Have I gotten your attention? Interesting title for a blog post, right? I’ve been reading financial books and this one book in particular has caught my attention, not just because I like their cash flow management system, but because there are many comparisons to nutrition! And of course, you know, seeing similarities to how I teach nutrition makes this Dietitian super excited!
In my years of experience I have found I have to change up my teaching style to accommodate whomever is sitting across from me. Some people want macronutrient breakdowns per day, others want to think of their food in serving sizes and compare that to a goal amount per snack and meals. While others don’t want to think numbers at all and do better with visual aids such as proportioned containers and the plate method. No matter how you teach it or think of it, it comes down to one thing–change. To be more exact, a behavior change. There is no magic with nutrition and weight loss. No magic foods, no magic system. Also in my years of experience, I have found I can educate and teach and talk till I’m blue in the face. I cannot make and motivate a person to change their behavior. I cannot follow that person 23 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I want that person to find self motivation but it can’t come from me. That person needs to find it within themselves. This is where nutrition gets hard–it’s a behavior change! Changing a habit for a day is easy. But changing it permanently? That’s hard.
This book I’m reading acknowledges that we all know what we need to do–specifically this book is referencing saving money and paying ourselves first. In order to build up our savings accounts, we need to pay ourselves (profit first) instead of spending it on bills or other expenses. The more money you have in your account the more likely you will spend it. It’s in our human behavior ; think about the bigger the house, the more you fill it with stuff. The bigger your bank account, the more likely you’ll spend it. The larger your plate, the more likely you’ll fill it with food AND consume it! See where I’m going with this?
So what do we do? The key is to not to change our ingrained habits, which is really really hard to do and impossible to sustain, but to change the structure and system around us. For both money changes and nutrition (permanent weight loss/management) it all boils down to lifestyle changes; it’s changing how we eat without really noticing. I’m about to outline 3 things you can do to reduce your portion sizes without even really noticing. I’ll also relate it back to your bank accounts. Why? Because, I may have some people out there that learn better and can relate to this analogy. I’m appealing to this practical type of learner in this blog post!
- Use small plates- If you’ve come to my seminar or one-on-one appointments you’ve most likely heard me talk about moving to kids plates, cups, or salad plates. When you use a smaller plate, you’ll automatically reduce portion sizes.
- For my practical learners who manage finances–have you tried having some of your paycheck allocated to another account for savings before it hits the checking account? Same situation applies! If your paycheck hits your checking and sits there, you’re more likely to spend it and less likely to pay yourself!
2. Serve sequentially- Start your meals by eating your salad or veggies first. They are chock full of fiber and nutrients to help satisfy your hunger. Then move on to the next food–your carbs and starches or meat. You may notice you eat a bit less because you filled up on your veggies. By changing the pattern of how you eat and what you eat first, you’re automatically reduce calories and bringing nutritional balance into your diet.
- Want to relate it to finances? Alright, say that paycheck rolls into your account. What do you normally do? Let it sit and have bills come from that amount, use your debit card? Why not write a check or transfer money to yourself right away! Get that money out of that account and start saving.
3. Find your rhythm- frequent, consistent, small meals. Woahhhh I know all my clients are shaking their heads when they hear this. I hammer in into them! If you wait till your hungry to eat, it’s already too late and you’ve set yourself up for possibly overeating or a binge. Then the feelings of guilt and shame come into play and you go back to starving yourself because you feel bad and try to control it. This routine can result into over consumption of calories. Eat regularly, small meals, so that you never get to the point of starving and impulse eating.
- Get into a rhythm with managing your money. Pay your bills a couple times a month based on when you get paid. Pay yourself first. Have a set schedule. By getting too excited for that money rolling in, you’re more likely to spend it at that point. Then when the big bills are due and there isn’t as much money in the account, panic can strike. Reduce your stress, stop the daily panicking and torment, and establish a rhythm.
For this Dietitian, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to see another profession tout the ways of food and nutrition. And more importantly, behavior change. This blog post is serving as another teaching tool. I told you I have many tricks and tips up my sleeve. You’ve gotta find what works for all different types of people. I hope by referencing and comparing this to money (which we can all relate to) quite possibly the light bulb will go on and you’ll have an Ah-Ha moment. And if you don’t, that fine too! Come see me and we can talk more! My door is always open and I’m always happy talking nutrition and behavior. Book a free consult and we can figure out what works for you!