Guaranteed Success: 6 Tips for Starting (and Finishing) Your Nutrition Plan
So many of us get bombarded with the new diet of the season, the most common question that I get is, “ Which diet works?”. The answer is simple: Any plan works. But, each has its own perks and drawbacks. And besides, if you are like me, I like to keep it simple, straightforward and relatable. If you are just getting started on a fitness and nutrition plan, here are the six essential steps you can take to minimize the overwhelm and garner the courage to step into a wellness plan.
First, choose what you like. Everybody is different. You’ve got to go with the foods you enjoy. If you know that you will suffer through the cabbage diet – choose another type. Our like or dislike for certain foods can be influenced by our genetics, metabolic profile (how your body uses and loses energy) and other factors, like accessibility to certain foods more than others (we will chat a bit about food deserts in a later post. Choose the program with the foods that you enjoy, be willing to try out some new recipes and new more healthier options.
Second, choose the highest quality, clean foods and supplements. Like our friends or our cousins: There are those that are the crazy ones and not the best influence and there are the ones who are like gold. Think of food in the same way, choose gold. Those that are healthy and whole. A lot like the foods we eat – choose the highest quality. In the nutrition world, we look at nutrient dense foods that have little to no-sugar, are not processed, and are packed with minerals and vitamins. In the Native world, they are all those good traditional foods and plant medicines. What foods will help your body function better? What will give you energy, help you focus or meet that contest goal? Do your research on healthy whole grains, omega fats and lean proteins – they do a body good.
Third, be willing to go through some highs and lows. If you are starting a new lifestyle change or getting back on course. Expect that you will have those days. The challenging ones, when you want to break down and eat everything in sight. When our body is used to certain foods, it will take time to adjust. Be patient, take it slow and find ways to adjust to a new wellness plan. Be willing and up for the challenge of adjusting to a wellness lifestyle it will be well worth it. Slow and steady always wins the race. Begin to fold in new daily habits.
Fourth, be consistent and follow through. When the days get tough, you will need to get tougher. Every wellness plan and routine should remain consistent. You can’t flip-flop around. In order for us to know success, we have to follow through. For example, if we reframe the way we think of diets like we think of our best friends, generally, we think of loyalty, commitment and follow through. If you believe that your best friend would go to the ends of the earth for you – then believe that you would do the same for you. Value and trust yourself enough to stick to the plan. Hold the line. Stay on course.
Fifth, timing and intention is everything. If you are a beginner, start small and work one or more of these into your life. Focus on timing and settling into a lifestyle change rather than going all out in one weekend. How your body adapts is all about timing and the intention behind what you are putting in your body and when. Timing can give us information, when do you feel most hungry? That is an indicator that your body is making adjustments. Notice the types of foods that you eat and when you eat it. How does it make you feel? Are you more energized? Do you feel tired? That is a clue into quality. How much water are you drinking? Do you have a headache? That could also be a clue.
Finally, mistakes will be made, get someone on your side to help you stick to the plan. We are going to make mistakes along the way. Having a trusted and skilled advisor, coach and trainer is key to success and helping you get back on track. The most important thing to think about in wellness and in our life is that we need to have people in our court, to cheer us on, to be brutally honest and caring at the same time. You deserve the best for you. Choose what is right for you, who the best fit is, and be clear in your communication with them about what is working and what is not working.
We all want to live a healthy life. Wellness plans are a lot like the people we surround ourselves with, how we spend our time and what we put in our bodies. Find out what you like, be willing to stick through challenges, be open to new experiences, be patient, and course correct. Most importantly, find a trusted trainer and coach who encourages you, but also challenges you to build up rather than stay down. Only choose the very best for you. Start simple. If you start here, you are bound for success.