Wednesday, December 8, 2021
By Sarah Schlichter, Charm City Run Nutrition Program Coach
As we enter the holiday season, you may have started to hear people talking about New Year’s resolutions. For many people, these resolutions tend to focus on health, wellness, exercise, losing weight, or changing their body in some way. While focusing on health and wellness is a fabulous motivator, many times we take these resolutions to an extreme. For example, completely cutting out all desserts or sweets, or removing carbohydrates from our diet, or something that is just not maintainable for the long term.
Research shows that when we restrict or deprive ourselves of foods, we tend to binge or overeat these foods later. In our Change Your Mind, Change Your Body program, we will address just this, as well as setting intentions for yourself, how to make habits sustainable, and some key wellness tips that you can continue all year long.
Let’s talk about the difference between resolutions and intentions and how we can set ourselves up for success. A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. Resolutions tend to not allow for any kind of error, mistake, or wiggle room. Intentions, on the other hand, are defined as an aim or plan and give us more flexibility. Intentions help remove shame or disappointment if our goals need to be adjusted.
For example, rather than setting a resolution of “I am going to lose 20 lbs in 3 months,” you can adjust this to a more intention-based goal such as, “I am going to check in with my hunger and fullness and practice self care every day.” This intention can be adjusted based on what else is going on in your life at the time. For example, you may be less hungry on a rest day, and therefore eat less. Just by checking in with your body’s needs, you may find that you do lose the weight and you feel less stressed. Think about the different mindset this flexible intention brings, versus the inflexible goal of losing x lbs in __ months, which can lead to feelings of guilt and shame if you don’t achieve it.
We encourage you to try and be compassionate this holiday season and set intentions that you can focus on and achieve daily, and that in the long run are still improving your overall health and wellness.
Our Change Your Mind, Change Your Body program will help you learn to make these mental reframes and change your mindset to help improve your overall health. We’ll also talk about some of the fad diet myths, and what’s true vs. not research based in the nutrition world. Sustainable habits should be individualized to your unique needs and should allow for flexibility and adjustment.
To set a sustainable habit or goal, focus on baby steps. Take your goal and break it down into something that is small and realistic. For example, if your goal is to focus on improving your health, write down a list of what that could look like.
Below are some great flexible wellness tips to help get you started:
Meal plan in a way that works for you – This could mean prepping entire meals for the week or just cutting up vegetables for dinners that you plan throughout the week.
Aim to eat consistently throughout the day – Start by trying to incorporate 3 meals per day and add snacks as needed.
Tune into your hunger and fullness cues rather than focus on counting calories or macros.
Eat mindfully throughout the day and try to minimize distractions when eating.
Incorporate exercise that brings you joy and fits into your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be an hour each day, something is better than nothing and any movement is good.
Drink more water throughout the day – Start by adding in 1 more glass or water bottle to your day
Start by picking one item from that list that sounds most appealing to you, then assess your daily routine. Find out where in your day would be a good place to try and implement this change, and what that looks like. Finally, challenge yourself, but remember to be compassionate and flexible. You might not do this goal perfectly every day, and that is okay! Take what you learned from not succeeding the first time and try it again. It may take some trial and error to find what works for you. Join our group program for more accountability!
Creating and implementing these sustainable habits can be challenging, and that is why support and accountability is key. Having a group alongside you is great for comradery and goal seeking.
Starting January 2022, Charm City Run is offering a “Change Your Mind, Change Your Body” weekly zoom series, which will focus on many of these topics, such as basic nutrition, navigating the grocery store, building a performance plate, taking the stress out of eating and much more! If you are looking for more individualized nutrition you can also reach out to myself and Danielle at Bucket List Tummy for 1-1 nutrition guidance.