I have been studying for a Nutrition Certification through Precision Nutrition. I have learned some really cool things so far and I have just begun the process. A couple things I have been reading about are interesting but I bet most of you already know these things. Energy balance happens when we consume the same amount of calories we burn. On the other hand, if we burn more calories than we consume we lose weight. If we consume more then we burn we gain weight. Seems like most know this fact. In addition, I have learned about nutrient density. When we eat for good health we eat more foods that have the most nutrients, the foods that have the vitamins and minerals that feed our cells with what we need to perform optimally. For example, we can eat two foods that are the same size and same calories. We can eat an apple or a donut (I will be honest I did not investigate if these two are the same in calories but for the sake of the example pretend they are). An apple can provide you with the vitamins and minerals your body needs and craves. The donut provides unhealthy fats and sugars that your mind maybe craves but your body cannot use.
Perhaps you have read such facts in diet books, nutrition books or magazines, exercise books or even information you have gotten from coaches. All this knowledge is really great stuff but how do we take what we have learned and apply it? We have established routines, behaviors and patterns over the years that have determined who we are. Some behaviors have been ingrained in our beings and we just cannot change. Some behaviors are addictions such as food, alcohol or shopping to name a few. We perform behaviors we know are not in the best interest of our physical or mental health but just cannot seem to change them. For example, perhaps you are an avid soda drinker. You drink several sodas per day. You know you’re taking in an extraordinary amount of sugar every day which is contributing to the extra pounds you have put on the last year or so. You know this habit is not healthy but you just can’t stop drinking so many sodas. What do you do? After all, you have tried a million different strategies that have not worked. What now?
To change behavior, it is necessary to change your mindset. It is important to ask yourself, is changing your habit just another good idea? Are you TRULY committed to change? If you are not committed and not open to change, don’t even try. If you are committed here are a few ideas that may help you change your mindset. If you are committed to change pick one thing to change. For example, regarding the soda example, limit yourself to one soda a day with lunch. Choose one goal with the most impact. Did you know that if you choose one goal your percentage of achieving that goal is greater? If you try to accomplish three or four goals the percentage of you achieving them goes down significantly with each additional goal you try to accomplish. Visualize the outcome you a hoping for. Keep a picture of success in the forefront of your mind. How do you picture yourself having accomplished your goal? A positive mindset is necessary for a positive outcome. Be sure to find a buddy to hold you accountable as well. Be sure you create a social network that supports your goal and can provide you the encouragement you need to make your goal a reality. When old patterns or behaviors reappear you will have a social network to see you through. Celebrate the victories. Whether big or small, victories are worth celebrating. Everyone needs a ‘great job,’ or a pat on the back for doing something we are proud of. Be your number one fan. Give yourself a big hug, a high five or whatever it is that keeps you moving in a positive direction. You are worth it.
These tips can be applied to a number of areas. You may want to be a better soccer player, master a certain skill, be more coachable, be a better parent on the sidelines, be a better teammate. We all have areas we need to improve. I hope these tips will help you to take the first steps in achieving whatever it is you want to master. Good luck!!!!