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How to Start a Nutrition Journey

It’s been a while since you’ve felt good. You are tired of not understanding what you need to do to reach your goals or to simply just feel good again. You’ve tried too many fad diets or cleanses and are just about to quit and get takeout for the rest of your life. But wait! Then you found this blog!

I myself have gone through the many stages of fad diets, cleanses, self-doubt, not understanding what I was doing wrong, and dead centre giving up. There was a point in my life when I thought I would never feel good about myself, what I ate and how I felt everyday again.

Over many years, I have continued to learn not only more about nutrition, but what being healthy means specifically for my body. Its’s easy to say I’m going to eat a salad every day and no sweets during the week. Or…. to try to follow what someone similar to my size and body shape eats to look like them. But, finding out what eating style actually works best for your body and learning to understand it, now that’s a little tricky.

So, if you are in any of these stages on your nutrition journey or feeling stuck or lost in what to do next, follow the steps bellow, listen to your body, and start your nutrition journey!

Step 1: What is your goal?

Understanding your nutrition goal is the most important part of starting your nutrition journey. If you start but have no end point to reach, then how do you know what you need to do to achieve it?

When starting your nutrition journey, you want to ask yourself what are you trying to achieve? Do you want to lose or gain weight and how much and in what time frame? Do you want to build or tone muscle? Or maybe just improve your overall health.

Write this main goal down. Then move on to asking yourself, “what will keep me motivated as I start and continue this journey?” In one week, one month, or maybe 5. This is a great time to write down smaller goals that may lead up to reaching your final one. So, instead of saying “I am going to eat no carbs at all to lose weight”, start with “I am going to start to choose smart carbs. Maybe I’ll start swapping white bread to whole grain.”. Remember, small goals lead to the success of big ones!

Step 2: Reflect on right now.

What are you doing right now? Reflect on what you are currently eating. How many times do you order take-out in a week? What skills do you already have that will help you reach your goal?

By asking yourself various questions like the ones above, it helps you visually lay out the factors that may get in your way. This makes it easier to now plan ahead, avoid them, or to highlight what you are already doing that will help you succeed even more!

Step 3: Take small steps at a time.

What are small actions you can take each morning, day, week, or even month. Picking small, actionable goals like; waking up 15 minutes earlier to get a walk in before work, or spending 15 extra minutes on a Sunday afternoon to plan out what to buy at the grocery store for meals during the week, or packing a healthy snack just in case you get extra hungry to avoid the drive thru, are all examples of little things that will help you get closer to your goals each day.

The best way to start doing these small steps is to build a web map or write out a list. Name all the small daily actions you can think of that you can do to help you reach your goal. Then pick one to try for the week, and then another, and another. And soon enough you’re going to be halfway there!

Step 4: Track and record.

Remembering to keep track and record your success, feelings, or thoughts, is just as important as laying out your goals. Being able to build up a data base about yourself and what actions or foods that did or did not work with your body, will help you narrow down what you need to do to help you feel good and reach your goals.

For example; if I thought fasting and eating after 12pm was going to help me lose weight but, I found I was really starting to feel hungry, dizzy and couldn’t focus in the morning then I could try eating a small breakfast to give me energy to focus and spreading the rest of my food out for the day. By recording what I try and how food makes me feel, I can start to determine what works best for me to feel good and reach my goals.

To track and record your progress, you also need to remember to actually do what you planed out to do! Set daily reminders for yourself on sticky notes throughout your house or on alarms on your phone to do even the simplest of things like reminding yourself to stop at work and eat lunch!

Trust me, it’s makes the biggest difference!

Step 5: Look at food as a continuum.

Start to move away from the “all or nothing” food mentality.

A lot of us are stuck in the mindset where food is either “bad” or “good”. So, when we eat something that is “bad”, like a chocolate chip cookie, we feel like we have ruined all our progress, gained 20 lbs and need to start all over! We may think… “well, if I’m going to have ice cream or chips I may as well finish the whole tub or bag”.

But guess what you don’t have to!

By focusing on food as a continuum, you can learn to be okay with having just a few spoonsful of that ice cream or bites of chips instead of the whole thing. Foods are neither good nor bad but are better looked at as more or less nutritious. By focusing on making the majority of our diet nutritious, whole, and minimally processed foods like fruit, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats and lean meats and a few less nutritious foods like chocolate, cheese, and white breads, we keep both our body and mind healthy and happy!

Step 6: Hire a nutrition coach!

If you have tried to follow some of these steps and strategies on your own but are having a hard time following or sticking to them, I strongly recommend hiring a nutrition coach. What a nutrition coach like myself can do for you is help make these changes a lot easier for you. In my nutrition coaching programs I provide and focus on:

  • Helping to lay out goals and strategies
  • Building skills into habits
  • Developing a sustainable and long-term lifestyle
  • Accountability
  • Improving performance

Sometimes having that person to talk to can help you organize thoughts, take action, and be the small reminder behind your shoulder to make a good decision. If you are looking for someone to help you kick start your nutrition journey you can book a free intro session with me at https://fullmetalcrossfit.com/nutrition/ or email me at victoria@fullmetalcrossfit.com!

*Note: you do not need to be a member of the gym to start a nutrition session with me!

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