When I first decided to move my coaching business online, I signed up for email lists like it was my job. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry who claimed to be an online business guru got my email address in exchange for his top tips for making $10,000,000 in just 3 weeks with 0 effort!
I read everything I could about how to be successful. Tom said I had to Snapchat my way into my client’s hearts. Dick said I needed to make sure my opt-in buttons were optimized for maximum click-thrus. And Harry said to avoid Snapchat like the plague and that half my potential clients were color-blind, anyway, so who cares about buttons?
End result? I took 0 action. I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information I had coming in, let alone the fact that half of it was conflicting, and about 63% might as well have been in a foreign language because I had no idea what T, D, and H meant. It wasn’t until I unsubscribed from most of those lists and hired a business coach who really spoke my language that I started to take actionable steps toward my dream.
What does this have to do with you? Well I would be willing to bet that a large part of why you haven’t lost weight or gotten healthier, despite saying you’re going to, is because you don’t have clear direction about how to do that.
I bet you’re trying. I bet you Google things on a regular basis and are just about ready to commit to a raw vegan lifestyle until you stumble on a Keto site that tells you that you can eat unlimited amounts of bacon if you join their club. So now what do you do?
You probably get overwhelmed, close all your tabs, and go have a snack. You’re spinning your wheels and not taking any action because you don’t know how to get to where you’re going.
In order to successfully change, you have to give your Rational Side clear directions or it’ll be overpowered by your Emotional, Instant-Gratification-Wanting Side.
So here are 4 crystal clear, actionable steps that can help you direct your Rational Side toward a healthier lifestyle:
- Eat slowly. This is one of the simplest-but-hardest-to-do behaviors
you can engage in but it makes a HUGE impact. Eating slowly is a crucial step in the digestive process and ensuring that your body is actually able to absorb the nutrients that you’re giving it. More importantly for weight loss, however, is the fact that when you’re eating slowly, you can actually identify when you’re getting full, rather than zooming right past it as you’re shoveling food into your mouth like you’ll never see another corn dog.
- Practice this by:
- Eating in an undistracted environment (aka not in front of the TV)
- Putting your fork down or taking a sip of water between bites
- Eating with chopsticks or your non-dominant hand (or both, if your goal is to literally not eat at all)
- Chewing each bite a certain number of times
- Matching the pace of the slowest eater at the table
- Practice this by:
- Stop at 80% full. Don’t get caught up in the number. The point is to stop before you’re full. We’re so used to eating huge portions way too fast that we don’t even know how to acknowledge our own hunger & fullness signals anymore. The first step in identifying those is to slow down to give yourself a chance to feel what’s happening.
- You should be able to get up and do something active right after you eat. If you feel sluggish or like you need a nap and couldn’t possibly do any moving, you’ve probably eaten too much.
- The appropriate amount of food will likely leave you satisfied for ~3 hours. If you’re not hungry for 5+ hours, you probably overate and if you’re hunger after just an hour, you probably didn’t eat enough.
- Eat proper portions for your body size. Forget weighing and measuring everything you eat. Not only is it time consuming and unrealistic on a long-term basis, but you actually already have a built in portion guide right in the palm of your hand. Literally. Check out these visuals from Precision Nutrition.
4. Make sure you have all the components of a healthy meal:
- Lean protein like chicken breast and shellfish
- Veggies like asparagus, zucchini, and bell peppers
- Smart carbs like fruit, potatoes, and oatmeal
- Healthy fats like avocado, coconut, and nuts
Remember that the key to success is making small, sustainable changes. Start with just one of these action items and focus on it exclusively until it becomes habit. Then add a second behavior and work on stacking your habits.
I put together the Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating Made Simple that lists out tons of options for each of the food categories above, why they’re important, as well as a portion guide reminder and grocery list template. You can download it free!