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Top 5 Nutrition Struggles of 2021

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

PIVAAT's One-on-One Nutrition Consults allow for many employees to have quality time with a health professional. We discuss current issues, short and long-term goals, lots of Q&A time, and clearly defined action steps to move toward reaching those goals. We squeeze a lot of valuable information into our consults and make time to meet with lots of people! I recently sat down for a week of one-on-ones with a company and found some common struggles people seem to be facing this year so far:

1. “I’m so busy at work I don’t eat all day”

Gone are the days of coffee/snack breaks to vent with your coworker, or going out for lunch with your team, or running down to the cafeteria to grab a sandwich to eat at your desk because that’s just what you do at work when you're busy. We are glued to our desks now and there’s no more set lunchtime. People are so swamped with work, they go all day without eating and then end up ravenous in the evening and scarf down everything in sight. When I ask if they’re hungry and just don't have the time to eat, or, if they just aren't hungry, I quickly learn the majority of people have to pause and think. We are so out of touch with our bodies! I recommend setting an alarm on your phone periodically throughout the day. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Am I holding stress anywhere in my body?”. Take a mental note. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, I highly recommend keeping a food/mood journal for a few days. Note what you eat and when, and anything you notice from physical to mental to energy to cravings to sleep patterns. It’s a helpful tool to tap into your body and connect the dots with what you’re eating and how you feel. Have easy snacks and meals on hand to grab.

2. Expectation v. Intention

I often hear, “I lost a bunch of weight for a wedding/event/trip but then I gained it all back after.” Or, “I was doing so well but then I had pizza/cake/[insert anything they’ve deemed “bad”] and then fell off the wagon”. This is a classic. Black & White thinking is so, so common and completely unsustainable! The mindset of “good” and “bad” food coupled with the belief that one slip throws everything out the window is a recipe for disaster, disappointment, and self-shaming. For starters, if your goal is to look good for a one-off event, you’re already setting yourself up for failure on the other side of that circled date on the calendar. If you want to start making healthier choices and behavior modifications, your “why” has to be more than just a bikini for Hawaii. What it comes down to is the difference between expectations and intentions. An expectation is a hope that something will happen. It comes from an ego state and you are attached to the outcome. Ultimately, you’ll be disappointed when it's not met and blame yourself for the failure. Most of life’s disappointments come from unmet expectations! An intention, on the other hand, comes from a neutral state. It’s more, “This is what I would like to happen/this is what I am open to”. You define the direction and there’s less chance of disappointment. So when it comes to your “why”, instead of “Lose 10lbs by the wedding”, try “Have more energy to play with my kids/favorite sport/hobby”. An expectation is limiting whereas an intention is liberating. I’ve been working with clients for over 5 years and I can tell you, weight loss for solely superficial reasons is very rarely a sustainable “why”.

3. “I really don’t eat that much sugar”

I’m here to tell you, yes you probably do. You’re not to blame. Sugar is ubiquitous in packaged food these days and the names they hide it under are endless. What to do about it? Take back the power and do your own due diligence. You have a right to know what’s in something and decide for yourself if you want to put it in your body. My “5x5 Rule” helps with this. You want to look for 5 ingredients or less and 5 grams of sugar or less per serving. Ideally, these are ingredients you can pronounce and your great grandparents would recognize as food. You’ll quickly learn this is rarely the case. Don’t know what something is? Whip out your phone and google. You’ll become familiar with common additives and hidden sugars. You’ll also quickly learn 5 grams of sugar per serving is hard to find. Aim for it and use it as a benchmark. Your favorite “healthy” snack bar has 21 grams of sugar?! You may find yourself thinking twice. Get into the habit of looking at labels. Be informed. It’s your body and you only get one.

4. Structure/Routine

“Just tell me what to eat!”. I’m often asked for a meal plan. People want to be told what to do and when, especially when it comes to food. Everyone wants structure, yet ultimately find strict diets aren’t sustainable. You have to learn to make the choices yourself. Think less “diet” and more “lifestyle”. Teach a man to fish, so to speak. And what works for one person, may not work for you. Find what works for you and makes you feel your best. There’s no quick fix.

5. Mindless Eating/Snacking

You know that joke, "A guy walks into a doctor's office, and says 'Doctor, it hurts when I do this...' and the Doctor says, “Then don’t do that”? Well, I’m going to give advice along the same line...if there are cookies/chips/[insert snack of choice] in the house, do you eat them all? Then don’t keep them in the house! If the 80/20 rule works for you, keep the 20% outside the house. Why make it hard on yourself? Along this same line, if you find yourself unable to stop eating a certain food (I’m looking at you, sugar!), that’s a very good indication that it’s crossing the wires of communication with your body and it will be an endless battle with trying to find “moderation” that you will never win.

Interested in One-on-One's for your team? Drop us a line!

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