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The #1 Healthy Habit Virtually All Diets Have in Common

Making healthy lifestyles sustainable.

I am frequently asked for nutrition advice, especially since most people who come to see me want to lose weight. I often feel very torn because I want to do everything I can to help someone reach their goals, but I’m very aware that I’m not a Registered Dietician (RD) and it’s out of my scope of practice to prescribe a food plan. With that said I usually stick to general guidelines of servings of foods one should eat, and tips for getting the macro and micro-nutrients we need in our diet.

The Problem

I’ve seen many diets come and go. I usually tell people that any diet will work…if you stick to it. The big problem is that most diets are impossible to maintain long-term…like your whole life, or they are incredibly unsafe. For this reason, I’ve always been a proponent of making good food choices that you can sustain in a lifestyle-hence one of our mottoes, “Making fitness and wellness a healthy lifestyle you can live with”.

What all good diets have in common

If you look at all the successful campaigns, companies, philosophies of weight-loss or weight-maintenance they all share one crucial component. They all have you track in some sort of way what you put in your mouth. Whether it’s keeping a food journal, or tracking your points, or counting calories it seems that the simple act of writing it down raises your awareness and helps change behaviors into positive choices that will eventually become habit-forming. This tracking also provides some self-accountability as to what you are really doing behind closed doors. A draw-back that I’ve mentioned before is that you can start obsessing about food-which isn’t healthy either. Another issue that most people can’t track the minutia of their lives for the rest of theirs.

The Solution

So we’ve established that diets don’t work long-term and many are dangerous. We also know that tracking what goes into the body is a common denominator of all successful weight-loss/weight-maintenance progrems but they shouldn’t be a long-term strategy. So how do we combine these ideas/strategies?

I’ve decided to take solid nutritional information and good things from many of the successful systems to create a free and easy to use way, fun, and competitive way to track your food choices that will hopefully motivate you to reach for the fruits and veggies instead of the 3rd helping of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. You can create a FREE account and use our Food CHOICE tracker for free on your desktop, tablet or mobile device.

Just remember that tracking your choices is just the first step in creating a long-term healthy lifestyle and behavior. We recommend tracking your choices for a week or two. Using that data, you can identify some habits that you’d like to focus on andcreate a gameplan for accomplishing them. Then we recommend tracking an additional 2 weeks with your new fitness goals and see how you are doing at reaching them. Once you can get the goal broken down to managable daily healthy habits you can finally work on setting yourself on auto-pilot to healthy habits success.

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