BIG Nutrition: Reflecting on What’s Next!


BIG Nutrition: Reflecting on What’s Next!

Whether you are part of the BIG group participating in Whole 30 or fine tuning your nutrition, there comes a time when it is good to reflect on what works, what is easy to do, what is hard to do, what do you want to continue to do, and what you need to let go of. Here are some ideas for getting at it!

  • Get real. Life isn’t all or nothing and your eating doesn’t need to be either. Start by setting yourself up for success with a realistic goal (eg, eat 2 whole grains and one unrefined grain each day 5 of 7 days per week, eat whole foods for 15 out of 21 meals in a week, eat 2 vegetables at every weekday lunch and dinner), then practice this one goal for a few weeks before revising it or setting another goal. This gives you time to adjust and work out any issues you encounter.
  • Get off the roller coaster. Weight loss followed by weight gain…again and again is tough on your body.
  • Get more plant foods in your life. It is not about what you take out of your diet, it is about what you are putting in that matters!
  • Get specific! Take one idea, eating more vegetables, and make it concrete so that you know when you are successful. Ideas—I will try to do the following for 5 of 7 days per week:
    • 2 vegetables at dinner (1 cooked vegetable and 1 salad)
    • 1 vegetable with breakfast (add peppers to scrambled eggs or eat cherry tomatoes with whole grain toast)
    • 4 vegetables per day (you decide how to break it up) 
  • Get recording. Log your intake, either on paper or on MyFitnessPal. You won’t need to do this forever, but it can help show you patterns (ie, good and bad) in your intake.
  • Get an accountability buddy. Tell a family member or friend that you are working to improve X (eg, 3 vegetables and 2 fruits on 5 of 7 days per week, pack your lunch 5 days per week, cook dinner 5 nights per week). Even better, entice your family or friend to try X too and lean on each other and hold each other accountable.
  • Get to the why. Think about ‘why’ you want to eat better. If you do, you will set clearer eating goals and have a better vision of how to get there. 
  • Get over it! Ate a piece a cake? Move on. Worrying about what you ate or feeling guilty about it won’t help you reach your goal.

When you take time to reflect, you have insight into how you can build on a previous success. Understanding what is hard also gives insights into how to address the issue or how to get the help you need.

Happy and healthful eating,

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN

Thinking about nutrient dense eating during the summer? Contact me at [email protected]. Private Nutrition Services are available for BIG Members (@ 30% discount) and the Community. They are listed here.