I frequently get asked what my approach is to nutrition counseling so with the New Year approaching, I wanted to layout my philosophy for any new clients that might be looking to get help making their healthy resolutions for 2013 a reality.
My Eat2Win Approach
Food = Fuel. I prefer to focus on what foods I should be eating versus those I shouldn’t eat. Your body is like a race car and it needs special fuel to perform at its very best. It requires protein to build and repair muscle which you get from lean meats and legumes. It requires carbohydrates to give you energy and support your workout routine which you get from whole grains. It especially requires antioxidants which work to repair your body’s daily build up of oxidation (think rust on a race car) and ward off disease which you get from maximizing your fruit and vegetable intake. If you spend your time focusing on what you need to eat fuel your body, you’ll feel more satisfied, feel less deprived and have more energy to get through your day.
Get up and move. Making healthy eating choices is only half the battle. You need to exercise or find someway to add motion to your life. Everyone is on their own pace here. Add more to what you are doing if you want to see change. If you are starting at zero then anything counts – take the stairs or walk around the block a few times after dinner. If you are more of a recreational athlete, then it’s about consistency and cross-training to stay healthy and prevent injury. Also don’t forget to fuel your workouts. You wouldn’t drive your race car around on empty and you shouldn’t be exercising without pre-fueling, eating post-exercise for recovery and hydrating to maximize your workouts.
Self-accountability. When you solicit my services, we join in a professional and personal relationship. I’m here to help you meet your goals. Over the course of our relationship my role may shift from nutrition expert to counselor to cheerleader to coach. I will give you the knowledge and tools to help you be accountable to your goals. However, I can’t make you change. No matter how much I might want to “will” you to change, you’re the only one who can decide to get out of bed at 5:30 am to get your workout in or keep yourself honest when you are eyeing the portions on your plate. You need to be ready for change. Change has to come from within yourself. You need to be accountable to yourself to make change happen.
Small, lasting changes. Making healthy lifestyles changes is a commitment, but it isn’t one that requires drastic, body-shocking changes when the clock strikes midnight. It starts with a nudge here and there…maybe eating out one day less a week or going meatless on Mondays. Then you lean in a little more by drinking less soda and more water or signing up for the yoga class you been meaning to try. Once these changes feel more routine, you can turn things up even more by cooking at home more or working to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. The bottom line is that we are talking about small, sustainable changes that don’t scare your body into retreat, have nothing to do with dieting and have a chance of becoming habit.
Moderation versus deprivation. My approach is also NOT about extremes. It’s not about cutting something out of your life completely. There is always room for your favorite crutch, it just requires portion control and self-accountability. Working in extremes typically means the change in not sustainable (think No Carb) and then you end up beating yourself up or overindulging when you fall off the wagon. Having something you really enjoy in moderation and being mindful when you indulge will mean you feel satisfied and not guilty at the end.
If you like what you have read and need some help reaching your healthy goals, we would probably make a good team. Give me a call or drop me a note and let’s discuss how we make 2013 the year you made your health and well-being a top priority!