As nutrition month comes to a close it’s important to think about making our small changes stick. There are lots of reasons that we fall off track with our goals. We are all busy, holidays come and go, we have too much stress, the list goes on and on. As important as it is to make changes stick, it is incredibly hard. Here are some tips that will help.
- Plan for how you will handle roadblocks before they happen. This makes complete sense, but it is a key aspect of staying on track with your goals. If you skip this step, it can be very easy to hit a roadblock and give up, and once things have gone off track it’s too late- right? Wrong! This is a normal part of making a change. Start making a plan to manage setbacks when they come up.
- Think ahead about some things that may get in your way with your goals.
- Brainstorm ideas of what to do when this happens.
- Get support. Family, friends, co-workers, whatever works to help support you with your goal.
- Don’t view these slips in your goals as a be-all, end-all. Use these roadblocks as a learning opportunity. When they happen (and they will!) review your plan, adjust as needed and get back on track.
- Get some nourishing grab and go foods, as we are all short on time. Eating well doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. It’s all about planning!
- Stock your pantry with foods like veggies, fruit, yogurt, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, seeds and whole grain crackers.
- Cook food in big batches when you have more “time”- soups, stews, and chili.
- Make more food then you need when you are taking the time to cook so that you have leftovers – to eat as is or to repurpose into other meals.
- Use convenience foods to help you cook and prepare healthier food at home, such as frozen vegetables and fruit, orcanned beans and lentils.
- Pay attention to when you eat for reasons other reasons than hunger. I work with a lot of my clients on learning how to eat mindfully, or with my youngest clients (babies) how to keep eating mindfully! Often we eat when we aren’t hungry. We might be bored or distracted. It might be how we deal with strong emotions or stress.
- Learn to eat mindfully.
- Remove distractions- no phones, TV or media while eating!
- Check nutrition info from restaurants to help you make better decisions. Eating out can be hard because of large portions, very few vegetables and foods that are high in fat, sugar and/or salt.
- Choose smaller dishes or split with someone else. Unable to do either of those? That’s okay, put aside half to take as leftovers.
- Load up on veggies- ask to add extra to your meals.
- Ask for dressings and sauces on the side.
- Getting dessert? Choose a small serving or split with the people you are eating with.
- Looking to get back on track with your eating? Contact a dietitian like me here.
Wanting to learn more about mindful eating or get more support staying on track with your goals? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future’s Registered Dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at: www.nutritionmonth2016.ca