Sunday, October 20, 2013

Behaviour change

I am really excited to have my first blog post focused on behaviour change. As mentioned in the "about me" section, I am really interested in the psychology that leads us to make our food choices and lifestyle decisions. Therefore, it is important to me to draw your focus on this specific aspect before starting to talk about food. 
According to me, behavior and attitude form very solid foundations to our daily choices, which include food and eating behaviour. And yes I did say choices, because we ARE in control of the what and how of our nutrition; in fact, we make 200 food-related decisions EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! So how can we make sure that these decisions are not only the "right" decisions for our body, but also how can we try to maintain a long-term commitment to approach food in a healthy way? This post will tackle these questions in a scholarly and interesting manner. 
I viewed an amazing webinar provided by the Dietitians of Canada (DC) which was presented by Michael Vallis, a registered health psychologist, who is also recognized as a leader in the field of motivational interviewing. Below are some of the key points he mentioned are crucial for success in behavioral change:
1. Try to find positive motivators in order to sustain behavioral change
    Example of positive motivator: I will have a higher self-confidence.
    Example of negative motivator: I will not get a heart attack.
2. Be patient and diligent because it takes 2 to 4 years for a new behavior to become a habit. 
3. YOU are in charge of your health; your health care provider is a facilitator but YOU should be the active 
    member in your behavior change.
4. Remember, change IS difficult so it is 100% okay to trip and fall but the real success is to stand up back  
    on your feet.
5. Healthy behavior is socially and statistically abnormal therefore it does take MANY trials to master.
    And this is totally okay!
6. Your goals should be:
    - SMART: Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely 
    - Big enough that they are challenging but small enough that they are doable
I hope you benefit from this information. I encourage you to submit any comments you have below :)

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