dieting
Weight Loss

5 Bites to Better Health

Do all the “Before” and “After” stories of weight loss and health transformations often leave you less than inspired?

Thousands of diets make it look so easy lecturing on what to eat and what not to eat, often contradicting each other. But the reality is that there is no silver bullet or magic pill and the process is downright messy. It’s time to address the real challenge – how to change.

With so many different eating styles to choose from (auto-immune diet, paleo, keto, gluten-free, etc.), ironically, the transformation process is remarkably the same no matter how big or small the change.

APPLY A FEW BASIC CHANGE MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES

Applying a few basic change management principles to support a food and health transformation is a proven recipe for success.  The “5 Bites to Better Health” provides a step-by-step process to transform eating habits and health one bite at a time.

woman on a scale

  1. Begin with the end in mind. The first question that must be answered is “why change?” Focusing on the health benefits to be gained from a food change (i.e., reducing joint pain, minimizing migraines or increasing energy) is a stronger motivator for long-term results than weight alone.More importantly is the question, “why change now?” Be honest about why now is the time to make a diet change. Perhaps some recent test results, a diagnosis or birth of a niece or grandson is creating that sense of urgency to make a health change today!
  2. Go slow to go fast. While a drastically new diet may provide short-term results, it’s best to use a “go slow to go fast” approach for long-lasting benefits. Compare your current eating style with your targeted food plan and start making a few changes each week. Gradual change, one bite at a time, in support of a long-term goal, creates sustainable changes that last a lifetime. Instead of eliminating all carbs on day one, substitute a lentil pasta or zucchini noodles just one night this week to kick-start your progress.
  3. Focus on Personal Best Foods. When embarking on a new way of eating, most people focus on all the foods they need to give up such as processed foods or sweet snacks. Instead, identify all your favorite “personal best foods” that are included in the food plan. Brainstorm new ways to prepare and incorporate them into more meals throughout the week. It’s common to fall into an eating slump and easily forget about all the many delicious and nutritious foods to choose from.
  4. Create food flexibility. Forget identifying a hundred specific dinner recipes on Pinterest that require hundreds of ingredients that will be used once. Rather, create a set of ten simple recipe techniques that incorporate of variety of your personal best veggies, proteins and grains or beans. This provides the skills and flexibility to make a variety of meals depending on what you have on-hand.
  5. Celebrate success and raise the bar. Especially when making gradual changes, it’s important to stop and reflect on the progress made along the way. People often don’t realize how bad they felt until they feel better! Changing eating habits one ‘bite’ at a time continues to get easier with practice. Use your new change skills to ‘raise the bar’ to make even more positive changes to your diet and health. Perhaps cutting down on sugar consumption was a success so now it’s time to try eating more leafy greens!

FIND YOUR PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL TRIBE OF SUPPORT

Finding a physical and virtual tribe of support is extremely important throughout the food change process. Find people that really “get it” whether that person is your neighbor, co-worker or someone in a Facebook group aligned with your eating style or health problem.

Over 50 percent of people in our survey who were transitioning to a diet for health reasons, said that “talking to others who had a similar health problem or diet” was helpful.*

Practice your newly found change skills apply the process to support a transition to non-toxic beauty and cleaning supplies or pesticides. It can even help to switch up your workout routine!

Most people have one thing they want to change about their diet and health no matter how healthy they eat and live today. What’s your one thing and what’s the first step you will take today to get started?

Marissa S. Costonis, H.C. is a health change guru and author of the new #1 Amazon bestseller, Change BITES! 5 Change Management Strategies to Transform Your Health. She combines her background in corporate change management with her passion for health and works as a Certified Health Coach in her practice, Change BITES.

*Marissa conducted a survey was conducted to over 100 participants who “had a health problem that may be impacted by changes in diet”. Results are outlined in the book, Change BITES.

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