Why is Nutritional Change SO Hard?

2 07 2012

Liz Gilchrist

Eat less and exercise more. The formula is easy and PEIA requires you to get to your respective facility two times per week. That should be enough to change your lifestyle in some way, right? So, why doesn’t the initiation of an exercise plan lead to easy changes when it comes to healthy food choices?

The first reason is the “diet trap.” There are commercials and ads for the next miracle drug, supplement, or food plan claiming to be the magic bullet for weight loss. Americans have been brainwashed to believe that dieting is required for results. I think it is safe to say you may have tried diets, possibly multiple diets and they did not work. STOP DIETING and work on making small lifestyle changes that you can stick with for YEARS, not days, weeks or months.

Secondly, we engage in nutritional behaviors that have been familiar for years. These are behaviors passed down from family, role modeled by parents or developed over time as a means of coping with life stressors and events, both positive and negative. With that being said, these behaviors, thoughts and emotions are ingrained in our brain and need to be tended to with a significant amount of awareness and PRACTICE. Keep in mind that these rituals were not brought about over night and will require multiple attempts to change and maintain.

A third contributor may be the structure of the Weight Management Program. You are held accountable through appointments with the trainer and Exercise Physiologist on a more regular basis than the appointments with the Dietician. Since this is the case, it is important to use this independence as a platform for confidence building with behavior change. For example, don’t let healthy nutrition get “out of sight, out of mind” just because you are not meeting with a Dietician every month! Maintain a food log and review your log for feedback during scheduled appointments.

Forth, get off the hamster wheel! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. If you have lost and gained the same 25lbs on a “diet” five times, it is not working for you. The results are temporary and you deserve a permanent resolution on your quest for healthy living. Try something different! It may require a Plan A through Plan Z, but you will not be spinning your wheels and struggling with discouragement.

Fifth, stop trying to do it on your own. We all handle life stressors and everyday situations better when we have support from those around us. Seek it! Talk about your goals and stress the importance of healthy living to your friends and family.

Initiating Nutritional Change made simple…

– Don’t rely on exercise alone for weight loss

– Practice! Practice! Practice making new habits routine!

– Start with small goals that are realistic, such as trying a new healthy recipe each week

– Create as many plans for success that are needed until the result is SUCCESS. What works for your friend or loved one, may not be the solution for you.

– Get back on the wagon and stay there! Stop viewing food as “off limits” and start enjoying them in moderation by planning ahead.

– Had a rough couple of days? Don’t throw in the towel. Pick it up and head for the gym.

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