I am very fortunate to work for an institution that places great value on the betterment of their employees as individuals. In addition to being able to continue my education for next to nothing, they also offer GROW sessions. GROW sessions cover a variety of topics from tours of buildings, learning computer programs, information on social media, and last week I attended a session on employee wellness.
The main focus of the session was learning how to put together a healthy meal. I really liked this dietician’s approach, because she doesn’t practice total elimination and recognized that changing habits can take a long time! These were my major takeaways:
• Set one goal at a time. Don’t try to give up soda, increase workouts, become vegetarian, and stand on your head all at the same time. Focus on one thing at a time. This means that making significant changes can take a year or more, but by focusing on one thing at a time, you increase your chances of success. They’re called eating habits for a reason. Habits take time to change or break.
• Don’t be hard on yourself. If you have a bad day and “fall off the wagon,” don’t beat yourself up. Leave it in yesterday. Move forward and try to be better.
• Look to friends and family for support. Personally, I know it can be hard to turn down an extra drink or that delicious-looking dessert when you’re in the company of others. But, if they’re people you’re close with, clue them in. The support of loved ones has big impact.
For you visual learners, here is a picture of “MyPlate.” I was wayyy behind the times and thought the pyramid was still the reference.
This dietician suggested that you can look at is as 4 equal sections to make it easier. Another interesting poing she made is: how often do we describe our dinners with the protein? “What should we have with our chicken? steak?” Why is it that we don’t reverse it and say “What should we have with our broccoli tonight?” I’m going to try to reverse my train of thought with that. I have no problem getting my proteins in, but my veggies are a hurtin’!
Tips for those of us on a budget:
If you’re interested in further reading, this dietician is currently reading these two books:
This spoke a lot to the idea of “hyperpalatable” foods. Industry leaders are very purposeful in their production of things. That meal you just finished in the chain restaurant? Most likely it was designed to appeal to every sense possible to leave you craving more – so you over eat and want to return for more!
I actually started In Defense of Food as part of the “Go Big Read” program when I was in graduate school. It didn’t keep me engaged and I maybe got through two chapter. I still have my free copy somewhere. Maybe it’s time to give it another go.
Your turn: What helps you maintain healthy eating habits? What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?