It’s helpful to have several practical tools in our toolbox to support and grow skills needed for healthy habits when trying to implement changes for long-term health and nutrition goals.
If you’re already making some healthy changes to your nutrition and you’re struggling with feeling like you’re not doing enough and could be doing better try this…
At the end of the day, grab a notebook, and write down one nutrition-related win of the day. That’s it.
If you’re stuck, here are some examples:
– I ate lunch today (great if you often skip it).
– I ate a handful of veggies during my snack/meal.
– I increased my protein at breakfast.
– I drank more water.
– I listened to my hunger cues and ate.
– I listened to my fullness cues and stopped eating.
– I chose a specific food that gave me better physical and mental energy and skipped one that would have given me an energy crash and would have left me craving more.
Do that for one week, then move to writing down two wins, and then three wins. You could also choose to do it for meals rather than days.
Once you get to the end of the week writing three wins each day, you’re likely going to be more aware of your wins as they happen. At this point, you will likely start to acknowledge those wins as you go through your day. This occurs thanks to neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections. Basically, your thoughts from belittling yourself for not being “good” enough in your nutrition change to being more positive and helpful for encouraging healthy habits consistently, the ultimate goal. You’re essentially building and growing new neural connections and pruning others back. New behaviors take more mental energy and attention, so it’s understandable that those actions are more challenging in the beginning.
A healthy nutrition plan is not just about what you eat. Health defined by the World Health Organization encompasses physical, mental, and social well-being. If you’re eating according to you nutrition plan, but feeling mentally crappy about yourself for not being perfect, that’s not healthy. Your mental healthy is just as important – so try this quick exercise to show a little bit of self-appreciation, self-care, and give yourself a pat on the back.