The ONE THING I get all my clients to do!

by Bethany Vessey, Registered Dietitian on July 12, 2015


Do you have a food routine? No, well I would argue with you on that one! I truly feel that everyone has a food routine, you just may not realize it. If you are saying to yourself right now, “Nope, I really don’t not have a food routine,” than you are likely a person who’s food routine is a “scattered food routine”. Brilliant I know! But hear me out. . . If every morning you wake up and you sometimes eat breakfast and you sometimes do not, and then you sometimes have a mid morning snack and sometimes you do not, and sometimes you have lunch and sometimes you do not, you see where I am going with this, then your food routine is essentially to not give a crap! I mean it! If this is how you go about your day with regards to your food, but yet you have a goal to eat healthy and lose weight than your food routine is reflective of an individual who does not appreciate the importance of a actual food routine, and this, ultimately, is your food routine. Time to snap out of it and design a routine that will actually help you see success. 

Throughout my reading about entrepreneurialism, raising my child, nutrition for sport and nutrition for weight loss, there has always been one common message, “Routine Is The Key To Success”. Ever hear of the book by Charles Duhigg, called “The Power of Habit”? Amazing book! If you have not read it, I highly recommend it! Mr. Duhigg wrote an entire book talking about the power of habit or, also known as, routine. Look at any of the most successful people the world and you will find a routine. Wether it is an athlete, and business owner, an author, a doctor, or and inventor, it does not matter, they all had routines in place that got them to see great success. Read any book about raising children and it will emphasize the importance of routine in the intellectual development of the child. Routine if the key to success!

Still not convinced that you need to develop a food routine? Then put it into the context of your own life. Think about any one thing you do successfully in your life. Now think about the routine you have in place to achieve that success. Everything you do with great success has a routine!  Look at it this way, do you feel very successful and being unhealthy? Has your routine been for the last little while to not eat breakfast, eat fast food or connivence foods every day, to snack on high fat, high salt, high sugar connivence foods throughout your day or at night? How long have you been perfecting this routine? Do you feel really good  at it or could you even say successful at being unhealthy, possibly overweight, tired, lethargic, etc? It’s time to take your health seriously. No more kidding around! Time to sit down and write out a food routine that will help you reach your goals. Trust me, if you incorporate this one very import routine into you life, many other aspects of your life will see great success also!

Developing your food routine.

Don’t be fooled! Developing a food routine is not easy but it is critical for success. This is actually my job. I develop food routines for my clients everyday.

Developing the right food routine can take a lot of time, and at first the routine itself can be subject to many changes, until you find the best routine for you. To start I recommend you first develop your “ideal food routine”. Consider as much as you can about your nutrition needs, preferences and your current lifestyle. Here are some of the biggest considerations I would be mindful of when I am developing a clients food routine.

1: Set times for when you will eat your meals and snacks, each day of the week. The more days that are similar the greater your success.

ex: Monday – Sunday you may decide to eat at 6:30AM, 9:30AM,12:30PM, 3:30PM, 6:30PM and 9:30PM.

2: Decide your routine for each meal in your day/week.

ex: At dinner you decide you want, meatless Mondays, slow cooker on Tuesdays, stir fry on Wednesdays, fish on Thursdays, pizza on Fridays, BBQ on Saturdays, and roast dinner on Sundays.

3: Decide your routine for each snack in your day/week.

ex: Morning snack is always, fruit and yogurt, afternoon snack is always veggies and cheese or hummus.

4: Decide your non-negotiables. Do you want to have a treat once/week, or even daily? Of course all of this has to be within reason, but it does need to be considered.

Now obviously there are other factors that need to be considered such as nutrition needs and portion sizes. Ideally uncovering your exact nutrition needs should be done with the aid of a Registered Dietitian. At this time the appropriate portion sizes would be considered based on your nutritional needs.

The more engrained your food routine, the greater your success. Do whatever you need t do to make this your new food routine. Of course changes should be realistic and within reason, but if you need to change your sleep habits, work habits, do whatever it takes and you will see success. Your food routine will become your food routine for life. Sure there will be obstacles and challenges that will present and test your ability to stick to your routine, but the more you realize that a food routine is your key to success and place a high priority on achieving your daily food routine the more successful you will be. My most successful clients are those who have the most clearly defined food routine!

These same principles can be applied to any aspect of your life. Do you have a fitness routine? What about a house cleaning routine? If you do not feel ready to tackle your food routine yet maybe start with the fitness or house cleaning and you will quickly see the value of having routine in your life!

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