Check out the latest blog from my partners and me at Just Sweat Fitness. We are starting to outline how we’re integrating Habit-Based Coaching.
Making amazing nutrition changes one step at a time
Today, I am going to write about habit formation as it relates to making nutrition and lifestyle changes. Habit formation, in this way, is creating smaller changes and building upon those habits, rather than attempting to make extensive overhauls at once.
The benefits of creating smaller habits: When we are successful with something, like a single habit (regardless of what that happens to be), we can begin increasing our confidence in our abilities to make changes.
Added confidence can lead to feeling more motivated to make further changes, can add to our desires to create and maintain the changes we implement, and this, in turn, can help move us toward incredible and lasting transformations (physically and otherwise).
How are meal plans different?
Meal plans can have a helpful place and can work for some of us, but they can also lead to feeling overwhelmed, may not fit into a “real life” context, and can be overly stressful when attempting to navigate and integrate into our lives.
While all changes usually come with some discomfort (we need to step outside of our comfort zones to make changes), we can make meaningful changes with a smoother transition and with less potential for giving up (or potentially reverting to old habits with a vengeance) than we may with meals plans.
How can we begin with introducing new habits?
Start small. An awesome way to start creating habits is just to start with any habit. This doesn’t have to be nutrition related. It could be meditating for 5 minutes, stretching every morning, drinking green tea each morning, scheduling your day, getting outside and playing with your child for 5-minutes longer each day. Anything goes! The sky is the limit.
Focus on this one habit for a week or two. Don’t worry about building on it yet (although your mind will likely tell you that you should be doing more! Don’t listen; just keep focusing and building upon this). Next, try something else. If you want to continue trying out how we do things while we coach clients through habit based coaching in the ProCoach Platform, the next step is to eat slowly.
When we eat slowly, our bodies have a better chance for efficient nutrient absorption, digestion, and can be an all-around enjoyable experience for us (as eating can and really should be). Also, when we are eating slowly, our fullness cues are more likely to be noticed by us, so we become a lot less likely to overeat, can have a higher likelihood of stopping before we become full and this, in turn, can lead to increased control over our intake of food.
When we are eating quickly (which most of us can tend to do in this often hectic and fast paced world) we can miss out on the enjoyable experience eating can be, can have a higher likelihood of digestive issues, can over-eat, under-eat, and more.
Tips to help make this work for you:
- Write about your goal in your day planner (by hand or electronically
- Write it where you’ll see it often (on the fridge, a note on the kitchen table, etc.)
- Put your fork and knife down in between bites of food
- Use a timer to pace your meals to
- Take two breaths in between each bite
- Chew food to liquid before swallowing
Plan it into your week, try eating slowly and watch what happens. If you’re up for keeping track of your experience, try tracking with a journal.
And please feel free to share your experience! If you’d like support on your journey, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Stay tuned for the next habit to be shared next week.:)
Check out this amazing video to learn more about what integrating ProCoach into your plan can do for you: