The health architect turned three this month; a milestone birthday that hopefully closes the door on “terrible twos”, a phase characterised by flying in the face of healthy advice; sleeping too little and working too much. Living proof that we need to put knowledge into practise!
Three years ago I thought my biggest role would be helping to bust dietary myths and remove the confusion surrounding healthy eating advice. However, I have since realised that whilst my role does involve “myth busting” I find I’m frequently helping well-informed individuals to walk the talk!
Last month I was on a short-haul flight; the man in front of me started demonstrating his dietary knowledge as he talked non-stop to the women crammed next to him. He was diabetic and, by his own admission, five stone overweight. I heard him explain the importance of balancing blood sugar, the role of dietary protein, the evils of sugar, and the dangers of sugar substitutes. But then the refreshments trolley arrived and he ordered a large Danish pastry, a Pepsi Max and a Cappuccino with extra coffee syrup. So, everything that came out of his mouth made dietary good sense, everything that went into his mouth was a dietary disaster!
Changing our habits takes more than knowledge; making change requires an understanding of what drives the behaviour in the first place, as well as a motivation to change. Most people also need some ongoing support to help them stay on track until new habits have become embedded – on average it takes around 6-weeks of sustained effort to break bad habits and form better ones. So, coaching and mentoring clients through this transition has become a huge part of my role and is integral to all the guided programmes I run. See my nutrition page for more information.