5 Ways to Better Health Without Food Restriction
Blueberry Nutrition's philosophy is that small changes can lead to big-time results. In fact, when you begin coaching with me, we don’t even look at your food choices until you are ready to examine them. There are a host of foundational practices that can be put in place first to make weight loss and wellness much easier.
Maybe you’ve tried to get healthy in the past and it hasn’t worked out. That doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you a fighter!
In those attempts you have :
- Gained knowledge about health, wellness and nutrition
- Figured out what tasks are easy for you and what are hard
- Decided what you are willing and able to do for weight loss.
It may be that your previous programs failed in the following ways:
- They asked you to make too many changes at once, leading to burn-out
- They espoused one particular diet that didn’t fit with the realities of your life.
- They didn’t give you the skills to put their recommended changes into action.
Eating better is the most sustainable way to lose weight and feel good for life. No breaking news there, right? So why aren’t we all doing it?
Most people make it too hard and try to go from eating horribly to eating perfectly overnight. We both know that doesn’t work, and that’s why I created this program and it’s why I coach differently.
As a health coach I am not:
- A drill-sergeant or bully who will guilt you into eating well.
- A cult-like follower of any specific diet plan
- Worried about reaching MY goals, I’m worried about yours.
- Focused on what worked for me. I’m instead, focused on creating a plan that will work for you.
The following lessons will provide tips, tricks and daily practices to make non-food related changes that can make eventually improving how you eat much, much easier.
It’s all about your MINDSET
When you begin a wellness journey it may seem like you are at the bottom of Mt. Everest...maybe with no gear and a swimsuit.
You know you have endless tasks to tackle and what may seem like limitless changes to make. It’s all incredibly overwhelming.
The key to starting off on the right foot is to make sure you are in the right mindset.
Perhaps you feel as if:
- You hate to exercise
- You’re afraid to walk into a gym for the first time
- You love dessert and don’t want to give it up
- You don’t know what you will do without food for comfort.
Here are two solutions:
1) Create your own Super Persona
Having an alter ego can really help. When Beyonce first started singing she was in a very conservative church choir. Her dad signed her up for a dance troop. The troop wore provocative clothing, danced to racy songs, and was a complete 180 change from what she knew.
Instead of shrinking from this challenge, Beyonce created an alter-ego, Sasha Fierce. When she went on stage with the troop, she embodied the strong, sexy woman she needed to be to dance. By the time her first album came out, Beyonce was able to drop the secret identity, because she was now Sasha Fierce herself.
So think of the absolute best version of yourself and create your own alter ego. Give her a name. Maybe draw her in a journal. Embody her at the gym, when you cook, when you eat.
The more actions you take under this new persona, the more connections are made in your brain to make continuing those actions even easier.
2) I don’t vs. I can’t
Instead of looking at changes in your diet as restriction, view them as part of your transformation process.
Saying “I don’t eat donuts” is much more empowering than saying “I can’t eat donuts.” It helps you to embody the new healthy person you want to be, and reinforces the choices you have made to improve your eating habits. Saying “I can’t” leads to feelings of deprivation and restriction. In fact, a study showed that people who say “I don’t” actually end up eating fewer processed foods than those who say “I can’t.”
The bottom line:
Embrace the new you before she even arrives. Build daily actions that align with your alter ego. You’ll be her in no time.
Every action is a vote for the person you want to be.
Make Building Healthy Habits Easy
Reaching your health goals can only be done through the creation of habits. Whether we realize it or not, everything from brushing our teeth to putting on our seatbelts happens almost mindlessly. Those actions are a result of deeply rooted patterns in our brains.
In order not to feel as if we are constantly swimming against the tide, we need our eating to be just as easy and engrained.
Blueberry’s coaching helps you do this by making very small changes every two weeks. Together, we create a customized habit-path that stacks success upon success. Once complete, your healthy lifestyle is effortless.
The key is to make practicing these habits easy. This is done through small changes in your environment, and pairing new habits with old ones.
Here are a couple examples:
How to Eat Healthy Without Noticing
Listed below are a few tips from Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating.
