So, you’re confused, huh?
You’re not alone. A recent study showed that nearly 80% of all Canadians are confused when it comes to nutrition. No surprise there. There’s so much contradictory and confusing information out there it’s not hard to get mixed up.
I encounter that all the time when working with people who come to us for weight loss. It’s not rare to hear, “I don’t know what to eat when it comes to nutrition.”
What is surprising is that people recognize that dietitians and healthcare professionals are the preferred sources for correct information, but people choose to go to family and friends for advice instead! Consequently, confused people are “helping” confused people! Not a formula for long-term success there!
Sometimes you have to start with stopping!
I completely understand why people would be confused. There’s a ton of conflicting information being presented out there in the popular media and much of it is being supported by people who have solid medical and scientific credentials.
What happens when people get confused? Nothing. Nothing happens. They freeze. In the absence of knowing the proper steps to take they default to doing nothing, and I don’t blame them.
I want to unfreeze you.
Let’s forget about focusing on what TO do and focus on what NOT to do.
Change requires starting new things and ceasing old things…
Whenever undertaking change, there are two necessary steps. You need to implement new behaviors that run counter to old behaviors that weren’t producing the desired result. AND, you need to discontinue actions that have been prohibiting your progress. Start doing AND stop doing.
Let’s talk about the “STOP DOING” list.
This list features behaviors or actions that are inconsistent with your desired results. If you want a promotion at work, in addition to new, positive behaviors you need to undertake, you need to STOP showing up late, gossiping behind the boss’s back and getting caught playing Solitaire on your computer when you should be working! The “STOP DOING” items end up being just as important as the “START DOING” ones!
So, here are 3 Quick Nutrition Tips on the “STOP DOING” list!
Tip #1: Stop drinking your calories!
- Soda, whether regular or diet, is diabetes in a can. Discontinue as quickly as possible. And stop giving it to your kids!
- Juice isn’t a good choice. If you want fruit, eat it, or blend it up whole in a smoothie. Don’t drink the juice. It’s mostly sugar and devoid of fiber.
- You don’t need Gatorade or Powerade unless you’re a competitive endurance athlete. Which you aren’t. If you can’t live without the idea of replenishing your electrolytes, go for Smart Water.
- Skip the energy drinks like Rock Star. I don’t really feel compelled to even explain why. It’s absolute shit.
- Limit your intake of booze. Sorry, but if you take in more than one drink per day you may develop health issues and will, for certain, have a hard time losing weight.
Tip #2: Stop eating so much processed food!
- Processed food is pretty much anything that comes in a package.
- While the “Food Industrial Complex” would have you believe you can attain your necessary nutrition from processed foods, this is a steaming pile of crap. Processed foods are largely devoid of nutrition and high in calories.
- Processed foods tend to be high in added sugar, which is a huge contributor to overweight and obesity.
Tip #3: Stop dining out so much!
- I might lose you here. But you need to understand that people who dine out more than once or twice a week have a really hard time controlling their weight.
- It’s really hard to make good choices when the menu is filled with delicious, unhealthy ones, and all your friends around the table are choosing terrible meals.
- You don’t control the ingredients or preparation, and the kitchen doesn’t care that you want to lose weight. They have 50 orders to fill and may not heed your special instructions.
- Save your dining out for special occasions!!!
Understand this; I’m not necessarily saying “DON’T EVER DO THESE THINGS!!!” If you can stop some of these things altogether (soda, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks), great. But even reducing and minimizing these habits will make a HUGE impact on your health and on your weight, and that’s before focusing on new, healthy behaviors.