Being overwhelmed with diets and nutrition is all too common. The first popular mainstream diet formed in 1863 when William Banting created a detailed brochure as to how a low-carbohydrate, low-calorie diet led him to dramatic weight loss.
Hundreds of years later, many people are still looking for the ‘magical’ diet to get them to the weight and health they desire. Thanks to the internet, we have more information than ever at our finger tips. However, this volume of information can cause you to experience diet overwhelm. You may find yourself wondering: What is the perfect diet for me anyway?
In my nutrition practice, I often hear “I know what to do, I just don’t do it!” If you can relate to this, you may be suffering from diet overwhelm. The good news is that working through the following steps will help tremendously. The hardest part of anything is getting started. The same applies here.
Here are the beginning steps to getting your eating on track:
First, make a list of everything you “know” you need to do to improve your nutrition plan. This is everything from eating more vegetables to drinking more water and reducing your sugar intake. Don’t stop writing until you have a complete brain dump of everything you have learned throughout the years in your previous dieting experience. Second, pick one healthy thing from the list that you are already doing to some extent. For example, maybe you want to drink more water. You are drinking a few bottles a day, but you’re still not at your goal. Third, make this goal your priority this week. Write it out in more detail than just “I want to drink more water.” Instead, it should say something like, “I’ll drink half my body weight in ounces this week in clean, filtered water.” If that’s too much, start with whatever you confidently feel you can do. Fourth, plan how you will meet this goal. For example, doing simple things like switching to water at meal time, drinking a warm glass of water first thing in the morning, or having a water bottle at your desk, kitchen counter and car cup holder to ensure it’s always available. Fifth, track your daily water intake in a calendar, phone notes or notebook. Review at the end of the week to see how you did. At the end of the week, pick the next goal you will break apart and work on from your master list in step 1. Build upon the goal you just worked on while adding in another. Again, following these steps to make it easy and not overwhelming is the key. Break it into baby steps and figure out how you will reach that goal and make it a priority for the week.
Working through these obstacles is key to achieving diet success. You know what to do, so start doing it. It rarely works to change everything all at once. Sustainable nutrition comes from taking it one baby step at a time. You can do this! You just have to start with the baby steps.
Fran Sutherlin is a local registered dietitian, health coach, speaker and owner of Sustainable Nutrition. She can be reached at 444-2122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.