With a lot of the new clients I work with, nutrition is one of our biggest hurdles. Part of it is knowing where to begin. From my experiences, attempting to have a new client dive head first into a full-blown diet overhaul does not lead to good adherence. It becomes too stressful to make so many significant changes trying to do a full nutrition overhaul along with starting a new workout routine. Here are a few simple things I recommend to new clients in regards to nutrition changes:
- Start small with changes. I tell people that if they start with one change per week that in 12 weeks they’ll have pretty significant change after making 12 changes to their nutrition.
- One of the simplest changes is something like bringing a lunch every day instead of buying lunch out at a restaurant or at a school cafeteria. This is probably one of the easiest meals to prepare which is why I start with this meal.
- Pick one meal and prepare that if you’ve never done meal prep. Just one meal per day will have you more ahead going into the week than if you have not done meal prepping in the past.
- Stick with whole and not processed foods for one entire meal when doing that meal prep.
- Make a change in caloric beverages to “diet” or non-caloric beverages. A lot of times people think “No more soda, coffees, etc” but making a switch to calorie-free or low sugar options are easy and a step in the right direction. I try my best personally to consume all my calories (or as many as possible) in foods rather than liquids, especially if you are starting to restrict your calories. Getting in all the food you can helps fight off hunger.
- If alcohol is something your client partakes, I try to start with a reduction to half as much and not a complete removal at first.