The Psychology Behind Eliminating Gluten…what you can do!

glutenfreeMost people flounder when the time comes to make permanent changes in their eating and fitness routines or should I say non-existing routines?!

People generally make the hasty decision to lose weight, start an exercise program or go Gluten Free, all with the hopes that merely deciding to do so it is enough.

Before you jump into a new habit, take the time to plan for long term change.

Some people are familiar with the Trans-theoretical Model discussing the stages of change that people go through when making a change.

The five stages are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance.



This article focuses on the first three stages, as they are important in setting the foundations to create success with a new habit.

It all really comes down to proper preparation, physically and mentally to get the best possible results.

By taking the time to plan in advance how a new habit is going to fit into your lifestyle, you are more likely to enjoy the process and gain the rewards long-term.

Precontemplation is where you are not even thinking about making a change to your health and fitness routine.

Contemplation is where you start to think that maybe you should focus on your health and fitness, like going Gluten free.

You are intending to do so, but not just yet. Preparation is when you are ready to start preparing to take action.

Let’s look at each step in detail and how you can actually apply it to your life.

Precontemplation stage-

If you are at this stage, a part of you feels that you should start making changes to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle.

You are not really ready to make changes, so you delay doing anything about it.

So what is the best way to move towards contemplation?

Action Steps:

Ask yourself these key questions:

  • How is avoiding to make changes to my eating or lack of exercise routine costing me in terms of how I could live my life?
  • What is popping up that is preventing me from making the changes necessary to be healthier?
  • How am I justifying staying as I am?

Once you have established some of the reasons you have held yourself back in terms of making changes to your health and wellbeing, start making a list of your “why” to wanting to change.

What are going to be the benefits to creating a change? If you have something positive to move towards, you can start getting excited!

Contemplation stage-

This stage is where you know you need to make changes but are not really sure how to go about doing this, let alone ready to take action!

So what is the best way to move towards preparation?

Action Steps:

  • Start by taking a self- assessment of where you are at the moment in terms of your health and fitness.
  • Write down your baseline measures such as current weight, waist size, check with your doctor all your vital stats and decide on your ideal health & weight goals.
  • Assess what you currently eat, and how much gluten is really in your diet.
  • Assess how your new regime will fit in with your current lifestyle. Start by introducing a few small changes into your routine, such as eating less bread each day, or cutting out pasta all together for 1 week. At the same time you explore gluten free options to replace bread and pasta.
    These small changes can then act as a catalyst to launching a more structured regime.

Preparation stage-

This is the stage where you are getting prepared to do what is necessary to reach your goals.

You may have already made an attempt to change your habits.

This can be the fun part of the whole process, as you can literally design how you want your life to work.

No, it is not easy to always stick to everything you say you are going to do, but it is a start by moving in the right direction.

Action steps:

  • Create a plan of action on what you want to work on.
  • Write down your plan of action. For example, three times per week you are going to eat gluten free, eat 5+ fruit and vegetables each day and manage your stress levels by taking time out for you each day for at least 30 minutes.

Now that you have a vague idea of your goals, use the SMART rule to clarify exactly what it is that you want to achieve.

Be specific, make it measurable, achievable, be realistic and set a time limit.

Ask yourself if you need any expert guidance on helping you to achieve your goals, do you need to stock up on specific foods and do you need to purchase any equipment to help you achieve your goals?

This step is all about making sure you know exactly what you need to do to achieve what you desire.

The first three steps of this model are all about the pre-preparation to launch a new routine. By taking the time to work through these stages and prepare, you will reap more rewards from your efforts and set the tone for long term change.

Nalisha Patel

Author of Flat Belly Kitchen Book – Advanced Nutrition System for A Slim Sexy Belly

Click here to find out more about Flat Belly Kitchen Book

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