by GameChanger Strength & Nutrition Coach Rob Riccobono
Eating a healthy diet is dependent on much more than the food you eat. There are social, environmental, and emotional components that affect your nutrition.
1- Kitchen Makeup
Do you have quality cooking equipment and appliances to make healthy and tasty meals? Do you have reliable pots and pans? How about a good knife for chopping vegetables? Do you own a food scale, measuring cup, or spoons?
What food is in your refrigerator and pantry? If it’s in your kitchen, and you spent your hard earned money to buy it, it’s likely you’ll eventually eat it.
2- Family and Friend Support
It’s easier to accomplish any task when you have someone in your corner. Let your family and close friends know your goals and what your nutrition plan is like.
Think about how much easier it would be to stick to your plans if your spouse was actively supporting and encouraging you, or if your kids ate similar foods to you. If you plan a night out to eat with close friends, if they understand your nutrition plan, they’re more likely to compromise on the choice of restaurant.
If your first reaction to this is that your spouse, children, or friends aren’t helpful at all in this regard, maybe it’s time to rethink things. If you sincerely explained to them how truly important this is to you, and how helpful and meaningful their support would be, don’t you think they’d have your back? If your spouse, child, or close friend asked for your help with something they struggle with, wouldn’t you be there for them? Give people a little more credit, they just might surprise you.
3- Readiness for Change
Are you truly ready to make the commitment to improve your health, or are you just making a few changes because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do? If you aren’t emotionally ready, you won’t stay with your changes for long. You need to understand why you want to make changes. Think about the deep reasons beyond cosmetic ones that motivate you. What’s so important to you about being healthy? Who are you really doing it for?
Is someone holding you accountable for your nutrition? Are you reporting to a friend, family member, or coach to keep you on track? Your chances of success are much greater if you have someone specifically monitoring you, making sure you don’t stray off your plan.
Are you eating healthy and working out consistently? Do you follow a plan diligently all week long, but give yourself more leeway on the weekends? Do you workout for a few weeks or a month at a time, only to skip entire weeks at the gym right after that? Frequent breaks in effort will add up, and undo too much of your hard work.
Do you have a specific, laid out, step-by-step plan for your nutrition? You don’t need to choose a fad diet, but you must adopt a plan that has specific rules, guidelines, and expectations. Simply adopting the attitude that “I’ll just eat healthier” isn’t enough.
7- Taking Responsibility
Part of the reason why you haven’t attained the health you want is probably because you’ve been misinformed, and other external factors like work, family, school, and other responsibilities got in the way. But the other part is self-inflicted, and you must accept this.
Admit to yourself that you need to put in more effort and preparation. You know you can improve your health, you simply need to make it a higher priority, and make better choices.
And are we talking about anything impossible to achieve, even if you’re really busy or stressed out? Not at all! It’s just diet and exercise, that’s all it is. Eat more vegetables and protein, drink more water, eat less pasta and fewer cookies, move around more. In the grand scheme of things, this is nothing to fear. Think of all the great things you’ve done in your life. Whether it’s graduating from school, completing work projects, sacrificing to help loved ones, or raising a family! Now THOSE are impressive achievements. Eating better and exercise? Pshh….you’ve got this.
Take a step back, and put things into perspective. With all the other true challenges you’ve overcome in your life, you can handle healthier eating habits better than you realize.
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