Step 3 – Learning how to transition to new ways of eating can be difficult. One way you can start is by establishing a baseline. Do this by taking note of the foods you currently consume and set realistic expectations that set you up for success.
Don’t try to transition everything all at once but pick maybe one thing you would like to cut out and cut back 1 – 2 days/week until you gradually eliminate it from your diet. While making dietary transitions, keep these things in mind:
- What is healthy for one person may not be healthy for YOU – be curious about what food primarily give you energy and which ones actually take it away. Again, this can be different for each person.
- Listen to your body – your body will send you signals to let you know what it needs. They may be faint in the beginning but the more you tune in to listen to them, the louder they will become
- Approach transition with flexibility versus rigidity. Follow the 80/20 rule where you strive to eat new foods 80% of the time. Even eating new foods 51% of the time may be an improvement for you, and that is good enough! Life happens—there will be times when there aren’t healthy options available to you or you simply choose to eat a highly processed product. Remember that eating is meant to be pleasurable! If you catch yourself judging yourself for a specific food you ate, turn back to curiosity. Ask yourself: What am I really craving or needing right now in my life? (more on this in another blog).
- Your perfect diet changes as you change. You may find a way of eating that works for you right away, which is amazing! However, that may change if you enter into a new phase of life or a big event occurs that changes your stress levels. Continue to listen to your body and stay curious as to which foods are going to best help you achieve optimum health wherever you are right now.