I’ve been working in the natural health industry for over 16 years, and during this time there have been a number of diets and fads, including juicing and smoothies, raw foodism, and paleo. Plus, some people go vegan, dairy or gluten-free, or try various other regimes in the name of health or weight loss. But what I notice, is that most people are not consistent with their new diet or regime, or they don’t stick with it long enough to know whether it’s actually working for them or not. Even though I have my own opinions and theories on nutrition, when it comes to questioning clients about their diet, I want to know “Is it working for you? Is it giving your the results that you want?”
If you’re not aware of what you’re doing, the results won’t mean anything. In scientific experiments, you keep most variables the same, and change one at a time to measure its effect.
In health, there are a number of variables that contribute to how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Did you get enough sleep? Have you done any exercise? If yes, how much, what type and how often? What did you eat? How much? Are you feeling stressed or worried about anything? What is your state of mind – are you happy and enjoying what you’re doing, or are you bored?
With weight loss, clients get frustrated when they don’t get results, but they often sabotage their own efforts without seeing that they’re doing it.
How can you get better results with your health?
Track your habits, keep a food diary, and monitor your exercise or sleep. Now I know this seems like a lot of work, but it can be done quite simply without taking too much time. But if you’re serious about improving your health, it’s worth taking a little time to be more scientific with it.
How do you track your health?
1. Assess your current health. Blood test results, weight and body composition, measurements and how you feel rated on a scale of 1-10. If you’re suffering symptoms, rate these on a daily basis. E.g. with hot flushes have a tally chart to count how many per day. If you have period problems have a calendar with dates and symptoms. If you suffer digestive problems, rate your symptoms on a daily basis e.g. mild, moderate, severe.
2. Work out (with your doctor, naturopath, herbalist etc.) what practices to put into place to improve your health, or what foods and supplements you should take.
3. Draw up a chart and track what you actually do. At the end of every day, spend 10 – 15 minutes ticking boxes or noting down your food intake etc.
4. If you notice that you’re consistently skipping certain things, or doing things you know you shouldn’t be, talk to your healthcare professional to get help with overcoming this obstacle – sometimes willpower alone isn’t enough!
5. At the end of a month, it’s time to reassess. Are you feeling better or worse? Are your symptoms improving, staying the same or getting worse? What do you need to do more of or be more consistent with? What else might you need to do? What do you need to change or stop doing? If you have no idea what you’re doing or are feeling completely lost, talk to your healthcare professional – you can call me if you want my help!
After reassessing (and discussing with your healthcare professional), draw up a new chart for the next month and repeat the process.
By being observant of trends and patterns through tracking your actions, food intake etc. you’ll soon know what works and what doesn’t. This gives you much more confidence in the choices you make, and more will power to do the right thing.
To find out more about tracking your health, or would like some assistance to get started, either call Helen 027 656 6991 for a one-on-one session, or click here to join one of our upcoming mini workshops.