One of my rewards for learning about nutrition and fitness was losing a great deal of weight. My curse for this was a seemingly never ending stream of insincere requests for advice.
Actually the first question usually asked was, “What did you take?!” with a hopeful look in their eye. My answer of “Nothing” was often a bit crushing. A bit less hopeful, the follow up question is invariably, “So what did you do?” A complete answer would be lengthy, and I knew not very useful to the person inquiring. I genuinely wanted to help, and to give advices that could be put to use.
Being asked the same question over and over I developed a canned answer that I thought would be universally helpful to average person seeking advice. What I would tell them is to forget worrying about trying to fix every area of their nutrition all at once. It’s just overwhelming, and you’re unlikely to create any lasting change. I would tell them to fix their breakfast.
Look at what they were eating to start their day, and make a commitment to eat better breakfasts for a month. Of course not eating breakfast at all is often good advice, but this was definitely the wrong audience for that. The next step would be after breakfast was fixed would be move onto adding a healthy midmorning snack, and to keep progressing forward. I would also encourage them to at least once for some period of time count calories, so they world have a better understanding of just how much food they were eating.
It all fell on deaf ears mostly. No surprise. I believe most who might be reading this are probably already doing something positive with their nutrition, but we all have areas we want to improve. Maybe you want to start eating paleo? Pick bread or pasta and give that up. An intermittent fasting protocol? Well the breakfast advice works here; stop eating it.
The large sweeping changes have a romantic quality about them that can be intoxicating. Using that to stay disciplined with the smaller cumulative changes strikes a powerful symbiotic balance.