This guest blog comes from Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM HFS, a Washington, D.C. based dietitian and weight management expert. Together with Bernie Salazar, at-home winner of The Biggest Loser, she co-created “The Nurture Principles” – Five mantras to help people change their lives and find wellness within.
What sounds better, restrictive dieting or nourishing yourself for lasting health? Think about it. There are so many diets out there based on restriction. People diet to get healthier. It’s no wonder “healthy” has a negative connotation. But dieting and health are not synonymous. Healthy eating is all about taste, pleasure, and satisfaction! If this approach is more your speed, learn how you can nurture yourself and manage your weight at the same time.
First and foremost, you need to be ready for change. It’s important to understand that “nothing changes until you do.” If you want something different, you have to actually do something different. Write down some changes you think you need to make to eat healthier. Then think of one easy (and I mean easy) thing you can do about it.
Here’s an example. Many people order take out because it keeps them from having to cook and grocery shop, which saves them time. Suppose you order a pizza and usually eat 3-4 slices. Here are some simple changes that can make a huge difference:
- Start with a salad and light dressing and after you finish it put one to two slices of pizza on your plate – enjoy every bite!
- Order veggies on your pizza instead of high fat meats.
- Replace the mozzarella on half with feta cheese (if available).
- Make your meal last at least 30 minutes.
If you think you can achieve one or more of these changes, you’ll cut the calories and fat in half! You’ll also meet your veggie quota for the day.
This is nurturing because you aren’t asking yourself to dramatically change everything at once. Notice, pizza is still on the menu and you’re still saving time. You’re also making a dramatic change with seemingly little effort. Your dinner still tastes good and satisfies you. You simply balanced it out with a salad, healthy substitutions, and portion control. There’s always time to tackle additional changes, which you’ll be more likely to do if you can succeed at easy ones first. Make your list. Choose a change. Do it. It’s that easy – and it’s nurturing!
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