5 Signs You’re Ready for (Long-Term) Dietary Change
Are you REALLY ready for change? Are you prepared to move beyond short-term attempts and take a flying leap into the realm of sustainable, long-term (diet or lifestyle) changes?
To help you in knowing if you’re prepared, I have my top 5 signs that you’re ready for (long-term) dietary change!
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1.YOU are seeking Help:
I bet you’ve heard, “you can bring a horse to water but can’t make him drink”. The same holds true with diet and lifestyle changes. An example would be if a family member encourages their loved one to consult with a dietitian after a heart attack, the person receiving the advice needs to be willing, committed and receptive in order for long-term change to happen.
Better at Managing Stress:
“My diet was going so well, until I was faced with work stress and I fell off the wagon”. This is not an uncommon pitfall many of my clients face. If you are looking to maintain your diet in the long-term, I recommend also working on your stress management!
It will feel strange at first to do things like slowing down, breathing deeply and prioritizing your health by adding things like an enjoyable form of physical activity or cooking a homemade meal to your schedule. However, when you are in the habit of taking time for yourself (known as self care – see past blogs) you will be equipped with invaluable skills to tackle stress with grace. When stress increases, your default response will be stress management instead of unhealthy dietary habits or placing yourself as last priority.
Have a Support Team!
As humans, we have yearning to feel connection and part of a community. This is why we must feel supported during the change process. Your support team may include a family member or a friend, a professional (a dietitian, therapist, doctor). The important thing is that you make regular contact with this person along your journey.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask your support system for help. You may need to ask a family member to help you with meal preparation on a weekend or your neighbour may want to do planned meal swaps or a zumba class together. Fill your support team with people you admire; this will keep you working towards your health and wellness goals.
Healthy Relationship with You!
This point cannot be over-stated. By improving your relationship with yourself, you can become your own cheerleader and advocate instead of your own worst critic. Take notice of negative self-talk including things like being “not good enough”. Negative self-talk is destructive and sabotages the fabulous changes already made.
Remember to reward yourself for progress and treat yourself as you would a friend. This will help you sustain your changes and feel great along the way!
Make it Fun 🙂
Positivity and enjoyment are crucial for long-term change. After all, who would stick to a change if it was boring and didn’t make them feel amazing? Therefore, ditch the “I have to do it mentality” and think of “what would I love to do?” This might mean that you start taking cooking classes or perhaps join a pole dancing class because it makes you laugh with your friends and enjoy physical activity. Stay in tune with your inner voice and make sure changes are leaving you having fun along the way!
Making long-term change doesn’t have to be an up-hill battle. First decide what you would like to change, practice managing your stress, building your support team, caring for yourself and having some fun along the way! Creating the healthy habits needs to be enjoyable; especially if you’re in it for the long-haul!