24 Jan Small Steps to Win Big
People often ask me what changes they should make to their diet in order to improve their health or to help them lose weight. Sometimes they are looking for a quick and easy solution to a complicated problem. The answer I give them is often simple, but not in the way they are expecting.
They’re used to hearing about a super food that will change the course of their health, a shake that will magically burn belly fat, a pill that will take away hunger or an herb they saw on Dr. Oz. These seemingly effortless solutions proposed through social media, on television or through popular culture differ from the ones I present.
Instead of coming up with a “miracle food” addition or leading a discussion on low carbohydrate versus high fat diets, I now ask them to tell me one area where they think they can improve their diet.
Most people know the answer. And quickly! It’s often that they eat too much fast food, drink too much soda (or sweet tea here in South Carolina), binge a large late-night snack right before bed or don’t manage their portion sizes at all.
After we settle on a problem, we take a few minutes to come up with a solution, a plan to help them change this one behavior. This usually involves picking a replacement food or developing a strategy to change the drinking or eating pattern that is compromising their health. I write down the plan and send it home with them like a prescription. We don’t focus on weight loss.
When we meet at the next office visit, we take stock of how it is going. If we still need to work on that same problem, we do it. If the issue has resolved completely, we celebrate and pick another one to tackle.
Often, people get caught up trying to figure out which is the absolute best diet, which super foods we need to eat or whether we need to limit fat or carbohydrates. For most of us, it’s better if we start simply. Let’s pick one thing in our diet we can change to make things better. Maybe it’s eliminating something we know is bad for us. Maybe it’s adding a fresh vegetable to dinner. Maybe it’s eating out less each week.
This is a process, not a quick fix. Let’s focus on the things we can control and make sustainable changes to the parts of our diet we know that are negatively impacting our health.
#ChangeYourBuds (Join the movement!)