In the nutrition world there are A LOT of options. And here at NTC we are capable of coaching many of them. But what if you wanted a simpler approach? Something that complimented #momlife & a plan that would last!
Starting in January we simplified the way we start our 1:1 nutrition coaching, and adapted it so that as coaches we meet you where YOU are.
Maybe that is as simple as eating breakfast everyday. Or it could be supporting you to switching from tracking macros, to tracking habits. And that is where Nutrition Coach Colleen is currently focused.
Here’s a glimpse into her thought journal as she tried this technique this past January. Read on and let us know what you think!
A COACHES JOURNEY TO MINDFUL EATING
Can I make the switch from calorie counting to basic nutrition?
I wanted to share my thoughts and journey of this past January. From the perspective of a client and the perspective of a newly minted nutrition coach.
As I finished up my nutrition coaching certificate in December of 2020, the question I pondered the most was; how am I going to move from counting calories to mindful eating?
I had a basic visualization about how many calories was in this and was in that meal or snack. But the number of calories I was usually allowed to consume for weight loss or maintenance was a number that kept me accountable. HOW was I going to know how many calories I was going to consume in any one day?
I came to the conclusion that I would use January as a test, a discovery phase -and if I gained, lost or maintained weight I would be able to understand the benefits or cons of habit based nutrition and tweak my actions as needed.
As I learned more about BASIC nutrition through my course, – I understood I had been dabbling in the field of Level 2 nutrition, counting calories and eating specific percents of macros. I came to realize that I had such an opportunity to master (learn) basic nutrition! Choosing wholesome food, planning ahead for meals and snacks, hydration, creating a supportive environment, mindful eating, hydration, and sleep (what is that?) These are all part of a healthy approach to deep health and nutrition. And all the while learning about these factors, also learning to be kind, curious and honest with myself.
CHOOSING WHOLESOME FOOD
I already ate mostly from a wholesome minimally processed diet. I have been vegan for a few years and understand the benefits of healthy wholesome food. However I also love wine and salt and vinegar chips. As I thought of what I would like to master or build a habit around in January, I thought I would try to master mindful eating.
MINDFUL EATING is eating without distraction, putting my fork down after every bite and then understanding how full I was at 75% of my meal. Ask myself did I need the rest of the plate? I planned to eat mindfully at lunch and dinner 5 times a week.
Ask me how that went. FAIL. OMG it’s so hard. First of all I have almost 49 years of shovelling food into my mouth, I was always the first person to finish my meal – sometimes even before the last person to serve them selves sat down! How was I possibly going to master that in one month? And overcome years of training/ mastery of fast eating?
SOMETIMES THE “WIN” IS JUST AWARENESS
What I did learn is that it created awareness and conversation. A start. Healthy habit-based nutrition is about building a foundation that is sustainable. Something that allows you to enjoy food and live your best weight.
Let’s face it for those of you who have ever weighed every meal, tracked every calorie -its exhausting. Looking into the future, I would like to build sustainable habits around eating to feel great, perform better and live a long life where I will always able to move and be in some sort of a seniors CrossFit class.
THE OTHER WINS FROM MY JANUARY NUTRITION FOCUS
I did have some wins, although mindful eating didn’t seem to be the top one. That has not been mastered.
My water intake increased.
My coach suggested a small change in habit- increase my water intake. My goal was 1L per day. ( I could go a whole day with just drinking a coffee or maybe two.)
The first 10 days were so-so, and then social proof of this gigantic 2L water bottle with 2 hour incremental motivational cues – was a winner!
This actually has become one of our favourite tools within our coaching practice.
I came to discover that if I drink 1L before I have a sip of coffee in the am – then I have a better success rate of being more hydrated with water!!
So 1L before 7am. Then I can have some coffee – and then I take the other litre to work with me and finish it by 7pm. Trips to the bathroom are more frequent, but this was MY WIN this month.
OTHER CHANGES I MADE
As stated, I had some angst about caloric intake- so I did two other things. I ate more vegetables, in fact I lead with loading my plate with VEG first. 50% of the plate. 25% lean protein and 25% a healthy carb.
And a VEGGIE bucket. BUY VEGETABLES. CUT VEGETABLES and EAT. Simple right? However, then the tupperware gets pushed to the back of the fridge. I found I needed to place it where I could see it each time I opened the fridge!
A COMPARISON OF MY NUTRITION CHALLENGES
I also reflected on other monthly nutrition challenges that I had participated in. Often in a nutrition challenge, there is a slip and that is normal. Day 17 is a good number. Our mighty powerful brain says that’s okay – there is always tomorrow. And truthfully it is okay, we should be able to enjoy food. The next meal or next day you can go back at it. Or, maybe you are not as ready, willing and able as you thought…. And then tomorrow comes and maybe another slip. And then what’s the point – maybe that little devil on your shoulder says – I’ll do better next month.
One of the course books recommended was The Will Power Instinct- by Kelly McGonigal. He has an interesting question that he poses about choices … we always pretend that tomorrow will be different; I’ll just eat this one donut, I will have a glass of wine, tomorrow I will be good and abstain from those choices.. but do we?
The GOAL – aim to reduce the variability in your choices – could you view every choice you make to a commitment to all future choices?
Instead of asking “do I want to eat this candy bar now?“ Ask yourself “do I want the consequences of eating a candy bar every afternoon for the next year?” What would that be like? Mentally I can picture that, a few more pounds, sluggish afternoons and a lot of candy wrappers.
So, I don’t really eat candy bars – so let me change this to a glass of wine? What will the consequences of drinking a few glasses of wine be if I choose to do that every night for another year? Definitely a few more pounds, 365 days of crappy sleep and a fog and fatigue. It’s a really great read or listen – if you ever thought you had a strong sense of willpower, which I sort of thought I did.
ARE NUTRITION CHALLENGES THE ANSWER?
A challenge I have realized as a client- that challenges are a good reset, used as a way of kickstarting a routine that worked in the past. The past. Not current. So we need to find things that are sustainable and allow you to continue to love food however eat in a healthy wholesome way that will allow us to thrive; not survive.
A nutrition program starts from understanding your mindset, your readiness, your willingness and how able you are that is individualized to you is interesting. Because we are all different and you need to find the path that is right for you. Nutrition is a long haul. It’s for the rests of your life. Make it a long life. Getting to the end result is by taking the path that’s right for you.
Do you need help with setting habits that can get you results & that you can sustain long term?
Work with Coach Colleen by booking a free 15 minute intro below.