Nutrition Coaching: The Importance of Planning

A variety of vegetables, like a nutrition coach would encourage

A nutrition coach will always say yes to a good selection of veggies.

It’s a new year and the Body Balance Pleasanton nutrition coaching staff is excited to share tips to help you reach your 2019 healthy eating goals. Nutrition is the foundation of well-being: good nutrition is at the heart of weight control and vibrant energy and strength; is a primary contributor to emotional and psychological wellness; and can help prevent, reduce, or eliminate illnesses, aches, and pain. When you fuel your body with what it needs, you create a solid base of well-being and from there,  you can thrive.

One nutrition downfall many of us face, however, is getting caught being hungry now, with no healthy options on hand, and no time to seek out or make a meal that meets our desired healthy eating plan. We’re unprepared, so we grab whatever is available or skip a meal altogether. Neither of these options is good. The solution: be prepared.

But before getting into meal planning, you may be wondering what a healthy diet consists of to begin with. It’s impossible to plan your diet if you’re not even sure what it should contain.

How Do I Know Even Know What a Healthy Plan Includes?

There is so much diet advice out there, it’s really challenging to know what the right answers are. Should I go Paleo? Whole 30? What about low-fat diets? What are the best diets for 2019? Should I try one of those? DASH? Mediterranean? Is coffee in? Out? Wine? What about chocolate? And what happened to acai and goji berries?

It is overwhelming, and rather misleading because—cue drumroll—none of these is the perfect diet for you. The perfect diet for you is the one works best for your body. Every body is different, so there is no one-diet-fits-all answer.

The good news then is that you hold the magical answer to the question of what diet will work best for you. In the words of Body Balance Pleasanton Nutrition Coach Cristina Moidel: “You are the only expert on you, and this is your journey.”

The challenge is that you are the one who has to find that magical answer. This is where a nutrition coach can come in really handy. They’ll provide the guidance, education, and structure that will help lead you to the nutrition choices that work for you.

And, for the month of January, Cristina is offering a $100 discount on her one-month nutrition coaching starter package: this includes an initial consultation and three follow-up appointments for $339. Not in the San Francisco East Bay? Nutrition coaching with Cristina, a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach, is also available remotely. Contact Body Balance Pleasanton Fitness, Massage, and Nutrition for more information and to book your nutrition coaching starter package.

DIY Nutrition Tips

If the DIY approach is more your style, there are certainly a few tactics that will improve any diet and help you start your nutrition journey; these include:

  • Eliminate soda
  • Keep alcohol consumption to zero to two drinks per day
  • Choose whole foods or products with unprocessed whole food ingredients
  • Eliminate or greatly reduce fast foods
  • Maintain adequate hydration
  • Eliminate hydrogenated fats, e.g., margarine
  • Eliminate or greatly reduce refined sugar

Beyond those broad strokes, track your diet and monitor how you feel and function. This is an excellent way to get to know your body better and to hone in on the foods and meals that make you feel good and those that cause you trouble, like energy crashes or digestive problems. And remember that this is a process for long-term health, so take your time to find the right answers, whether you’re doing this on your own or with a nutrition coach.

Good Nutrition and Good Planning Work in Unison

Armed with knowledge about what you want to eat, the next step is making sure that those options are there when you need them. This is where your preparation is critical.

This short video provides five easy tips for good meal planning:

Let’s take a beat here to focus on an aspect of that last tip, Balance Nutrition: the host mentions that one benefit to meal planning as he prescribes it—prepping everything in one go once a week—is that you get a good visual of what you’re going to eat.

He rightly points out that this allows you see on a large scale if you’re eating a good balance of fats, carbs, and proteins. Seeing all your food for the week also helps create a greater personal connection to how you’re going to fuel your body. This connection builds greater awareness, which is a key component to creating new habits. So much of our daily routine, which includes our eating routine, is dictated by habitual actions we don’t think about. The more consciousness we bring to actions we want to change the greater the chance our desired changes will stick. The more senses you can get into the action, the greater your consciousness will be around those actions.

More to the topic of habit changing tactics, habit and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin provides “A Checklist for Habit Change,” which provides many useful strategies for creating a new habit. One strategy is “convenience,” which is covered in with meal planning: by planning meals, you make healthy eating easier, more convenient for yourself. Another excellent strategy suggestion Rubin provides is “inconvenience.” As applied to eating habits, this could include not having unhealthy choices in the house. Or, if you can’t say no to a Wendy’s Frosty and your regular commute rolls past this fast food spot, change your route. The more difficult you make poor eating choices, the easier it will be for you to avoid them. For more suggestions about creating new habits, see “Health and Fitness Resolutions: Strategies to Make Them Stick.”

Start With Planning One Step

Change can be daunting, but it can also be fun and rewarding. When you see the positive results your efforts bring, it has a snowballing effect: positive results beget more positive actions. So take nutrition planning for a test drive by, say, prepping meals for one day, and maybe also tracking how you feel. And please be sure to let the Body Balance team know how this nutrition coaching tip worked for you.

Cherie Turner

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