How's Your Nutrition Progress?

April 4, 2019

Back in February I wrote a post about simplifying your nutrition. I gave 2 simple rules that make a big difference: Eat less sugar and eat more unprocessed foods.So how’s it going? Maybe you’ve found that just because these rules are simple, doesn’t mean that they are easy. It’s a great reminder that we should use habits to tackle tasks we find challenging whenever we can.Habits are powerful. Habits don’t require lots of willpower, so you’re likely to do them even when you’re low on energy or high on stress. Here’s an article from the NY Times about giving up sugar for a month. Not only is there a bunch of great info on why eliminating sugar is a good thing, but the author also talks about habits. For better or worse, most of us tend to be creatures of habit. The reality is that bad habits are easy to get into (think hitting the snooze button instead of waking up to exercise or reaching mindlessly into that candy jar at work). However, the good news is that healthy choices can become your habit, and they get easier over time.So how do we build powerful habits? Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t try and change your entire world at once. Identify what ONE habit you can develop that will have the biggest impact on your goals. Don’t try and develop any other big habits until your first ONE is actually a habit.
  2. Know your personality. Some of us can have success going “cold-turkey”, but for many of us that’s a recipe for long term disaster. We can make huge changes for a few weeks, but eventually the pendulum starts to swing the other way. Here’s a practical example: If you have a big dessert 5 nights a week, maybe your habit is to only have a small dessert 1 night on weekends. Instead of just going for that right away, try setting a goal of only having a big dessert 3 nights a week for a month. Once that’s a habit, spend a month of having a small dessert 3 nights a week. Then work into having a big dessert 2 nights a week. You get the pattern. Take the time to set yourself up for success and plan how you’ll develop a long term, powerful habit.