First penned by fitness blogger Dani Shugart, the “If I… then” principle is designed to help you think ahead and anticipate how everything you do now will affect your results later on. You would use this strategy to consider the undesirable consequences of certain behaviours that are holding you back from achieving your desired health and fat-loss goals. For example, drinking alcohol on a daily basis not only increases your risk of life threatening disease, it also makes fat-loss very difficult because of the excess calories consumed as well as the toxic-nature and hormone-disruptive properties of alcohol. So, before reaching for your nightly glass of wine or beer, say to yourself: “If I drink this tonight, then I will sleep poorly, increase my risk of cancer and also undo any fat-loss results I have achieved today.” This principle helps you mentally picture yourself suffering these consequences and you will soon be motivated to put that wine away to save for a special occasion. You can apply this principle to any other unhealthy habit that you think is holding you back from your goals whether it’s smoking, unhealthy late-night snacking or your mid-afternoon chocolate fix. This strategy also works for habits you want to adopt too. Let’s say that you want to start exercising early in the morning, you could say to yourself: “If I exercise tomorrow morning at 6am, then I’ll feel a lot more energized throughout the day and I won’t have to worry about trying to get to the gym after work which is always such a stressful rush.” Or maybe you’re the type of person that doesn’t eat breakfast. Saying to yourself each morning “If I eat a healthy breakfast today, then I know I am much less likely to grab unhealthy snacks throughout the day and I’ll also avoid overeating when I get home this evening.” Health and fat-loss really is a mental game and our inner dialogue plays a massive role in our results. So, try the “If I… then” principle for yourself and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.