then two weeks, and then a month has gone by. Boom!
You discontinued the diet plan abruptly and returned back to your old eating habits.
Because you thought you were not losing a significant amount of fat. This ‘loss of fat’ was your goal i.e. reward and you did not get it. There are many reasons why this can happen but we’ll not go into the technicalities.
So what’s the real problem here?
The problem is: We are expecting superficial rewards (such as fat loss) in exchange for following a strict diet regime. We don’t have a broader vision when chalking out a diet plan or visiting a nutritionist.
Now, what’s this broader vision? It’s all about thinking at a deeper level while analyzing the benefits of your actions.
In simpler terms, having a broader vision means expecting the right type of rewards after doing any activity.
Let’s discuss the two types of rewards we can expect after following a diet plan (or anything else for that matter).
Two Kinds of Rewards: Hedonia and Eudaimonia
Don’t be overwhelmed after reading these two scientific terminologies. You don’t need to study them in-depth but just understand their fundamentals.
- Hedonia (H-rewards) means superficial pleasures including weight loss, lower calories, and good body shape. These rewards are usually short-lived.
- Eudaimonia (E-rewards) refers to those rewards (feelings) that give you a sense of meaning and purpose. Our happiness and overall well-being depends on them.
It’s easy to understand E-rewards through some good examples:
- A college student obsessed with pizza shifts to healthy eating habits when she realizes that her wish to become a fighter pilot demands good health.
- A diabetic grandfather avoids sugary products at all costs so that he can stay alive and play with his grandchildren for the longest possible time.
- A doting husband ignores the sumptuous dinner at a cocktail party (excluding the veggies) because he wants to stay healthy and live longer for his family.
The concept of E-rewards is not some philosophical assumption but is based on a scientific study. The study was published by a contributor to the Harvard Medical School blog.
Moreover, Aristotle always advocated E-rewards in his teachings. He pointed out that the ultimate goal of all humans is the feeling of well-being. This must be our primary focus while pursuing any of the health-related goals.
So E-rewards is the cheat code to eat healthily without feeling demotivated in the long term.
Summing it Up
Most strategies and tips to follow a healthy diet available today are tied to the H-rewards. But these will leave you more demotivated than before in the long term.
You need to adopt a strategic approach to realize all your goals while expecting E-rewards in return. If you’re unable to figure it out, seek one-on-one help from a professional mentor.
Create a list of all the E-rewards you expect in life and share it with us by leaving a comment below. Eat healthily and stay fit!
I have been working closely with Dr. Bharat Sangani for quite some time. I have been mostly managing the Health wing of Dr. Sangani’s Health, Wealth, and Wisdom University. As a team, I am enthusiastic to dissipate the importance of a healthy life to all the individuals who wish to be part of Dr. Sangani’s university.