We can all agree that habits and hobbies are different.
Habits are things we do without thinking or real intention because they’re just part of who we are or are things we’re supposed to do (like showering, getting dressed, brushing our teeth, applying deodorant, paying bills, etc.). We always have time for our habits. We don’t say things like, “I was too busy to brush my teeth today” or “I’m just not going to pay my bills this month. I’ve got too much on my plate.” Habits help keep us on track in life, and rarely produce happiness, but can be very satisfying because they can better position us to experience happiness and joy.
Hobby's are things we do because we find them enjoyable or think we should be doing them. We go to the gym, on walks or bike rides, buy healthy foods at the grocery store, sign up for yoga, and do things like order meal services online to attempt healthier eating. But hobbies are flexible. We often drop our hobbies when we feel stressed or overwhelmed by busyness. We will also be tempted to replace our healthy habits with other social activities we enjoy. For instance, if we find our healthy hobbies competing with our chance for social interaction or down time, including things like going out for dinner, catching happy hour, hanging out with friends, or even watching a favorite show or movie.
Nutrition coaching is designed to help you establish new healthy habits around food and overall health. When it comes to weight loss and “healthy” eating, the options are overwhelming! Whole 30, Beachbody, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, wraps, detoxes, and so many other methods all claiming amazing results if you commit for a certain period. This is not what you get with nutrition coaching. At Truth Nutrition Coaching, we work one-on-one with you to learn about your goals, current eating habits, lifestyle, and expectations, and then we gradually work together as you practice and build habits suited to your specific needs, goals and lifestyle. It’s not magic. You likely won’t lose 30 pounds in 30 days. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not a diet or a fad. It’s an investment in building and adopting healthier habits around food and lifestyle. Dieting is a hobby. Balanced and nutritious eating in a way that supports overall health and wellness is a habit.
Check out these 6 behaviors that will net long term results if you commit to regular practice of them until they become habits.
Eat with intention. A lot of times we eat because there's food out. We grab something on the go. Eat in our cars. Eat in front of the tv or our phones. We're distracted and not engaged with the act of eating. When we do that, we're not allowing our brain the opportunity to realize that we're eating. Where if you slow down, sit down to eat, chew your food, even set your fork down between bites, you'll be able to tap into the signals your brain sends around hunger and fullness. Distracted eating is the devil!
Prioritize protein. There's nothing magical about protein. Eating protein (in the form of lean meats and non-animal sources of protein) is essential for overall health and well-being. And as we age, our need for lean protein actually increases. So eat protein. Aim for .75-1 gram per pound of desired (healthy) body weight. And, yes, in order to know how much that is you'll want to log your food. Otherwise, women should aim for 1-2 palms of protein at each meal and men should shoot for 2-3 palms at each meal (assuming 3 meals/day).
Eat produce. Good gracious, friends! You need to be eating veggies and fruit. I get more complaints around eating produce than nearly any other ask I make to my clients. Produce is essential when it comes to getting your body the micronutrients it needs to perform well. Why are they so important? They play vital roles in energy metabolism, growth and development, immune health, red blood cell production and function, as electrolytes and antioxidants. And produce is our main source of fiber in the diet - which is the main player in gut health. So eat your veggies and fruit. Fresh, frozen, canned (in water)...just eat them!
Limit processed foods. We know we should be they're just so tasty! Well, companies spend millions of dollars each year to ensure that they produce foods that are highly palatable (hit all those pleasure centers in the brain). They're easy to overeat and are very nutritionally empty. You don't have to eliminate them - just make sure they're making up the bulk of your diet. Protein and produce first!
Create a sleep routine. You need more sleep. Yep, that's a blanket statement. I'd wager to say very few of you are getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep. But it's super important! So start small and establish a sleep and wake routine. Turn off screens and start to wind down 20 mins before you head to bed. Make that time consistent each night (you can do it!). Wake up at the same time each morning (yes, try to do that on weekends, too). It's a GAME CHANGER to have a solid sleep routine. Plus, your body works really hard while you sleep so it can work well for you the next day. Don't rob it of the time it needs to do it's best work!
Get up and move. Our culture is very sedentary. Make it a priority to move with intention at least 30 minutes per day. Find an activity you enjoy and do it! Add in walks after meals if you're feeling ambitious. Movement matters for overall physical and emotional health. So plan exercise into your day. Make it a non-negotiable appointment and get moving!
Need some help with these habits? It's not too late to join the Fall Into Healthy Habits Challenge that starts October 1st! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get registered and starting to practice behaviors that will change your life and improve your health and well-being. During the early stages of behavior change it seems impossible to think they will ever come naturally. I assure you that the hard work and practice you invest will produce habits that will serve you for a lifetime. There's no shame in needing a little support when it comes to behavior change. Coaching is a game changer! If the group thing isn't your gig, then one on one coaching might be a better fit! Email me to learn more about coaching and how to get started. Either way, don't wait! Let's get you on the road to start building healthier habits today!