#ProtipTuesday with Registered Dietician and Nutrition Blogger Toni Marinucci …….
I’ve seen it and heard it a thousand times: Man/Woman start diet, Man/Woman begin exercise program, Man/Woman lose weight, Man/Woman feel better, Man/Woman stops diet, Man/Woman stops exercising, Man/Woman gains weight, Man/Woman feels sluggish, Man/Woman starts diet again… and the cycle continues. So why do we think this is?
Many of us have a health goal in mind but never really think it through. We don’t anticipate life getting in the way and when it does we throw in the towel and give up because simply; it is just TOO hard. We lose faith in our original plan and decide our will power just isn’t strong enough. But what if I told you that you didn’t have to try so hard? What if I told you that the effort is minimal, but you will still get results?
This is where I get most people’s attention. But when I tell them that the results take time and you need to be patient, I lose people again. Think about when you have been successful in life, non-health related. Graduating college, getting a bonus at work, saving up and purchasing that trip you’ve always wanted. Not only did these events take time, but they also took a consistent effort. When you got a C on a paper, but needed a B to pass the class did you drop out of college? When you were told it would take a few extra hours per week to get that bonus at work did you quit your job? When your car broke down and you had to put money into fixing the engine did you cancel your trip? Some of these experiences may have been pushed back or modified but you never gave up on them. Why? Because they were important to you. In order to create change you need to want to, but with so much in the news, what’s on TV, what your friends/family are doing, it’s easy to get lost in that and not know what you truly want.
This is why I need you to follow these 8 steps to defog and get clear! Here is how you are going to get on track and stay on track:
1. Define what is important to you and WHY. Example: “I want to eat healthy because when I do I have more energy and feel better about myself.”
2. Write down your goals. Read them out loud. When you write down what you are going to do you are 2x more likely to do it, when you say what you are going to do out loud you are 3x more likely to do it! After you’ve done that ask yourself; are they realistic? If yes move to step 3. If no, re-visit step 1. Example of a realistic goal: “I am 30 pounds overweight and I would like to lose 20 pounds in 6 months. Example of a non-realistic goal: “I am 30 pounds overweight and I would like to lose all 30 pounds in 2 months.” Rapid weight loss is possible but it is not healthy and people usually lack energy in the process, which is the complete opposite of your why statement!
3. Assess what you need to make the goal become a reality. Example: I need to go grocery shopping weekly and buy healthy food so that it is in the house and top of mind for me to eat. I also need a good night sleep so that I am less likely to look for added sugar from iced tea and candy throughout the day.
4. Review what you need to get to your goal. Are these realistic changes? Example: If you average 4 hours a sleep per night aiming for 8 hours of sleep is not going to happen initially. You may need to start with going to bed 1 hour earlier than usual and eventually (slowly but surely) work your way up to the 8 hours.
5. Implement the 80/20 rule. Get rid of the all or nothing mentality. Example: Instead of eating healthy and portion controlled one day and then overeating the next, practice eating healthy on a daily basis but allow yourself to have something less healthy in a controlled portion (10 tortilla chips with 2 tbsp salsa/guacamole or 2 small chocolate chip cookies).
6. Anticipate what can go wrong, determine how you are going to handle it. Example: you plan to make a balanced nutritious meal for dinner, but then your friend asked you to go with her to your favorite restaurant. Options considered: Say “no thank you” this time around because you don’t feel confident enough to refrain from ordering your favorite fried food dish OR you review the menu before you go and tell your friend you are going to order a healthy dish this time around because you don’t like feeling sluggish after eating (once again, when you say what you are going to do out loud you are 3x more likely to do it, especially when you include the WHY.)
7. Get specific! Example: I will keep frozen vegetables in my freezer so that I can pop them in the microwave and add to my dinner.
8. When you feel like you’re going off track go back to number 1! Remind yourself of why you started working on your goal in the first place. Write down your successes and how far you have come from the start. Think about all of the progress you made and how much you deserve to be where you are. When you realize this keep pushing, slowly but surely! And remember it is not a diet, but a lifestyle change.
Toni Marinucci, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who helps people to improve their diet and quality of life on a daily basis.
For more information about her Toni or to learn how to eat healthy contact her at ToniMSRD@aol.com