How to Make Healthier Nutrition Choices for Improved Vitality, Zest and Well-Being
Think, Choose, Act, Win: Coach Yourself to Better Eating
Taken from www.experiencelife.com
Here are some steps and questions that can help you improve your decision making about food. You can use these questions and guidelines both in the moment of decision and in moments of greater reflection when you are journaling or creating an action plan.
STEP 1: THINK
Contemplate the change you want to make and why you want to make it. Here are some steps you can take and questions you can ask along the way:
1. First consider the choice. Is the choice to eat or not? Is it what to eat or drink? What are my options? Consider your choices for the past 24 hours. Have I eaten for physical or psychological reasons?
2. Consider what would be the best choice among your options. The best food/drink choice is the one that supports your goals and values. Ask yourself:
- What are my goals?
- What do I want to change about the way I eat and/or drink?
- How will I know I’ve been successful at accomplishing my goal(s)?
- How will I reward myself for making better choices?
- Who can support me in the changes I want to make?
- What am I willing to give up to make this change work?
- What will make this commitment to eating/drinking smarter a challenge? (In other words, what or who will get in the way?)
- What can I do about each obstacle?
3. Identify who you want to be and the lifestyle you truly want to have. Ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I want to eat healthy?
- Why now? What’s different about my life, health, energy that makes this the time to change?
- Why will this work this time around?
- What do I expect to gain by eating intentionally and positively?
- Up to now, what excuses have I given for weight gain, or poor physical condition?
- In what way have I not taken personal responsibility when it comes to my eating?
- What do I need to get intentional about as it relates to food?
- What do I need to get honest about in the area of food?
4. Review your choices over the course of a month. Awareness of the choices that serve you and those that don’t is critical to making better choices in the future.
- Keep track of your eating for a month. You don’t need to change anything, just notice. Be aware of how and why you make the choices you do.
- After you’ve spent time noticing, ask yourself what you’d like to do differently.
- Identify someone you know who eats the way you think you would like to. Ask him or her for tips and ideas.
STEP 2: CHOOSE
You need information — about nutrition and about yourself — to make a choice. Follow these steps and ask these questions to get more information:
1. Identify what you don’t know. If there are aspects of nutrition that confuse you, ask yourself these questions:
- What do I need to learn to overcome my confusion?
- What’s the next step I need to take to avoid confusion?
- What resources (books, people, magazines, Web sites) can help me get clear?
2. Assess where you’re at as it relates to food and drinks. Get a clear picture of where you’re currently at as it relates to food with these questions:
- What food(s) do I eat? What happens to my energy and mood when I eat this/these foods?
- When do I eat? What triggers me to eat? (Hunger? Stress? Loneliness? Boredom?)
- What excuses and reasons pop into my head to justify my current eating habits? (“But its only one turtle Mocha!” “But I didn’t have any cookies yesterday!”)
- Will this bite, drink, meal be “worth it” ten minutes after I’m done?
3. Develop a support system. Trusted friends and professionals can make a huge difference in your success.
- Who will support me in my effort to eat better?
- Who will sabotage me (intentionally or unintentionally)?
- What boundaries will I have to set with people who sabotage me?
4. Set benchmarks. What gets measured gets changed. Write out benchmarks for how you will measure progress and success.
- What amount of healthy foods will I eat in a day?
- What are my goals for this day, this week, this month?
- How will I know I have succeeded?
- How will I mark and celebrate my successes?
STEP 3: ACT
Just because you choose, doesn’t mean you’ve acted. Acting is a separate step. Choosing (or setting your intentions) and acting are two different things. Now it’s time to act on your choice. When you move into action, these questions can help you stay on track:
- What does my life look and feel like as I eat healthier? What will my life continue to look and feel like as I eat healthier?
- In an hour, what will I be more happy/pleased/proud that I ate?
- What food choice would lead to the least amount of regret?
- What would the person I aspire to be eat right now?
STEP 4: WIN
When you act on your intentions, you win. The Win stage is about noticing and celebrating your successes. These questions can help you identify and celebrate your wins:
- Did I accomplish one or more of my healthy eating goals today?
- If I didn’t accomplish my healthy eating goals today, why? Was my goal too ambitious? Was there an obstacle I underestimated?
- What choices or decisions, no matter how small, did I make today that served my healthy eating goal?
Here are some additional questions you can reflect on or journal about as you prepare to change your eating habits for the healthier.
- What was the last food or drink I had that I knew wasn’t a wise choice but I had it anyway? What did I get in the trade-off for health and energy? Was it temporary comfort or relief?
- What “sometimes foods” am I eating everyday? How is that serving my intention to eat and drink wisely?
- What healthy “everyday foods” would be wise to add to my diet?
- What have I eaten so far today? Have they been everyday foods or sometimes foods?
- How would I like to eat differently the rest of today? Will I do it?
- What positive new attitude, feeling, experience will I have when I eat wisely?