Years ago, I found an incredible book called ‘Change One’ at a discount book store. For $6, it was one of the best healthy eating/weight loss books I’ve ever found, and I still coach people on some of the advice in this book.
In case you don’t want to run out to the used bookstore or skim ebay for this gem, I’ll fill you in on why this book has been sitting on my shelf for so many years.
>> Simple Changes
As you may have guessed, the premise of the book is that in order to create and sustain long-term weight loss, you must ease yourself into it. Start by changing one or two small things that feel manageable: if you overhaul your lifestyle in a week, you will become exhausted and frustrated and the changes won’t stick.
I guide my clients to eliminate most – not all – processed foods (let’s be real: I know that I will never get to 100% whole foods all the time. I just know that I won’t unless I’m medically forced to, so I don’t get down on myself for eating boxed foods from time to time. And I never ask my clients to do anything that I don’t do myself, so we’re all on the same page).
Let’s say the first thing you choose to change is breakfast. If you’re used to grabbing a sugar filled breakfast bar as you run out of the house, let’s estimate that you’re consuming about 200 calories worth of carbohydrates and protein.
Well guess what? A hard-boiled egg and a banana doesn’t take much longer to unwrap and eat. Don’t get me wrong, a high quality protein bar can fit nicely into your healthy diet. Just make sure to pick a good one such as the RxBar.
>> Don’t Give Up Your Popcorn
The great thing about making small changes like this is that you don’t have to give up your favorite foods. If you love snacking on popcorn (like I do), you don’t have to give it up! Just trade it in for a healthier version.
There are a variety of different types of popcorn at the grocery store that are a perfectly acceptable healthy snack. One of my favorites is SkinnyPop because there are three ingredients: popcorn, oil, and salt. That’s all.
The same goes for all kinds of food: if you can’t go without chips, try swapping your Fritos for Taro Chips that are made from sweet potatoes. If you gotta have chocolate, swap your processed Hershey’s for a more healthy organic dark chocolate.
If you’re not sure whether it’s a healthier choice, take a look at the ingredients list on the back. When you see a jumble of words that would knock you out of a spelling bee, don’t eat it! The better choices have ingredients that you can pronounce and understand.
>> Embrace the Journey
Remember, the path to health is truly a journey. You don’t have to give up everything you love to see progress. When you integrate these small changes and let your body and your taste buds adjust, you’re setting yourself up for long-term success and wellness.
How are you integrating small changes into your life?