3 Tips for Diet Success -- By Amy Bousman, FNTP

We have all started a diet and had a cheat day, which then turns into a cheat week, and before you know it, you are no longer on your diet. On average, only about 50% of people stick with their diet. That is why I have decided to give you my top three tips for diet success to improve your nutrition and health.

1. Enjoyment

In order for any dietary changes to last, you have to enjoy the food you’re eating! Optimal digestion happens in what’s called a parasympathetic state, meaning you must be in a non-stressed, relaxed state. Looking forward to the food you’re about to consume helps us optimally utilize the nutrition in what we eat.

Try this digestion trick the next mealtime: hold the food (or bowl or plate, etc) in your hands. Look at the food. Does it look appealing? Deeply inhale. Does it smell good? Are you looking forward to eating it? Take a few deep breaths and give gratitude for your nourishment. If you despise the food you’re eating, you shouldn’t be eating it. Remember that any change will have a learning curve, and it might take some time, practice and “fails” before finding the foods and recipes that make your palate happy.

2. Community

A major reason that my clients fall off the food wagon (or "go off-template,” as I prefer to say) is because of social gatherings. As a culture (and as in most cultures around the world) we celebrate, grieve and gather with food and beverages. In cultures with healthier food traditions, this tends to work for our nutrition and health well. But in the West (and in many Westernized cultures) our celebratory, comfort foods are often laden with nutrient-depriving ingredients, such as refined sugars, processed carbs and unhealthy fats.