HOW TO SUCCEED WITH YOUR NUTRITION
WANT IT AND KNOW WHY – If you want to change and you are doing it for yourself it will be easier to succeed. Do not just do it because your partner or your doctor said so. What is your big Why? Why do you want to make the change? How important is that change to you?
TAKE INVENTORY – REALITY CHECK – It helps to write a food diary and be honest. Write it all down and then look back at it.
IDENTIFY PROBLEM AREAS – Highlight areas such as high sugar or high fat treats, alcohol, skipping meals, large portions or eating late at night.
SET KEY GOALS – "lose weight" is not a goal. Eat more regularly, eat 4 servings of vegetables or no alcohol during the week are actionable goals.
MAKE A PLAN – Decide what you need to do to achieve your goals. If you need to eat more vegetables, you need to buy vegetables. If you do not grocery shop regularly, consider setting a day you do this every week. If you need to eat snacks or eat lunch, plan to set them out the night before and take them with you for the day.
GET ORGANIZED – Write a meal plan. As a minimum, select the 5-7 dinners you will make that week before you shop. Most people have 10 key dinners they rotate through each month. Consider you may eat out some meals or eat leftovers for others, so you don’t need to plan to cook more than 5 dinners in a week.
BE ACCOUNTABLE – Keep tabs on yourself at first or check in with someone so that you are accountable for your goals. Seeing a dietitian or personal trainer can help you with this and keep you motivated and inspired with new ideas.
PORTION CONTROL – Measure your food for a day so you can see how much you are eating vs. what you thought you were eating. You may be eating healthy foods but just too much of them. Cover 50% of your plate with vegetables so you eat less of the other higher calorie foods.
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS – Get rid of the junk in your cupboards. Make healthy foods more available such as a bowl of oranges on the counter. Make unhealthy food less convenient such as put the ice cream in the deep freeze instead of your fridge freezer.
DON’T BE PERFECT – Nobody can be perfect 100% of the time long term. Aim to eat well 80% of the time and not so well 20% of the time, the 80/20 Rule. This way there is still room for some of your favourite foods without feeling guilt. Remember deprivation often leads to binging and feeling guilt and failure in the end.
YOU’RE THE BOSS – You make the decision of what you are going to put into your mouth, nobody else. If you know what you want, each choice you make takes you one step closer or one step further from your goals. There is no nutrition police, you are in charge.
EXERCISE – Once you have a plan and start getting in the habit, stop spending so much time thinking about food and spend more time exercising and improving you as a person.