I like to do science experiments on myself. Maybe that sounds a little weird, but let me explain!
When I want to find out if something works, I always use myself as the guinea pig first. However, I have learned over the years that what works for me may not work in the same way for someone else. So I try to encourage clients to be their own science experiment. I don’t always know what works best for each individual person, and that’s OK. If I can teach them how to experiment and pay attention to their body, and then we can have conversations about their own experiments so that I can help them reveal changes or patterns.
For example, maybe eating a lot of breakfast first thing in the morning works well for me, but many people can’t even stomach the idea of eating before 11 AM. Sure, I could tell you to “fill” yourself with breakfast because it’s “the most important meal of the day”, but that’s a waste of breath and energy on both of our parts if you have no intention of eating it. My plan is to take you from N to N+1, not N+100.
That being said, many of my clients who eat breakfast are currently looking to make improvements in their breakfast choices. So I am encouraging anyone who has identified breakfast as a place they would like to improve to do a little experiment first. Spend a week or two trying different KINDS of breakfasts- different amounts of food OR different kinds of food- protein, fats, or carbohydrates, or a mix of 2 or 3. Be scientific and try to control the variables- choose the amount you eat OR the kinds of food you eat, not both.
For example, you could try yogurt and fruit one day, oatmeal and walnuts another day, a smoothie one day, eggs and bacon another day. Even salad or meat could be an option if you hate breakfast foods! Consider keeping a journal like a scientist, and record what you ate, and then some notes about how hungry you were the rest of the day. Consider questions such as:
- Did you need a morning snack- were you hungry 1-2 hours after your breakfast?
- Did you feel full until your next meal?
- Did you crave something sweet in the afternoon or evening?
Breakfast is a foundation for success for the day in my personal experience and in discussing it with my clients. And it’s a success that you can see when you reflect on your day’s nutrition. Our willpower and resolve are at our strongest in the morning if we have gotten a decent sleep/rest. Yet we often fail to take that small amount of extra time or planning to give ourselves the easiest “WIN” for the day.
Remember, when you “WIN” at developing a good habit, it provides motivation to work on other habits. And that’s where the weight loss success begins to fall into place. Starting at where you’re at instead of trying to meet someone else’s “ideal” is going to take you a lot farther down the road to success with a particular goal. For me, I analyze where my client is at, and whether they are ready for change, and if ready, then make changes that move us from N to N+1, and then we repeat that process until we get to the goal.
Comment below if you have questions, or let me know how your own experiment went! If breakfast isn’t your thing, let me know what other experiments you want to try and I will try to spell them out for you here!
Top: Flickr- Melissa
Blog image, clockwise from top: Flickr- JeffreyW//Jonathan Rolande//Irish Jaunt