2020 Planning: Time to be Smart about it: Part 1 – the diet bit

2020 Planning: Time to be Smart about it: Part 1 – the diet bit

Hi there. How have you been? How was your New Year? Have you made an resolutions? New Year is, apart from involving eating your weight in cheese (and later regretting it), a time that people sometimes use to reflect and plan what they would like to accomplish in the New Year. Most commonly in the fitness industry, the main thing is to lose weight after the Christmas period, which usually involves going on a diet and getting into an exercise or activity plan. These are things that I would like to help you with, but I would like to add one more string to that bow: that of wellness and wellbeing.

Over the next three weeks then I would like to focus on:

  1. Planning about diets
  2. Planning about exercise
  3. Planning for wellness and wellbeing

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In my blogs ‘I love it when a plan comes together (just about)’  (https://fitforanyage.co.uk/2019/02/02/i-love-it-when-a-plan-comes-together-just-about/), ‘Eating healthily in a busy work environment’  (https://fitforanyage.co.uk/2019/02/08/eating-healthily-in-a-busy-work-environment/) (and some others – in the search box look up SMART), I have explored SMART planning, but for those who are unfamiliar with the concept, I will give you a quick recap.

But before I do that, I would like to make an announcement.

Last year I was doing monthly measurements and using it as a way to catalogue and track my weight loss over the months. I put it to one side though to concentrate on writing open type of blog to focus on meeting the needs of the reader, but I have decided that I would like to pick up on the monthly measures, as well as supporting you, to track my progress as well as helping you. When I was a fitness instructor I found that by measuring my clients on a monthly basis I was able to help them track their fitness goals, and when I recently applied it to my fitness goals, I also saw results.

On the front page screen then you will see a Categories box. If you would like to keep up to date with my monthly weigh ins and measures, it will feature as ‘Weigh in and Measure Up’.

Otherwise, if you would just like to focus on blogs, you can do that too. Without further ado, lets get back to the focus on the blog.

SMART? What is it? 

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Put simply, SMART goal setting is about establishing goal setting plans which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. In the case of dieting, applying SMART goal planning, may be lose weight.

By establishing a specific plan, such as losing weight, you know what you want to achieve. The next step is how do you measure it? In what way will you be able to record and measure your progress, to serve as evidence of your progression? Regarding losing weight, well, you can take monthly measurements of your weight and waist….but what about dieting? Well, a SMART measure may be to have less bread, less cheese, less alcohol. A goal may be to have a clean diet to lose weight. A measure may be to say, if I cut out or reduce my alcohol intake, for example, and measure against this month on month, will this yield a positive or other result? The great thing about having monthly assessments is that it can help you quite quickly to see if you are getting to your goal, or if you are straying, what you need to do get back on track. Importantly too though, you have to ask yourself, is it achievable? Many people set out a plan but fail because it was unrealistic and unachievable. Losing a pound a week with a good diet and exercise is achievable. Losing 5 pound a week, theoretically may be possible, but it is something which cannot be sustained healthily in the long run. When you set out an achievable diet goal, it is important to think not only about there here and now, but on the long game as well. Sure, cutting out bread may help you lose weight today, but when you go back to bread, you may put the weight back on. There are many diets out there at the moment, telling people to eat this and to not eat that, but if you would like my honest opinion, balance is and will always will be key.

BALANCE.

It’s not just something you do on a yoga matt. It is in all aspects of your life. Moderation, with most keys is key, moderation and balance. Regarding dieting, a balanced diet is always a best approach. I understand though that if you have particular dietary requirements then please work within those parameters, but generally, I think that the best approach is the balanced approach.

Importantly as well to ask, is it relevant and is it time bound? 

If it is not relevant, why are you doing it? If it is not relevant, it is unlikely that you will stick to it. Make it relevant to your diet goal planning. Time bound is also linked to it being realistic. Losing 2 stone in two days is too time restrictive, unhealthy, and unrealistic. Losing it in 6 months, with a stone in 3 months and a stone in the next three, is something more realistic and directed by more reasonable and sustainable time boundaries.

Why don’t you make a SMART goal and share it in the comments? Next week we will be looking at SMART planning for exercise. If you share your ideas, I can incorporate them next week as a recap, as well as explore the goal planning of next week. 

In summary, dieting is about being SMART. It is about setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant (and realistic), and time bound, goals. Things won’t happen overnight, but if you plan for them in more safe and measured way, you may be on your way to achieving your goals. 

I hope you have found the blog of some help. Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely weekend wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. 

References:

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A bit about the author:

I am a guy who is (nearly) 40, who is sharing a journey of weight management and wellbeing.I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders. 

Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.

I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders. 

In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course with the view to start studying toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in late 2019.

In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.

In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. As part of my role within the health services in supporting individuals with mental health care needs, I am also currently looking to develop myself as a Wellness Coach, to support the individual with weekly wellness blogs, with the view to support individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as holding motivational lectures and seminars.

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