When you set a goal there’s a specific process within your brain that determines how or even if you achieve it. The principles of the Placebo Diet are as much about learning how your brain works as teaching you what foods to eat, and this is one the most important elements of all, learning how to set a goal and make sure you not only achieve it, but do so without experiencing any pain or deprivations. If the strategy you try to follow to reach a goal means any sense of unhappiness or loss of pleasure, then you will self-sabotage and fail, no matter how much you think you want to achieve it. You will literally bully yourself into submission. So, what is the solution? The first step is to fall in love with the benefits of achieving it. I don’t mean just sit and think “wouldn’t it be nice if….” I mean REALLY love what it would mean. Sure, being slimmer is a nice visual, but that’s not enough to really fire up your neurons, you need to associate massive pleasure with what it will mean. When you do this several areas of your brain work together to increase your chances of achieving it and doing so in a way that you enjoy. After all if you choose a weight loss strategy you don’t enjoy, but stick to it anyway until you reach your desired size or shape, once you cross the finishing line your brain will mark it as “done” and immediately begin to delete the behaviours that caused you pain, even if they brought you “success”. Your food and activity habits are what determine the size, shape and health of your body. That’s great if they are good habits, but even bad habits will fight to defend their neurological position if you ignore them. Have you ever tried to say to yourself “no don’t have that …You are being “good” today” and yet at the same time associate real pleasure with eating or drinking whatever it is? This creates conflict in your brain and it knows the habit you are trying to stop brought you instant reward, so that habit becomes like a bully literally goading you into doing it. What happens next is an internal row usually in the form of internal dialogue, something like “oh go on you deserve it” or “just this one and then I’ll start tomorrow” etc. etc. etc.… this is the exact process that often results in you giving in to the bully and eating or drinking it. When you truly and completely fall in love with the outcome, and then visualise the benefits over and above getting in your jeans, then your neurology is better equipped to deal with the bully. If you have already followed the Placebo Diet programme you will know that you can’t break a habit, but you can change it. That’s because the triggers that generate the behaviour don’t disappear, you will still be exposed to the food and drink temptations, so you must train your brain to react differently to them. If you can do one thing that will help you pacify the bully in your head and create habits that are your friends, then you must love the process as well as the outcome. Look at your habits, and the cues or triggers, and create alternative behaviours or responses that you can use that don’t make you feel deprived or as if you are missing out. Imagining walking past that biscuit tin and having no desire to open it at all or opening the fridge and not reaching for a piece of cheese even when you are not hungry.