Change is hard! When we think about dietary changes we usually go down the road of an overhaul. This may be a meal plan, a 12 week challenge or eating less and moving more. While it’s a positive move to prioritise your health, you usually bite off more than you can chew! (Laugh here!) The overhaul technique is often time consuming, riddled with rules of what you can and can’t eat and has so many new elements to remember, you become incredibly fatigued and overwhelmed.
In all of these experiences we are often looking for an end product by means of an achievement or fixing something in our life. Even though we do learn a lot from this, are we setting ourselves up for an never ending cycle of I’m off the health wagon, I’m on the health wagon? How can we change this cycle?
LEARN MORE ABOUT YOURSELF
When it comes to health, it really requires you to learn more about yourself and focus on the process not the outcome. Outcome based measures make you obsessed with the final product or result. It becomes something to tick off and then we often revert back to old ways. Process based goals or measures focus on the daily rituals, actions and behaviours without the pressure of a result. These are more achievable and focus on the learning.
ADD, DON’T DELETE OR RESTRICT
When you tell yourself that you can’t eat something and restrict foods this causes a greater obsession with food and results in bingeing. A healthier mindset would be to take the opposite thought; allow yourself to see that ALL foods can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. Consider what you need to add to your diet. It could be adding more colour to your meals, having a serve of veggies for morning or afternoon tea, eating breakfast more consistently or increasing low GI carbohydrate foods at lunch time to avoid the afternoon slump. The more wholefoods you eat from the five food groups the less you feel like of the other stuff.
HOW DO I FOCUS ON THE PROCESS?
Remember this is a learning process. Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we have to KNOW IT ALL and DO IT ALL WELL. Ditch the perfectionism and learn to become comfortable with being imperfect. Take one small achievable task that you can repeat daily. Set a SMART goal!
S(pecific) Goal: I’d like to eat more fruit.
M(easurable): 1 piece of fruit for morning or afternoon tea each day.
A(ttainable): Include 3 different fruits in weekly shopping this week.
R(ealistic): Yes! I can do this easily and it doesn’t require too much effort.
T(imely): I can work on this goal daily over the next two weeks and evaluate how it’s working for me weekly.
Your turn now! What process will you add to your daily routine?