First off, I hope you got the star trek reference. Do you think flying around in space, keeping the galaxy safe, Spock is thinking about measuring out his macros (protein intake, carbs, gluten…fill in the blank)? The answer is, “No”! So how do you forget about the diet of the month and just live the best life you can? Guilt free. Free. Period. Here’s how.
Keep your keys! As a health coach I say, “don’t hand over the keys to your Ferrari” (or your Enterprise in Spock’s case). Keep them. Put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life! You are an expert on you. So what if you’re not a nutritionist or you don’t have a PhD. You know when you eat A, you feel like B. You know when you sleep C hours you feel D emotions. You have the answers; you just need to ask yourself the right questions. When you do, WRITE IT DOWN. Journaling will help you remember all these little ticks and knocks in your engine. It will help you find the right fuel at the right time to thrive!
Feed your strengths. Diets are set up with parameters such as “don’t eat at blah blah time”, or “Don’t eat blah blah foods”…Where is the S.M.A.R.T. part of this? How long do you NOT eat bread? What if you get out of work at 10:30 at night, do you skip dinner? As a health professional, 99% of the parameters I see are arbitrary. The diet is trying to get you to change your behavior, however, the more you fail the less you try.
Instead, let’s think. You felt great when you were eating an apple at breaks vs. hitting the vending machine. Remember that vacation in the Bahamas? Pineapple and oats every morning had your skin glowing! And when things were at their lowest, your badmamajama-self showed off your grit and determination to plow through. These are BEST PRACTICES and STRENGTHS. Show them off, reflect on them, and most importantly, feed them!
Make your own “diet”, then rename it, “lifestyle”. The word diet has gained a temporary context in today’s language. You may say I want to lose 20 lbs. for blah blah’s wedding, but tell yourself what you really want. You want to live a life where the silly number on the scale cant F&%$ with how great you feel and look! Lifestyle means for life! Not just at the dinner table or when you are out to eat, but 24/7 all day every day. You deserve that.
Deep down you know this isn’t about food. It’s about life. How you live, how you move, how you react, how you move forward. So why do we compartmentalize? Nutrition + Exercise + Mental Resilience= Health. While we are busy working on each component we forget the rest! So start making yourself the “whole package” with lifestyle modifications or improvements vs. diets!
Let’s put it together so you have your action item/ next step to LLAP (in Spock Speak):
Write down the foods you LOVE. Keeping in mind this is the fuel you’re putting into your Ferrari!
Plan out 4 days a week worth of meals and snacks you will enjoy. Why 4 and not all 7? The “R” in S.M.A.R.T. stands for realistic!
Quick trick: make an equation for what a snack is and what a meal is TO YOU:
For example mine is:
Snack= healthy choices 200 calories or less (Ex: an apple + Pb)
Meal = Fiber (plants) + Protein (usually more plants) + Treat (usually dark chocolate!)
(Ex: Lots of Mixed Greens + Trail mix Nut and Berry topping + Dark Chocolate)
3. Review and re-evaluate as needed! Keep a journal, track, whatever allows you to build confidence in your choices. This is only temporary till you feel in control!
I am confident in your strengths and your decisions. By reading this, you have taken an actionable step toward a healthier happier you!