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Big dietary changes in six small steps.

Posted Mar 12 2010 12:00am

This post is all about you.

The collective you.

The you I was fortunate enough to meet & connect with last weekend who asked me about all this.

The greater you who fill my in-box & twitter stream (which I adore) with your questions about health, fitness, tattoos, and more.

Lately Ive been asked variations on the questions below a *bunch*:

I’m ready to change my eating habits and don’t want to do a diet (I’ve done ww before and jenny craig and south beach).  I want to try and eat intuitively which I know you do. What can I do starting now?  Please don’t tell me to read a book :) Im so busy.  What’s the first step in your opinion?

(I chose this specific email because it said “in your opinion.” My apologies to the rest of the emailers/peeps I met in Orlando but it saved me the dizclaimer yammer.)

Another reason I chose this email is because of the ‘what can I do starting now’ piece.

We all know how easy it is to do the “starting Monday I shall” or “on the first of the month I will…” & yet we all know (deep in our hearts. where it counts.) that it really is all about starting right.this.moment.

So I give you what I did.

What I DO.

When I had my AH HA! moment & finally decided the time had come to shed my freshwoman forty I followed about six steps & they’re the same type of thing I still do on a daily basis.

When I finally decided the time had come to shed my freshwoman forty I had no acronym with which to remember it all.

I give you an acronym good lord I love me some acronyms.

To use.

STARTING TODAY.

Mini-meals. Im a believer in spreading my calories throughout the day. For the most part none of my meals are bigger than any other ( I do find at times I eat more at breakfast out of hunger. Intuitively.)  Beyond the fact I think this helps me stay lean—-it definitely helps my blood sugar levels stay even. I have far more energy now and am less moody.

Intuitive eating. Start this one today. Slowly. Listen to what your body is saying. Pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. JOURNAL.  For me this isn’t journaling *caloric intake* but feelings.  Noting how, when I crave sweets, it’s mainly AFTER Ive had a high processed carbohydrate meal.

That sort of thing.  Perhaps you begin by not even CHANGING your foods—just logging your body’s reaction to them.

It changed my life when I spent a week NOT CHANGING my eating but merely writing how I felt after each meal & snack (satiated? triggered to crave sugars? bloated? cranky? still famished?).  It taught me to how to be the expert of my own body.

Zero HARD & FAST RULES.    Again, this is just what has always work for me. Im a rebel. Make a rule that I can not have or do something & it is immediately the ONLY THING I THINK ABOUT.

Fiber, Fiber, Fiber. At this point I think we all know why (want more info? still unclear? desire a list of fiberfoods? please to let me know in the comments.)—be sure you both KNOW and are acting on it.

Invest in YOU.  For me this takes the form of spending lots of money on quality foods & less money on (quality) clothing.  I love me some sushi grade tuna. Im happy with clothing from Goodwill type places.

For some this may be an investment in a personal trainer.  For others in a gym membership. I have more than a few non-wealthy friends who invested in cooking lessons in their homes so that they could learn a handful of easy healthy meals.  You are worth it.  Even if it means you save for what feels like eons to experience your chosen decadent treat (Hello crappy economy!) — make an effort to pamper yourself as much as you can.

Which leads me to…

Tried & trues. Have a few meals which you know you enjoy, which are healthy, &  which are easily prepared in your arsenal. I tend to have the T & T’s already prepared and waiting in the fridge for those moments Im too tired to cook. Other people prefer just to have ingredients on hand.

Whatever *you* decide Im a firm believer in the fact that these T & T’s help to set us up for food success.

That’s me, People.

M.I.Z.F.I.T

What I did starting out and what I do today.

When Im feeling completely scattered, out of my element and CRAZED I figure if I can stick to these six things Ill re-find my groove in no time.

Now you.

What would you tell the people who ask:

What’s the one thing I can do, starting today, to clean up/change my eating habits?

please to hit us all up in the comments.

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