- Use smaller plates. if you made a simple change and served your dinner on 10-inch plates instead of a 12-inch plate, you would eat 22% less food over the course of the next year.
- Want to drink less alcohol or soda? Use tall, slender glasses instead of short, fat ones.
- Vertical glasses will look bigger than horizontal ones and will therefore naturally help you drink less.fact, you will typically drink about 20% less from a tall, slender glass than you would from a short, fat glass.
- Keep healthy foods on the counter and less healthy treats hidden in the back of a cupboard. Or, even better, make yourself drive at least 15 minutes to indulge.
- Wrap unhealthy foods in tin foil. Wrap healthy foods in plastic wrap. The old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” turns out to have some truth to it.
How to adopt a new habit
- Make it easy.
- Set out your gym clothes the night before.
- Keep an extra workout outfit and sneakers in the car
- Keep fresh fruit visible
- Keep bottled water by your med with any medications you need to take
- Put your phone out of sight when you arrive home
- Put the new habit next to an old one
- Floss right after your brush your teeth
- Meditate before you reach for your phone
- Take one deep breath before buckling your seatbelt
- Grab fresh veggies before you sit down to watch TV
When you work one on one with me, I’ll be able to help you create new healthy habits by talking through your existing schedule and environment. You’d be surprised at how easy and rewarding this can be.
Three Things You Can Do to Lose Weight
(without changing what you eat)
Do you want to start taking steps toward better health, but you aren’t ready to change your meals quite yet?
Here are three things you can do right now to accelerate your way to wellness.
Put Your Fork Down
I have had clients lose 15 pounds just faithfully using this one practice. Once you take a bite of food, put your hands in your lap. Finish chewing completely. Then pick your fork up and begin again. This simple action will allow you to recognize more easily when you are full. It also sends clearer signals to your brain that you are eating, helping you to become full more quickly. Plus, you actually get to enjoy your food instead of wolfing it down.
Focus on belly happiness
While we all know that rush of dopamine we get when we bite into a donut, you may be surprised to know that we get another rush when highly-nutritious foods hit our stomachs. In fact, this rise in dopamine is longer-lasting and provides feelings of satisfaction and well-being. This surely beats the donut quick-fix. Aim for a feeling of moderate pressure in your tummy, as well as a feeling of lightness after your meal. If you want to head directly for the couch, you won’t get the same feeling of wellness from the food. Remember, this only works with nutrient-dense foods, so keep this in mind when trying this practice.
Sleeping burns fat, produces collagen to reduce wrinkles, and gives us the energy to make better eating decisions the next day. It’s when we are tired and run down that we tend to skip the gym and order a pizza. Just making rest a priority can be the difference between being stuck and being on the road to better health. Turn off all electronics one hour before bedtime. Consider deep breathing exercises before bed. Keep a pen and paper bedside to get out all your worries. And finally, try to regulate your sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up around the same time everyday.
When you work one on one with me, we will customize these habits to help you gain control over your health. I have many more tricks up my sleeve!
Knowledge vs. Action
So, we all know how to get healthy. Eat whole foods. Be active. It’s simple! I’m sure this isn’t the first nutritional info you’ve read. I would bet you follow social media accounts, subscribe to newsletters, and may have even tried to make a few changes on your own. You may even know the calorie counts of every food you eat, and have tracked your meals for years.
But there is a HUGE difference between knowing about nutrition and putting it into practice. This is why a coach is crucial. It’s my job to find what motivates you. It’s my duty to walk ALONG the path with you--not lead, not follow--so that together we can get you to where you want to be.
The first step is to determine what your goals are. There are two types of goals:
- Outcome Based Goals
- Behavior Based Goals
Outcome based goals are important because they describe the end-game, your destination, your goal weight or your picture of perfect health. But here’s the thing: we really don’t have control over outcomes. There are so many factors that are outside of our control. What we have control over is our behavior.
When you work with Blueberry, you will discover the behaviors that can help to push your toward your outcome. It is these small actions, practiced daily, that are under our control. A coach should make these actions easy and accessible, as well as provide support during their practice.
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