I’ll often ask a client when we first meet what the best and worst thing is about their diet. It gives me information not only on their diet but also their understanding of nutrition. So let’s ask ourselves today and then take the next step to do something about the worst thing.
What is the best thing about your diet?
Have a think and come up with an answer. Maybe it is something like one of the following:
- a specific food item e.g. flaxseed every day
- restricting your eating window to 10 hrs a day, so fasting for 14 hrs/day
- no snacking
- eating slowly
- you buy all organic fruit and veg
I’ll share mine. The best thing about my diet is the large amount and variety of vegetables that I eat.
So think about it. And then feel good that you are doing something positive for yourself.
What is the worst thing about your diet?
Maybe this is actually an easier question to answer! Could it be:
- eating no/very few vegetables
- drinking a soda every day, or having a gin and tonic every day and ignoring that is also soda
- fast food
- ice cream every night
- too much cheese
- processed food
- too much alcohol.
So what is yours? It needs to be what you think is the worst. Not what someone else thinks. Don’t just choose one of the above. Really think what is the worst thing about your diet.
OK. Mine is that I don’t drink enough water.
What can we do about it?
Step 1. Consideration of change
When we know what the worst thing is, we can do something about it. Awareness is a big part of that. You’ve taken the time to figure something good about yourself, so we can hold onto that. But there is also something that could do with improving.
But are we ready to change?
Is this change important to us?
Are we confident we can change?
What are our barriers to change?
What are the benefits to change?
But I failed previously and so it will just be the same now?
I find a big part of this “consideration” step is knowledge. If we know and understand why this is the “worst” thing and what benefits we will have by changing it, then it can help us feel empowered to change. You obviously have some knowledge already, otherwise, you wouldn’t have selected this as your worst thing. But maybe it is time to do some research. Look online or in books to see what else you can find out about your “worst” habit and what potential benefits there may be to changing it. What difference might it make?
Step 2. Moving towards thinking about changing
We now have some information so it’s time to look at alternatives to our “worst” thing.
Instead of your gin and tonic, how about having a glass of wine? Or having gin and pomegranate juice? Or just reduce the frequency and have an alcohol free day a couple of times a week.
Instead of your ice cream every night, what about having your favorite fruit every other night instead of ice cream.
For myself, I don’t like drinking cold water. But I do like sparkling water and also warm water and herbal teas. Maybe I can use those instead of plain cold water.
But then that voice comes up in my head and says, “I’ve tried before and it hasn’t worked long term. Why bother?”
Step 3. Ready to make a change but not quite doing it
So we’ve done steps 1 and 2. We know the benefits, know some alternatives….what else do we need to move forward and get rid of that nagging doubt?
Well, I’m actually using this blog post to help me do something about my lack of water. I’m sharing the information with you and maybe you can help me be accountable. What if next time you saw me or emailed me or commented on my blog, you asked how much water I have drunk today? Do it! I just forget to drink. Water and drinking don’t enter my head, especially in the afternoons. So I need reminders. Along with other people reminding me, I can also put a bottle of sparkling water in an obvious place so it is a visual reminder every time I walk past it.
What about for your “worst” thing. Who will you tell about it that will help you make the change? What other reminders will you use? How about throwing the food/drink out of the house that you are trying to avoid and keep the alternative where you’ll see it. Maybe encourage others around to make a change too so you can support each other.
And what about sharing what your worst thing is with us here on the blog. You could write it as a comment to this blog….or comment on facebook.
Step 4. Commit
With steps 1, 2, and 3 complete, it’s time to set a goal. Decide when to start and what you are going to have as a short-term goal. And make it a SMART goal:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – actionable
R – relevant
T – timely
For one week starting today, I am going to add 1 large bottle of sparkling water to my water intake in the afternoons. I can measure this by having an empty bottle by 5pm every day. I’ll make sure we have enough bottles of water available when I go shopping. In the morning I’ll put a bottle out on the kitchen worktop as a reminder. I’ll tell my hubby what I’m doing. Having more water in my body will improve my detoxification which is especially important as I will be flying next week, so will have increased exposure to toxins. Plus there are lots of other benefits.
Gosh, 1 week. That just seems fine. I can do that. Then next Monday I can reassess and make another goal.
So what about you? Are you ready? Can you make a SMART goal? Will you share it? It doesn’t have to be big.
We are all a work in progress
Yes, I don’t have it all figured out. I’ve studied nutrition for years but I am still a work in progress. I can feel good about lots of things I do in relation to my diet, but I can still do better.
I always remind my clients that our goal isn’t perfection. Instead, it is progression. Let’s make progress but recognize that we don’t have to be perfect.
Let’s progress together. Feel free to email, comment, facebook comment about your SMART goal so we can support each other. Let’s do away with the worst thing about our diet.
(PS I’ve just finished my first glass of sparkling water this afternoon!)