A man was giving his personal testimony about his dietary and health journey on a favorite blog of mine, Mark’s Daily Apple. In it, he quoted his grandfather whose philosophy on getting things done was this: gradual and consistent. Just be gradual and consistent. This man gradually transformed his health by consistently tweaking what he ate and how he exercised. He did not try to fix everything at once, but he took small steps everyday that led to his total body overhaul.
Then another writer I like, James Clear, shares motivational messages and methods to start and stick with projects. On several posts, James cited many people who became very successful by practicing their craft on a daily basis. Good or bad, inspired or mediocre, they gradually and consistently honed their skills on a daily basis.
It is said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to have any level of real skill playing an instrument. Are we to criticize ourselves if we have a bad practice? Certainly not! As James Clear quoted, you’re not good enough yet to criticize yourself. Keep up your daily efforts.
Similarly, we need to be gradual and consistent in our approach to improve what we eat. Is your goal to cut down on sugar consumption ? Drinking multiple sodas on a daily basis? Cut back just a bit by not finishing your drink and follow that with a half glass of water. Or drink a half glass of water first and then decide if you really need a soda at all! Start noticing how really un-quenching a soda is to your thirst. They are designed by their formulas to make you want more, not to satisfy you. Explore why you want to drink it. Could you be just as satisfied with water? Be gradual and consistent.
Once you have gained a new habit, such as replacing or cutting down on sodas for example, look for another area where a satisfying substitute could take the place of sugar in other foods. See the post on sweet spices.
Switch that candy bar out for dark chocolate. Work up from semi-sweet to higher concentrations of cocoa which also contain less sugar. After a while, you will actually find sugary milk chocolate too sweet. Great! You are making progress!
You will also notice your blood sugar levels more stable as you are not asking your pancreas to crank out more and more insulin! That 2 pm soda will cause you to want a 4 pm bag of chips because the insulin produced for the very high blood sugar levels from the soda caused your blood sugar level to crash. Instead of the 2 pm soda, grab a handful of unsweetened nuts full of good fats that satisfy your hunger but do not spike your blood sugar levels. Watch yourself make it all the way to dinner without a sugar hit! Congrats!
Now, with my goal of exercising smarter (not more) I am going to do my daily half plank (on bended knee). Once that becomes a breeze, I will do full planks.
Gradual and consistent!
The information being discussed in these blogs is NOT intended to replace a relationship with a qualified health care professional. Foodtalk4you blogs endeavor to empower people through the exploration of publicly available resources of information about human anatomy and physiology, and how different foods affect the human body. Readers should seek the advice of their qualified health care providers with any questions about their medical conditions or health status before attempting any dietary, exercise, or lifestyle changes.