The 2nd Factor of Health: Nutrition
If you remember from last week, we are identifying the five factors of health and evaluating how well we are caring for ourselves in these areas over the next 4 weeks. Last week, we learned about how quality sleep affects our overall heath. Today’s focus: proper nutrition.
GOAL: Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants. Eliminate refined carbohydrates processed
foods and sugar.
Our modern North American diets are carb and sugar filled. Combined with our sedentary lifestyles, we are heavier and unhealthier than ever. Trendy diets may give us the satisfaction of
losing weight quickly, but they don’t fix our bad habits and food addictions or help us maintain
those results for the long haul.
How would you like your weight and/or body composition to be different in the new
Why is this important to you?
Below is a list of some of the habits of healthy eaters. Think about the ones that you are already doing and which ones would require a simple change or two.
Plan a food menu for the week
Cook and prepare for for the week on the weekends
Eat until 80% full
Eat without distractions ( screens, etc.)
Awareness of real hunger vs. an emotionally driven desire to eat
Majority of diet consists of real, whole, nutrient dense foods
Low to no sugar and limited or no refined carbohydrates
Moderate alcohol consumption (2-4 drinks a week)
Vegetables at every meal
Every reason you can come up with about why you make poor choices around food can be transformed
into a way to stop letting that excuse sabotage you. Let’s dig a little deeper into your excuses and see what
habits you could work on to dial in your nutrition.
Do you prepare food to bring with you during the day to eat? If no, why not?
What habits do you need to create or change so that you can start doing this?
Do you rely on takeout, frozen or pre-made foods, ready to eat snacks, and other food that is
convenient, but often full of ingredients that are hard to pronounce?
What one small step could you take to improve the quality of the food you eat on a daily basis?
Are you willing to plan your meals for the week and prepare food ahead of time?
What day of the week can you commit to making time for this?
One Small Step at a Time
If you try to make too many changes at once with what you eat, or overwhelm yourself with a bunch of
new habits you have to create to eat better, you will likely fail. Behavior change requires us to make small
be consistent with them.
Then, those small changes turn into habits which are no longer difficult to sustain.
Here are some examples of small changes you can make to your nutrition. Which ones are you willing to try?
Add some veggies to at least 2 meals a day
Aim to have 20-25 grams of protein per meal
Start your day by drinking a glass of water
Limit take out to 1 or 2 nights/days a week
Reduce the amount of sweetener in your daily coffee
Cook yourself dinner one night a week
Small changes can make a big impact on our overall health! Choose one or two action steps to make nutrition a not-overwhelming priority this week.
Up next week:
The concept of the 5 Factors of Health was coined by Ben Bergeron. This PDF was created as a self evaluation and goal setting tool by Rachael
O’Donnell LCSW, LADC, CrossFit level 2 Trainer, and Pn1 Nutrition Coach.