Dietitian-Approved Guide: How Little Steps Can Lead To Big Weight Loss
The word “diet” conjures up fears of deprivation, boring salads, and constant hunger. But at the Summit Wellness Center, weight maintenance is about little steps, not strict diet plans.
We want people to enjoy eating nutritious food. To us, the term ‘diet’ simply describes the way you eat. Developing healthful eating habits is not about ‘putting someone on a diet’ or ‘eating clean.’ In the nutrition field, ‘diet’ just means what you typically consume; everyone has a diet. We don’t want to put people ‘on’ diets. We work with them to change their way of eating and change their way of thinking about food.
Small Changes, Big Results
We believe that small changes can deliver big results. We like to start with one step at a time that we decide on together. Everyone wants fast results. We all want immediate gratification; we want to drop weight and see new muscle. But that’s not how healthy weight loss works. Our first goal is to help a client understand that you can’t lose the weight you want to lose overnight. Also, it’s not a do-or-die process. If you have a bowl of ice cream during the week, that’s not going to ruin everything.
Starting with What You Like
During one-on-one consultations, we are able to focus on understanding individual motivation. You determine your goals; we’re here to facilitate and give you the tools you need. We’re not going to lecture you or tell you what to do. We might say, ‘Let’s talk about adding more vegetables. What do you think? What are some vegetables that you like?’ Maybe you’ll say, ‘Oh, I could maybe add some spinach to my eggs in the morning.’ Perfect!
If you hate onions, we’re not going to tell you to start adding onions to every meal. If someone loves pasta, I’m not going to tell them to change to quinoa or eat only whole-wheat pasta! I think it’s important for you to come up with ideas to make changes. When you set your own goals, you’ll be more likely to continue with them.
One Father’s Success Story
One client was trying to lose weight for his daughter’s wedding. That just touched our hearts; it was so sweet. He was referred by his doctor, and he was frankly not very excited when he came in for his first visit. He thought we were going to tell him to eat salads.
We learned that he was drinking four cans of pop a day. We told him that we wouldn’t ask him to stop drinking all soda because that could be too dramatic. And he was adamant that he wasn’t going to give up his pop. ‘That’s fine, how about going to two cans of pop a day three times a week? Try it for two weeks and see how you feel.’”
That small reduction made a noticeable difference. Encouraged, the client got to the point where he took pop out of his diet completely. He lost a large amount of weight in a relatively short period of time simply by cutting one thing out of his diet. That really motivated him. Then he wanted to look at the foods he was eating. He made significant progress without making any dramatic changes, and that was rewarding for us.
Everyone is Different
No all clients see fast or amazing results; rates of weight loss vary with individual circumstances. But everyone can make progress one step at a time. If you are looking for support as you make your way to better health, we are here to help you plan your first step to more wholesome eating habits.
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