Author / Drew Wilson
It doesn’t matter if you’re well into your fitness journey or just beginning, everyone can use a little inspiration to get better at their wellness habits. What better way to do that than a simple 3-step strategy for not just beginning your wellness journey but maintaining it as well. Let’s jump right into it. . .
We say wellness “journey” because it’s exactly that: a long-term commitment to better health. This isn’t your typical “we’re dieting this week” philosophy (as my mother likes to say). That’s why it’s important to avoid the common mistake of diving into something like the ketogenic diet (keto), that requires great discipline and is quite restrictive. It’s important to find a plan that is sustainable, conducive, and one that you… dare I say… ENJOY.
Beginning a nutritional journey can be a daunting task, but I’m here to fix that! No more trying to stay on-top of the latest fad (Whole 30), trying to figure out if you should be eating eggs or not, and learning what, when, and how much you should be eating. There is no one-diet-fits-all.
So to make it easier and increase the chances of success, we’ve laid out a 3-step strategy to beginning your sustainable nutritional wellness journey below:
Step 1: Set an intention
This is the why of your journey. A well-formed intention sets one’s attention and informs the goals we set along the way. Whether it’s to cut a few pounds, increase your athletic/cognitive performance or to maximize the quality and quantity of your lifespan, setting an intention that’s personal and meaningful might be the greatest overall indicator of success.
Step 2: Make incremental improvements
This is the how of your journey. At DC Run Crew, we refer to these as “small wins” (the story of that saying is not as pleasant as this one) and it ties back into the idea of not diving into some highly restrictive and foreign diet — a recipe (pun intended) for failure — but making small, incremental improvements (replacing cookies with an apple, pizza for roasted chicken and veggies, and generally replacing pre-packaged/processed meals for whole foods, and continuing this cycle until you’ve reached a healthy, sustainable place. You should save money doing this as well!
Step 3: Choose a diet
This is the what of your journey. Picking a diet that not only works for you from a nutritional perspective but also your tastebuds’ is a key factor in maintaining. I’m not here to tell you to go plant-based, but find what works for you (I always suggest a reduced-grain Mediterranean diet for easy entry). Equally important to the food that make-up the diet is making sure it’s something you can maintain logistically (that is, it’s easy for you to maintain daily at work, during travel and other unpredictable parts of your lifestyle).
- Cheat meals: eating should not be miserable, it should be a time of enjoyment, nourishment, and, as much as possible, fellowship. GET the cheesecake when with family and friends and eat pizza when you’re craving it (believe me, I do). Cheat meals are a part of the plan, enjoy them at the moment and know that you’re not always getting dessert.
- Intermittent Fasting: want to take it a step further? Once you’ve hit your stride with the 3 steps above, look into time-restricted eating, commonly referred to as intermittent fasting (IF). It’s not a diet, but a daily fasting strategy that can be paired with a healthy diet for maximum effect (think roller skates with rocket boosters… weeeeeee!!!).
- YES! EAT ALL THE EGGS! Okay, maybe not all of them… But, in 3 international studies of 177,000 subjects across 50 countries, the authors “did not find significant associations between egg intake and blood lipids, mortality, or major CVD [cardiovascular disease] events.
We hope you enjoyed this guide and it brings you better health in your future. How do you plan to start your journey? Or, if you’ve already started, what small-wins are you going to implement to take the next step? Let us know in the comments below!