Alright, so in module 5 we recommended that you analyze your last 3-5 days of eating and see what percentage of your food items fall into the “eat more” category, “eat some” category, and “eat less” category”. If you haven’t done this yet, you will want to do so as the rest of this post assumes you have already done this.
So, once you have done this, and you have your results, what’s next? I know this is everyone’s least favorite answer, but, it depends. It depends on how you are currently doing.
Are you making good progress? Well, then you might not need to do anything just yet. Just hold on to the information for the future.
Are you not making the progress you’d like to, well then you will want to read on.
Step 1- Look at Your “Eat Less” Items
What items are you regularly eating from the eat less category? These will be the highest mileage changes for you, as typically these are the most calorie dense, and least nutritious food items of your diet.
Try to take two items that you regularly eat that are in this category and either remove them altogether, or replace them with a food item that fits in the “eat more” or “eat some” category. Obviously, “eat more” items are preferred if possible.
For example, say you love snacking on pretzels, an “eat less” carbohydrate item. Looking at the “eat more” category, you could potentially replace them Greek yogurt, or fruit/vegetables. If those options don’t sound appetizing, looking at the “eat some” category, you could replace them with granola. Conversely, if you notice through mindful eating that you are not actually all that hungry when snacking, and you’re snacking more out of boredom or habit, maybe you could just eliminate them altogether?
Step 2- What is Your Least Nutritious Macronutrient Category
Out of your carbs, proteins and fats, which macronutrient is made up of the least “eat more” items, and/or the most “eat less” items? By identifying your least nutritious macronutrient category, we can identify where to direct our attention.
Once you have identified this, follow the same steps as above, and look for a change or two you could implement.
For most of us, striving to get 80% of our foods in the “eat more” or “eat some” categories will be enough to reach our goals. That being said, depending on your goals or genetics, you may need to be more strict with this, or you may be able to get away with more. That said, the 80/20 rule is a good starting place for most people to aim for, and then, you can further adjust from there after attaining that goal. Do the math for yourself to see where you’re at now:
Eat More Items + Eat Some items / Total Food Items x 100 = Percentage of foods from Eat More/Some Categories.
This simple exercise can be super impactful if you follow through on the changes. If you have any questions, post them below, or reach out to an AFS coach.