Why is it so hard to follow a strict diet program for a long period of time?
Because you are not suppose to. Besides being mentally challenging, it can also be physically depriving and taxing to stay on a strict diet for too long. Most people want instant results, and I am an advocate for the gentle, subtle changes with heaps of mindfulness and compassion. For example, Olympic athletes are not robots and follow the exact same routine every day. Instead they pay attention to each day and if they sprain their ankle, they do not power through, they pause and heal while they visualize the end results. One tool they use is testing their resting heart rate first thing in the morning, if it is too high they may need to take a day of rest and adjust their training regimen. This simple practice can prevent injuries and support the body toward the desired long term goals.
Logically our brain wants to follow a strict program to resist fear and failure. Intuitively, our body has so many variables to take into consideration before we make conscious choices. Implementing gradual changes gets you out of the all or none mindset and helps you achieve a happy medium state of mind and being.
What are some simple practices you can do daily to check in with your body?
- Journal: This is not the old type of journal where you calorie count, this is a new journal where you take 100% responsibility by connecting with your body. Support and learn about your body by observing your sleep, bowel movements, food combinations, energy level, cravings, etc. My favorite aspect of journaling is watching my clients become empowered about what they choose to eat according to the variables that present during the day. For example, one client noticed that their digestive tract felt sluggish so they chose a vegetable juice for a snack vs fruit and nuts. Click here to receive a Sample Journal Day: One Day Food Journal
- Feeling vs. Overthinking: Some mornings eggs sound amazing for breakfast and some mornings that is not at all what my body wants. Can you resonate with this? If you are following a strict program you are not feeling. I like to use the phrase “Structure with Freedom”, meaning that you can follow amazing conscious guidelines through out the day and rearrange them to fit your body’s needs. For example; have 2 snacks packed and switch them up during the day or have one meal, two snacks then another meal. Make these choices as best as you can during the day by checking in with your body with these simple questions; Am I craving hot or cold food or sweet or savory? Even if you packed a salad and are craving soup, no worries, I bet you will still be craving soup the next time you are ready to eat and your body gave you the hint on what to make for supper. Trust it.
- Test your heart rate: First thing in the morning before anything else, rest the index finger and middle finger of one hand on the inside of the opposite wrist and you’ll feel an artery throbbing under your fingers. To measure your heart rate, or pulse, count the number of throbs in a minute. Most people have a resting heart rate of around 60 to 100 beats per minute, according to the American Heart Association. A resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats each minute when you are sitting or lying down and are calm and peaceful. Professional athletes, on the other hand, can develop extraordinary cardiovascular efficiency. A very fit person may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute. Remember to take your resting heart rate over at least 3 days so that you can get an average reading. As you become fitter through aerobic exercise, your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood around the body, especially if combined with a reduction of the plaque (fatty deposits) within your arteries. A high resting heart rate, such as 10 – 20 beats higher than your normal resting rate, may be a sign that your training too hard, other life stressors, too much caffeine, medication, nervous system stress, poor sleep and environmental toxicity. Besides taking a day off of exercise if your heart rate is too high, this is also an indicator to eat meals with less complex ingredients to allow your digestive tract a day of ease.
We are providing the Conscious Nutrition Jump Start the first week of every month to help you dive deeper into your relationship with your body and food. We offer you conscious structure that implements a variety of nutrition modalities, such as food combining, alkaline foods, liver support, quality nutrients, and digestive support.
Click here to learn more and sign up for the month that supports you best.
Happy New Year & cheers to conscious freedom,
Heather Fleming, C.C.N