Your Nutrition Practice: How to Evaluate and Create Change (Part 1)
Sometimes we need a break - with life flying by and our days packed to brim - it can be difficult to take a step back and look at your health and how your daily activities might be influencing your choices, both short and long term. Taking note of what you currently do and establishing where you “want to be” in terms of your individualized nutrition practice is important from time to time to ensure that you are recognizing change and striving to be the best you can be!
This blog will review how to do this in two parts. Part 1 will review steps you can take to review and look at your current practice as well as how to implement new structure and change along the way. Part 2 will be a separate blog and take you through an example of how to make this happen as well as provide prompts to guide you along the way and relate these concepts back to your own nutrition practice.
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Take note of your current practice and record (in truth!) what your “nutrition practice” looks like today.
This could be in the form of a diary, notes, pictures, dialogue - whatever form works best for you to ensure that you are capturing an accurate portrayal of what your nutrition practice looks like today.
Some questions to ask yourself could include:
What does your daily intake look like? What do you reach for the most? How is your hydration - does it complement your exercise routine? What emotions do you feel before/during/after mealtimes? How does your stress level impact your food decisions?
After establishing this ground-level analysis, keep this record for use in the future and to compare back to once you have made a change (it’s more exciting than you think and might just encourage you even more to continue on with this process as you make additional changes!).
Step 2: Highlight what you would like to change. Break this down into small and large goals, depending on where you are at in this process one goal might be sufficient or having one small and one larger goal could be within the scope of your practice (be realistic with change!).
Step 3: Create a plan. How will you make this change happen? How will you make this change “stick” long term? What barriers do you see getting in the way of this change? How will you overcome them? What support do you have to continue with making these changes and reaching your goals?
Step 4: Practice! It takes time to make a change and have it stick and as you determine what works for you your goals might change or evolve - and that’s ok! Changing your nutrition practice should be taken “one step at a time” and be a gradual modification, not an overhaul that will land you back where you started after a few weeks. Sustainability is key!
Now, after reading through this 4 step process, what do you think? Not too bad - right? Looking at smaller goals, or changing something one step at a time is much more reasonable than making a huge change or reworking your entire routine all at once (which in all honestly we all have probably tried to do) because we want to make sure that these changes last and are integrated into your long term goal of creating a sustainable nutrition practice that is individualized and relevant to your daily routine and lifestyle. That is what sticks and makes a difference!
Take note of these steps and start thinking about how you might implement this structure and evaluate your current practice and stay tuned for next week where we will review an example of how to make this happen and use a template to guide you through your own change process!