I am not a diet, nutrition, or fitness influencer. Social media is overflowing with people who claim to fit one of these categories. Some are qualified to teach others, but many are not. But I have lived my entire life with PKU, a rare disease with an entire treatment centered around strict management of food and protein intake. If you want to read more about my journey, I wrote an article about what it was like growing up with PKU well before medical treatment has advanced to the level of access available today. Although my very strict diet is probably unrelatable to anyone without a metabolic disorder, it made me very conscious of macronutrients, nutrition quality, and health benefits of various foods.
It also taught me a LOT about getting back on track. Being perfect with any diet is a nearly impossible task. When a person is successful with a highly regimented diet, there is also a great possibility that their internal mental dialogue is highly self-critical. Since my diet was medically prescribed and not an option, I knew quite a bit about starting over when I did not meet my own expectations. Eating well is a matter of mindset. Eating well does not mean you will reach a specific weight goal. It does mean you fuel your body in a way that allows you to function optimally.
Feeling well can go a long way toward helping you do well in your personal priorities and objectives.
Focus on the first three days of your journey.
I do not remember who taught me this trick, but it came from one of the many dieticians in my past. This strategy is one that I have tried many times, with success. It takes about three days for your body to begin the initial stages of ridding your body of a food substance that you regularly eat. If you are trying to cut sugar, focus on cutting out sugar for just three days. If you want to quit caffeine, trying quitting it for three days. It is much easier to plan for success for three days than it is for a lifetime. Once you pass the first three days, the hurdle of food cravings is much easier to tackle. You may still have some withdrawal symptoms, but after three days your need for a particular type of food will be more psychological than physiological. This means — you are more likely to go back…