“Okay Emily so you said that any ‘diet’ can work? That there is no one best diet? So how do I actually find the right diet for me? Where do I start? HOW do I start?”
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” -Pablo Picasso
Start with ONE habit.
Work backwards. Look at your goal. What is it you want to achieve? Then ask yourself, WHY? Why do you want to achieve this goal?
Many people skip this step and end up falling off the wagon as soon as Friday night rolls around and a plate of nachos crosses their path. If you nail down your WHY you’ll be less likely to indulge when it doesn’t fit with YOUR path. That’s not to say you can’t have those nachos! It’s just about planning when you’re going to indulge in said nachos (more on those nachos later).
Once you’ve determined your why, think about the types of habits that will get you there. Then pick ONE habit. One thing. Then work on succeeding with that habit for two weeks or so.
Let's look at an example:
Goal: I want to lose weight.
Better Goal, including the WHY: I want to lose weight and reduce my body fat so that I can look good in my bathing suit this summer for my family vacation. I also want to be more fit so that I can play and keep up with my kids who are full of energy.
Or, I want to achieve lifelong health so that next time I go to the doctor, my blood lipids are back into the normal range. My family has a history of heart problems, and I want to start getting ahead of that and work to prevent any future problems for me!
Habit Ideas: Eat breakfast daily, eat less dessert, eat more protein.
The ONE thing, The Habit: Replace my typical afternoon dessert with a piece of fruit.
Then.. Crush that ONE thing, that ONE habit every day for one to two weeks. Keep a checklist and physically check it every time you hit that goal. Once you’ve been successful for one or two weeks (depending on how hard the habit is) MAKE IT HARDER or add a new habit to your repertoire.
Add that new habit to your checklist. Crush it for two weeks, rinse and repeat. Before you know it, you’ll have built up an army of healthy habits that work for YOU and YOUR life. Not someone else’s meal plan, thirty day challenge, or diet prescription, but YOU. You’ll no longer be trying to fit your life into a diet, but you’ll have a “diet” that fits into your life.
Now back to those nachos.. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from clients about what foods they can and cannot eat. And my answer is always it depends! Do you love nachos? Is eating a plate of nachos once per week going to keep you sane and happy? Then eat the dang nachos!
But how will I lose weight/reach my goal?
You’re going to develop great habits before and after the nachos. You’ll be making sustainable long term changes to your eating habits so that there is no anxiety before the nachos and no guilt after. (Mental stress around food is not conducive to losing weight). You’ve already set yourself up for success and you can each the nachos without reservation. Because you’ve got a plan.
Don't like nachos? Great. Insert any other item for nachos. Is it Saturday date night? Weekly girls night with wine and pizza?
The list could go on with the amount of social events and delicious foods surrounding us. And that's okay. The key is to get on the right path for you, (starting with ONE DAILY HABIT), that allows you to enjoy food, enjoy your life, AND be healthy at the same time. YES, THIS IS POSSIBLE.
The habits you start today can build the lifestyle you live tomorrow, so what are you waiting for?