There are many people with health or body issues, despite being in constant touch with exercising, meditation or even yoga for that matter. Diet or food being the major source of energy, it is certainly the most important part of your healthy body.
However, there are a few questions you can ask yourself when you realize that you have started feeling frustrated with your diet or food routine. When you start feeling like what you’re doing isn’t working for you. These are some of the important questions that need to be intrapersonally realized.
1. How long have you been eating this way?
2. What changes have you noticed? Good or bad.
3. How consistent have you been with your food routine? How close have you stuck to your path (whatever that path may be)?
4. How consistent have you actually been with your food routine?
When it comes to making changes to your body or health condition, it’s all about consistency. It can be hard to stick with something if you’re not seeing immediate results. I’m just as guilty as the next person when it comes to this. Even though we know it doesn’t exist, we all want instant gratification. So, it can be hard to stick with something if you don’t see or feel different within a few days.
Being consistent with your plan is the most important part of making changes to your body/health. If you don’t give your plan a chance to do its thing, you’ll never know if you’re on the right track in your experimentation.
Awareness and Consistency Are Most Important
You can’t be consistent without being aware. It often takes a week or two of following a new plan to start noticing changes. That’s why in my Private Health Counseling Programs, we talk every two weeks– to give you enough time to experiment and implement the changes and then to make an assessment of whether they’re working for you or not.
It’s important to stick with your plan for at least two weeks (ideally more) before making tweaks and changes. You need two weeks to gather enough information to make an informed choice about your next thing to change. You need two weeks to gather enough information to support your experiment to continue in the right direction.
It’s hard to do, but it’s so important. You have to give your plan a chance to show you what it can do before you move on to the next thing.
5 best tips for being consistent with your plan:
Increase Your Awareness
If you don’t know there’s a problem, then you won’t know what to fix. The most important part of consistency is being aware and mindful of what you’re doing. I always recommend keeping a food journal to help increase your awareness of what you’re really eating and of trends in your day to day food routine. You don’t need to keep track of quantities or calories, just of how hungry you are before you eat, how satisfied you are after a meal and what you’re eating. This way you’re able to connect food with your inner body cues and get a realistic picture of what you’re really eating.
This goes along with increasing awareness: slowing down and being mindful of what you’re eating will help you increase your awareness, help you see where you might be experiencing some imbalances and also help you make adjustments after your two week experiment. Practice listening to your inner body cues– are you physically hungry or emotionally hungry? Are you full, but not satisfied? Gathering this type of information is important for making adjustments to your plan so that it truly works for you.
Get Excited about Being Prepared
It’s hard to be consistent and give your plan a good shot if you’re not prepared. It’s much easier to reach for that break room cookie or scone if you don’t have your own healthy snacks packed. It’s much easier to decide to go out to dinner if you don’t have any food in your fridge. Block out some time each week to think about what you’ll be eating for that week. Make a list of meals you want to try, then create a shopping list and shop! This is how I do it: I have a few meals that I make all the time (like beef taco salad and baked chicken thighs) so those are always on my list. Then, I go through some of my favourite cookbooks and find one or two recipes that I want to try. I create a list of the ingredients that I need, then a list of my pantry staples, and I try to gather it all in one shot. Then, even if I don’t stick to my plan 100%, I always have something in the fridge that I can make.
Affirm Your Stick-to-itiveness
It’s hard to stay consistent and stick with your plan if you’re not seeing immediate results, so it’s important to affirm that you’re doing the right thing. Create an affirmation that you can say to yourself whenever you need to be reminded that you’re on the right path– that you’re going about your experimentation the right way. Here are a few of my favourites (don’t laugh too hard, because some of them are corny)
– I am on the right path
– I make choices that nourish my body.
– Everyday I get closer and closer to my goals.
– Slow and steady wins the race.
– Everyday I wake up with new motivation to stick to my plan.
– I am always making progress, even if I can’t see it yet.
– I’m great at sticking with things and being consistent.
– I am patient.
Be Patient and Forgiving
It takes a lot of patience to work consistently toward your goals. Affirmations can help with this, and so can being forgiving of yourself. Don’t get discouraged if you get frustrated– that’s normal. Don’t get discouraged if you’re inconsistent for a day or two– use that as a learning experience to fine tune your experiment. Why did you get off track? What was going on in your life on those days? Was there an imbalance in your Primary Food? What kind of activities did you do on those days? Were you more active than usual and needed more fuel? Remind yourself to be patient with your affirmations, and always practice forgiveness if you start to feel frustrated or off track. Consistency is important, perfection is not.
Consistency is important
You absolutely don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to follow your plan with so much rigidity that it makes you crazy. Everything is about balance. Practicing consistency will reveal things about your food routine that you weren’t expecting– you’ll be able to tell if it’s too rigid, if you actually hate it, if it’s not the right thing for you. You just have to give it a chance to reveal those things by following it as consistently as you can.