Empowering Long-Term Nutrition Success
I am going to present to you a refreshing new way to think about your food and nutrition. If I ask you what healthy, performance-based eating should look like, I can bet most of you would have a pretty good idea. So, for us not necessarily doing so well at achieving this, what is currently in our way?
Instead of aiming to change everything about your lifestyle and food choices all at once, try to create habit-focused change that allows you to make changes that are perfect and achievable for you – one by one. This approach doesn’t promise instant weight loss or a fast fix – this is all about recreating your normal. It’s a non-diet approach.
Let go of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’
Firstly, let’s stop placing foods in the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ books. As soon as we set rules or restrictions around what we can or cannot eat, we encourage guilt and set ourselves up for eventual failure. Instead, focus on being present.
This habit is all about slowing down, enjoying whatever it is you have chosen to eat and being in the moment. By allowing yourself the freedom to eat, you are allowing yourself the freedom to enjoy, socialise and listen to your fullness cues.
The only times I get upset if one of our athletes eats chocolate is if they ate it ‘just because it was there’, ate it fast and ate it mindlessly. Chocolate is there to be enjoyed, so savour each delicious square!
Find your own level of achievable
It might be one thing to want to improve your nutrition, but to do that so broadly is a hard task to actually action. Instead, try to break it down into skills that you know are specific and achievable, and that you can rate with at least an 8/10 confidence.
An example may be needing to become more aware of your appetite and fullness. This is a tough one to reteach yourself, but if you initially aim to ‘take 15-20mins to eat each meal’, you may start to improve your cues and awareness over time. If this is too tricky for you, maybe you could start by simply ‘removing all distractions while I eat’ – such as all those screens that can invade our space these days!
Progress at your own rate
You may know you have lots to improve in your current nutrition choices or you may feel you just need to improve your performance nutrition. Either way, habit focused change allows you to achieve this at your own rate and at stages that create long-term change.
If you would like some extra guidance on how to best achieve this for yourself, chat to an Accredited Dietitian or Sports Dietitian. They can break down the factors that are going to help you the most, and give you the best health and performance rewards that last more than just a few weeks.
Text: Alicia Edge | Advanced Sports Dietitian and Accredited Practising Dietitian | Compeat Nutrition
Feature image: shutterstock.com
To celebrate all things nutrition for AHWW, we are offering our Australian Triathlete Magazine readers a handy 10% discount on all our services. Visit www.compeatnutrition.com for more info and simply type in AusTriMag10 at checkout (Valid from the 13th – 20th of February 2017).