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The all-or-nothing mindset trap: What is it and how we can overcome it

Monday has come around and you decide it’s time for a fresh start. You throw out all your sweet food, swear you’ll only eat salads, and vow to go to the gym every day. While you might be driven by new motivation and determination for a while, come Wednesday, you are already burnt out, lethargic, and craving chocolate. Instead of having some and moving on, you eat a whole block, tell yourself you’ve failed, and vow to start again next week. 

Does this cycle sound familiar? Unfortunately this is the case for a lot of people who go through the viscous yo-yo dieting cycle of restriction and bingeing. While extreme restriction and strict dieting methods may yield short-term results, it’s no way to achieve long-lasting, sustainable and healthy ones. 

That’s why we need to ditch the all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to training and nutrition. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ diet, and no one is motivated and driven all the time, which is why health and fitness isn’t a destination, but a process. There will be good days, bad days, and days in between, but where we see real progress is when we can have the bad days without becoming completely derailed and falling off the track. 

I like to think of the car analogy. Imagine you are driving along a road, and you suddenly get a flat tyre. Would you get out of your car and slash the rest of your tyres? No, you’d simply change the tyre, and keep going. You may get to your destination slower because you had to stop for a while, but you’ll still get there. That’s how we should view our health and fitness journeys. There will always be obstacles, but it’s important we work on our mindset and make sure we are equipped to deal with them. 

So, here are my best tips for how to ditch the all or nothing mindset and make sure your relationship with training and nutrition is healthy and sustainable long-term: 

  • Never restrict. Give yourself permission to eat a wide range of foods and you won’t become obsessed over what you can and can’t have. 
  • Stop labelling foods as good or bad. 
  • Focus on how you talk about yourself. Stop saying you were ‘bad’ if you had a treat or ‘good’ if you had a salad. 
  • Work on your mindset around nutrition and training. Do you feel guilty if you miss a workout? Ask yourself why, and get to the bottom of why you actually think this. 
  • Make sure your day to day habits align with your goals and who you want to be. 
  • Don’t punish yourself for slipping up. We all do it. Just put it behind you and move on.  

If you’re looking for community of hype girls, a coach who will guide you on your journey and a simple approach to training and nutrition to fit around your lifestyle, why not check out Train With Soph, my online coaching membership platform and app. I’ll create training and nutrition programs for you to follow, updated every 4 weeks based on you and your progress! Head here to check out the membership options!

Soph xx