A New Eating Plan for the New Year
Want to jump-start your diet and nutrition in the new year? Not sure where to begin? A good place to start the process is by working with your coach to develop a “Nutrition Vision.” A Nutrition Vision is similar to an overall Wellness Vision, but focuses on, you guessed it, your diet! It is a statement of how you want your diet to look - what you want to be eating or not eating - one year from now. A vital part of the nutrition vision planning session with your coach is setting some diet-related goals for the weeks and months ahead. Following are some helpful, goal-setting tips for you to review prior to your nutrition vision planning session. Using the SMART acronym, be sure your nutrition goals are:
First, decide what your overall goal is, for example, to eat more vegetables. Break that goal down into a specific action: “I will eat a salad with my dinner three times this coming week.”
Be sure your nutrition goal is one that can be quantified. Ask your coach to turn on your personalized “food tracker’ on the Vida app. This way, you can document all of your food consumption and review it with your coach for some honest feedback.
Attainable & Realistic
An attainable goal is also a realistic goal. Know yourself and what you are capable of doing. Instead of saying, I’ll never eat sweets again,” decide that you will limit yourself to a special snack on specific days. Unattainable and unrealistic goals set you up for discouragement and failure.
Make your goals time-bound - give it a specific time-frame - whether it’s a week, a month, or 3 months.
Additional Nutrition Vision Planning Tips
Add, Don’t Subtract
Focus on adding, not subtracting. Look for fruits and veggies you like and add them to your diet. Improve the nutrition levels of what you already eat by adding in veggies to your pizza, sandwiches, and omelets. If you keep adding healthy items to your diet, you push out the unhealthy choices in a painless way!
Make Small Changes
Don’t try to change too much at once. Make small changes, one or two at a time, to give yourself a better chance of sticking to them. For example, if you want to eat more whole grain foods, follow the American Dietetic Association’s suggestion to “make half your grains whole.” If you want to eat more veggies, try eating crunchy ones with a favorite dip instead of snacking on chips.
Once you’ve met your nutritional goals, however small they may be, give yourself a nonfood reward. Some ideas include new clothing or accessories, a book, a massage, or even a kitchen appliance that will make eating healthier easier.