It’s diet season in case you haven’t noticed.
More than likely you’re seeing parades of “New Year – New You” messages streaming across our newsfeeds, newspapers and newsletters. While I have no problem with people wanting to feel better – the way these programs are going about is something that I definitely take issue with. Mainly because, they don’t work.
On several occasions in my practice this week I was reminded of friend and colleague Cliff Harvey’s approach to health. Too often people who start their health journey choose an ‘all or nothing’ approach to change. Unfortunately, in these cases, it’s just that. All – or nothing. Cliff’s book The Carb Appropriate Diet suggests a gentle, more empowering and long-term solution to today’s standard diet crazes.
So put those celebrity slim drinks down, grab the potatoes and read on.
Cliff’s suggests a step-wise solution. This step-wise approach to health encourages us to take smaller, longer lasting steps and observe whether you experience the results you want from just a few steps rather than several. For example, you don’t need to automatically remove ALL THE CARBS instead, try to play around and see if a gentler approach will give you the same results.
For example, in his book, Cliff suggests that the first step is to consume a mainly whole and unprocessed diet. That means choosing foods as close to their natural form as often as you can. This can include whole grains, homemade breads and yes, even potatoes. For some, the first step is the only step they need to achieve health. And so the beauty of the step-wise approach is that’s it, you can stop now. When I say stop, I don’t mean stop eating whole foods, I mean why start cutting everything else out too? Why cut out all carbs, natural sugars, fruits, potatoes etc. if you are achieving success in just one-step? There are a dozen or so steps on this staircase and so cutting everything out all at once is unnecessary if you’re feeling great on step #1 (and many do).
When we take too much on all at once, it can more often than not be unsustainable whereas smaller steps over time have been shown over and over to lead to lasting change.
The bottom line, is keep it simple, listen to your body and do what works for you. Screw the diets, screw the rules – we’re all different. Learning to find out exactly what’s right for us is true empowerment. This is what my coaching practice is all about – finding your own individualised solution in as little steps as possible.
And thanks Cliff, for keeping it real.
Looking for an individualised approach to health? Get in touch!