How to change your mind (A psychologist’s perspective to improve healthy eating habits)

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written by Nina Shantel, blog:, published January 31, 2023

Changing one’s diet starts with mentally accepting change, giving up foods one enjoys, and putting changes into actions. Making big changes is hard, which I understand, but what I don’t understand is why some people won’t even make small changes to improve their health, when they are sick.

Why do sick people ignore health advise and allow their health to deteriorate, when others are proactive. To seek answers to these questions and others I have, I asked licensed clinical psychologist Marcy Witkin-Lupo, author of “The Embrace of Spirit, A Woman’s Guide to Mind/Body Healing,” if I could interview her and record the conversation for my YouTube channel. She agreed to the 30-minute video which you can watch below.

healthy food can taste delicious

Dr. Witkin-Lupo said there is no one definitive thing that makes one person amenable to change, but pain, a disease diagnosis, or a medical incident, is usually the driving source for change. For some people, a medical diagnosis will not make them change their diet or prompt them to exercise. Some people will have to have the heart attack before they start taking their heath seriously. Then, there are other people who still won’t make any changes to reduce their pain and exacerbate their symptoms and make them more susceptive to cancer and disease.

A healthy diet doesn’t just mean you have to eat salads

Reasons for avoiding exercise and refusing to give up processed foods, sugar, fatty foods, red meat, dairy and animal products are varied and can include one or more of the following reasons:

Denial – they are in denial of their medical condition, refusing to believe the diagnosis

False information – Some people don’t believe that diet and exercise can reverse disease and pain (in most cases, it can)

Negative attitude – they don’t believe they can change because other people tell them they can’t

Lack of confidence – they don’t believe they have the strength to change their habits

Pain is tolerable – the pain isn’t bad enough to make changes

Prefers instant gratification – would rather eat the burger now than put in the effort and time to look & feel good six weeks, six months or a year from now

Change is hard – changing ingrained habits is challenging

Unsupportive family or friends – having people around you that push you to eat unhealthy foods and engage in unhealthy habits makes it that much more difficult to make changes that you don’t really want to make

Unclear consequences – If the consequences of one’s actions or inactions aren’t clear, a person may not be motivated to make lifestyle changes

Undefined Why – To make permanent lifestyle changes, one needs to define why they are making these changes. Everyone’s reason for why they are making drastic changes varies from person to person, so your reason for giving up pizza and milkshakes, which may be weight loss, is different from another person’s reason for avoiding dairy, which could be to stop painful rheumatoid arthritis attacks.

People don’t exercise, don’t eat healthy foods, and continue harmful habits due to denial, false information they believe, a negative attitude, a lack of confidence, pain being tolerable, changing habits is difficult, having unsupportive family or friends, not connecting the consequences to one’s habits, and/or not defining why specific changes are needed.

To listen to the entire interesting interview with psychologist Marcy Witkin-Lupo, play the YouTube video.

Let me know why you exercise, why you choose to eat healthy food, or why you haven’t made changes to unhealthy habits.

If you have additional insights as to why some people will make positive changes and others won’t, please write in the comments below; multiple perspectives can be enlightening.

You can order Marcy Witkin-Lupo’s book, “The Embrace of Spirit, A Woman’s Guide to Mind/Body Healing,” directly through an on-line retailer, or you can contact her directly, $20 includes shipping, by emailing

Her book is about her personal story of abuse, how to acknowledge the past while living life without toxic fear and anger, and moving forward to live a happy, healing life.

To read about my story of illness and how I regained my health and lost excess bodyfat, and try my low-fat, plant-based, anti-inflammatory healing vegan diet, click the image below to order your copy of my paperback book, revised and re-published October 2022

Exercise is good stress for the mind and body; it doesn’t have to be grueling, it can and should be fun

If this post is located on any other website other than mine, which is, it’s been unauthorized, plagiarized (copied without my permission). The other social media sites where my articles and videos are approved to be published are on my YouTube channel (Nina’s Nutrition & Exercise Videos), my Fit Girl Facebook page and my Twitter account

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