If you are one of the many that have yo-yo dieted—or started a new diet only to have it end a few days later—you’re approaching healthy eating all wrong. There are so many diets advertised daily that you can’t possibly know which one is right for you. But none of them will ever be the right fit if you aren’t approaching them in the right way from the start.
Georgie Fear, a registered dietitian, certified weight loss coach and author of the ‘non-diet book’ Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss: Mastering 4 Core Eating Behaviors to Stay Slim Forever (April 2015), offers some solutions for those that may struggle with traditional dieting: habit-based eating behaviors.
“Many people fall into the trap of believing that willpower is the key element to healthy eating success. It’s not,” explains Fear. “None of us have infinite self-control, including healthy eaters! Healthy nutrition habits, like any other habit, require intentional practice at first, but once they become automatic the amount of effort needed to sustain them becomes minimal.”
Some of the habits she presents to her clients at One by One Nutrition and in her book include: eating three meals per day (she explains why the need to eat five small meals is a myth), tracking your sweets (not eliminating them altogether) and incorporating vegetables into every meal. These habits, however, aren’t all done at once. You master them in bits and pieces so that they eventually become the norm in your daily life.
“I hope that people who read my book realize that they can get better, long-term results from making one incremental change at a time and maintaining each one, rather than doing a drastic diet which they quit in a few days or weeks,” Fear says. “I hope people also realize that being kind to themselves is not only more pleasant than constant self-criticism and guilt, it’s more effective in helping you reach your goals.”
As with any new habit you approach, Fear wants you to remember that there is no pressure to be perfect. Taking the time to learn and get better at each skill is the key, even in healthy eating,