Fruits and vegetables weren’t the highlight of the Avagliano family‘s diet. But as the challenge gets rolling their servings continue to increase–and that behavior change can make a huge impact on the family’s health over time.
But the key is small changes. If you go out of the gate too ambitious, it’s hard to stick to the plan. Sure, it’s easy to be motivated in the beginning. But it’s the long term that matters. Most people can lose weight. It’s about maintaining the weight loss and, more importantly, continuing the healthy behaviors.
When you adapt a new behavior (such as switching your snack from a brownie to an apple like Peter did while he was busy working on a set for a show), make sure it’s a reasonable goal you can stick to. That’s what Peter did. He made a change he knew he could commit to.
Believing you can make a change is necessary before you can make the switch. Think back to dietary swaps you’ve tried to make that failed. Did you really believe you could stick to them? Believing is one of the important components of the theory of behavior change. Then once that behavior becomes a habit, you can add another small change. Peter progressed to making vegetables half of his dinner plate or at least on the dinner plate every night.
Remember: Weight gain or poor eating habits don’t usually happen overnight. So trying to fix them in a hurry won’t work. Slow and steady wins the race.
What’s a small change you believe you can make starting this week? Post a comment and tell me! Making it public will help hold you accountable.
Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.