The Foundation of Nutrition Change
A simple plan for complicated people…
Most people know what good nutrition is:
Eat out less
A handful of Cheerios from the kids’ cereal bowl is not a balanced breakfast
For most people, nutrition is not rocket science. If we intuitively understand what good nutrition is, why are so many of us struggling to achieve it?
Of course, knowledge isn’t everything and often putting these principles into practice is more complicated. To know how to make our own nutrition better, we have to first take a look at our lives as a whole. We all are given a certain amount of time each day to spend on whatever it is we would like, and we spend that time on our top priorities. Somebody tells you they don’t have enough time to do something? What they really are saying is they don’t have any extra time to make that something a priority because other things are more important.
When someone is serious about improving their nutrition what they are really saying is they are ready to make nutrition a priority in their life. You may ask yourself then, what practical steps does someone take to spend more time on their nutrition? The list below is by no means exhaustive but is a good place to start.
Steps to Improve Nutrition:
Spend time researching and planning out meals that meet individual nutritional needs
Take the time to go to the grocery store consistently and invest a little more money on higher quality foods.
Carve out time to cook and prepare
Sit down and enjoy food. This means that, most of the time, eat without distraction.
These habits are a reflection of two things:
Making nutrition more important than other, day to day demands on one’s time.
Spending more total time thinking about nutrition each day.
All this is well and good but you may say “Cool, coach. Sounds good but I’ve tried and failed a million times before”
A practical outline for nutrition is often not enough to make changes toward long term nutrition improvement. The missing piece for most is accountability.
I’ve been amazed in my personal life at what a little accountability can do for progress towards a goal. For nutrition, agreeing on habit changes with someone and seeing those changes out are important to seeing long-term progress. Remember, if you are looking to make a change to your nutrition then you aren’t happy with the approach you’ve been taking up to this point. Furthermore, having someone to report to on the actions you are taking to improve your eating will almost certainly make it more likely that you complete the steps laid out above.
Assuming we have the knowledge needed to eat, perform, and look better what’s probably missing are habits that put into action the steps needed to improve our nutrition and some guidance and accountability (probably from a nutrition coach) in executing these habits.
This may sound pretty straightforward, but it’s very difficult for most people to follow. Unlike most nutrition pitches, this one takes time. Changing one’s routine and priorities is a small step process (if it’s to be effective) and will require patience and a long-term outlook on lasting results. This is why many of us struggle with meeting our nutrition and body comp goals for long periods of time. Like anything else worthwhile, this takes constant effort and attention to realize. The first step, though, is understanding that the plan itself is not very complicated. Pick the right habits to change, find some accountability to stay on track, and keep it up long-term. If this is done, results are sure to follow.