On dealing with weight loss information overload . . .
We live in a world where it’s easier than ever to access information. When it comes to facts, research, and theories about nutrition, there’s more than enough available to overwhelm your brain.
How do you sort it out? How do you decide what to eat? How can you prevent yourself from drowning in a sea of information?
Do you struggle with nutrition and weight loss information overload?
Here are my 4 rules for combating nutrition and weight loss information overload and deciding what to eat.
- Start with what you already know.
You’ve lived inside your body your entire life and that gives you access to a lot of information. Be respectful of what you already know about your tastes, your preferences, and your style when it comes to food choices and meal preparation. Get tuned in to yourself and how different tastes and styles of eating work (or don’t) for you. This does not mean that you shouldn’t be flexible and open to change. We can grow new habits and new tastes. A body that is used to a steady diet of processed foods can learn to love fresh produce, less salt, and no sugar, but start with respect and compassion for who you are now instead of contorting yourself like a pretzel trying to fit into someone else’s “ideal” plan.
- Be clear about your goals – and the results you want to create.
The number on your scale is only one metric. Anyone who has been a slave to their weight knows what an emotional rollercoaster ride it can be if this is the only thing that you’re counting. When you start putting together a food plan, there are some questions that are worth asking: How do you want to feel on a day-to-day basis? How do you want to feel – when you get up from your meal, at the end of the day, or when you wake up in the morning? If you want to feel energized or alert or nourished, what do you already know about the kind of eating that gets you closest to your goal? How can you shift your eating right now to feel more this way?
- Work from the inside out – not the outside in.
This means taking the first two rules to heart. Commit to creating a way of eating that works for you, one you’ll create by listening to your body, learning to trust yourself, and filtering all the advice and “shoulds” through your own mind and body wisdom. Healthy lifestyle change isn’t about just adopting a bunch of other peoples’ rules. It happens when you create your lifestyle and way of eating – one that eventually feels natural and that you’ll be motivated to stick with for life. The inside-out approach doesn’t deny how important having help can be. Experts, mentors, and coaches can help you reach your goals exponentially faster. However, long-term success means they work with you to create a plan that will eventually feel like you being your best version of yourself – not like you holding on or “being good” with all the willpower and discipline you can muster.
- Listen to your data.
Be willing to learn as you go. Some parts of your plan will work and others will need adjusting. If you are open to them, you’ll see signs along the way that you need more information, support or tools. Maybe you need to figure out how to get more protein at breakfast or what to do about sugar cravings in the late afternoon. No food plan is perfect. Sometimes you’ll feel too full and other times you won’t have enough food. You’ll give in to cravings or you’ll eat “perfectly” but feel gassy or bloated. Be willing to learn from every step you take by listening to the data. You’ll grow wiser and smarter and more successful if you see every step (and misstep) as an opportunity to tweak, adjust, and get one step closer to the plan that fits you perfectly.
Take good care,