Have you ever said to yourself, “I’ll start again on Monday” or, “Well, today is blown, so I might as well start fresh tomorrow”? It seems like we’re always starting over.

For some reason, as a society, there is a stigma that living a healthy life comes with great sacrifice – Our diet needs to be measured, tracked and deprived. Our exercise needs to be gruelling, time consuming and isolating.  We have to start fresh on Monday or January 1st and maintain it for 21, 30, 60 or 90 days and then we’ll be healthier, right? – The truth for most of us is we’ll just go back to our old habits that got us there in first place, and likely regain the weight.  It’s interesting to me that so many people want to share how much weight they lost, but as a Dietitian I am not so interested in that, my question is how long did you keep it off?

These quick fixes will not move us towards a healthier lifestyle, and the weight loss and regain cycle can actually be very hard on the body.  Each time we try, it becomes harder and harder to lose weight. With each cycle comes negative thoughts, poor self-talk and potentially elevated cortisol levels. All in all, these actions do not move us towards our end goal of being healthy. Instead, what if we tried the “Healthy-ish” Diet?Taking steps each day that compound over time and help move us towards an improved health. Not a full 360, but small daily steps that add up to improve our health.

Every day we make choices. We can choose to get out of bed or we can choose not to, we can choose to have breakfast or we can choose skip it, we can choose to walk at lunch or we can choose to eat at our desk. Every day we have choices that can add to, or take away from, our health. Take a moment to reflect on your day yesterday, did you make a choice that added to your health? – Like having 2 cups of vegetables at lunch, or getting 8 hours of sleep? – Do you think you could do that again tomorrow? How many times a week do you think you can do that? Be realistic. Maybe it’s 4 times a week. If you do it 4 times a week, don’t you think you’d be healthier than if you did it 3 times a week? This approach is not about being perfect, but about being realistic, and slowly making more and more choices that add to our health instead of taking away from it.

One of the most crucial take-home messages I tell my clients is this: It’s about being consistent, not perfect. For instance, when I first start working with a client, or when someone hears that I am a Dietitian, they just want me to make them a meal pattern. They feel like if they are just told what they need to eat, then they can do it on their own.  For these individuals, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday often go well, but the rest of the week is a struggle. A better approach would be to work having a balanced breakfast 3-4 days per week (something we can prepare on the weekend). Once that becomes a habit, then we can add in balanced lunches, then balanced dinners, then balanced snacks. The results won’t be as dramatic, but they will be for life. And isn’t that the goal? To live healthier for longer!

Through this process you will learn how much better you can feel day-to-day, and your body will start to crave how good you can feel. Those little blips we all experience along the way won’t seem so big, and we can work through them so we can learn from them.

So, take some time to think, “How can I add to my health today?”  “What steps can I take this week that will add to my health?” Will you keep the same goal(s) next week? Or can you add another step? Remember, it’s not about going from zero to 100. It’s about going from zero to 2, then 4, then 6, and gradually working your way to 80 or 90, because 100% doesn’t exist for long periods of time. We need to find balance to enjoy life. Here is an example of some of the steps my clients have taken towards better health:

**Please note these are individual goals for steps towards health that are specific to the person. Wording should be chosen by each individual.

As you can see from above, it’s not about the number on the scale or being perfect. It’s about the small steps that you take each day that will add to your health. Small incremental changes add up over time to help us reach our weight loss and wellness goals.


Many health benefit plans include coverage for Dietitian services
Check with your provider to see if an appointment with a Dietitian can come as no additional cost to you or your family


February 26, 2016