When I first became a dietitian I was overwhelmed by my clients who needed to make several changes to their diet. I always had a hard time focusing on just one part of their diet, as I often felt obligated to make everything better in just one visit. I assumed they would never come back after the first meeting so I figured it was best to tell them everything they needed to know, right off the bat. Of course, what I didn’t realize then was that they certainly wouldn’t come back if I overwhelmed them with too much information and too many goals during our first meeting!
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I met with a client the other day who, like many people I see, had several areas of her diet that needed modified. She knew she needed to make some major changes to her diet and lifestyle, but she didn’t know where to begin (and in the past, neither would I). As I looked at her diet I thought to myself; she needs more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and less sugar, refined carbohydrates, and liquid calories.
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Instead of telling her all this, and completely overwhelming her and making her feel stressed, I focused on one thing; Sugar. I gave her four goals, one to complete for each week before we meet again. She left with a smile on her face, and I could tell she was motivated to change.
The next week I saw her and she told me she had already completed two of her goals, and was working on goal three. Obviously it isn’t always this easy, and like I said to her on that day, she will inevitably have days when she will want to revert back to her old ways, but that’s normal. The bottom line is that small changes do work, and while the outward results may not be completely evident right away, inside your body will be thanking you from the moment you make that first small change.
That brings me to the next segment of this post;
Have You Ever Wondered…….?
How people will quickly give up carbohydrates and eat beef jerky and eggs all day, but when you tell them to eat a piece of fruit they turn their noses?
How people will agree to give themselves shots of hormones and go on a 500-calorie diet, but if you told them to just start adding a bit more protein to their diets and be more active, they say it’s too hard?!
How people will sip on liquid meal replacements all day, but if you told them to just stop eating eating dessert every single night they say it’s impossible?!
Why does this happen?! It’s because we all want that quick fix, instant gratification. But the bottom line is that instant gratification only leads to future heartbreak. Wouldn’t you rather take it slow and be healthy for a lifetime? Wouldn’t you rather make small changes that lead to a lifetime of feeling good and making healthier choices?!
Tami from Nutmeg Notebook has created a “Small Change Challenge”. Go ahead and check it out if you’re interested in joining the challenge. The small change I am making is to not snack all day on my days off, and while at work. I know I know, I don’t have a weight problem, so who cares (that’s what you’re thinking, right?!). The point is to prove to myself that I can practice what I preach. It’s one thing to snack when you’re hungry, but lately I’ve been snacking on a full stomach. Not good.
QUESTION: What small change will you make during the next few months? Make sure it’s something that you can keep up for a lifetime!