Last week I introduced you to What We Eat’s Density Diet, a research-based, sane alternative to the unhealthy and counterproductive cleanses many embark on this time of year. While 5 Density Diet Rules serve as its framework, in order for you to be successful, you need to make them work for you. What does that mean? You need to make following the Density Diet a SMART goal.
Making the Density Diet SMART
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Read more about them here. The adjectives to zero in on in the case of the Density Diet are “attainable” and “time-bound.”
How long do you plan on following this way of eating? A few days? A week? For the month of January? Of course, you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you follow the DD Rules to the letter. But is that attainable (i.e. realistic) for you? If not, make a list of exceptions before you start. If you plan for these, you aren’t “cheating.” You are making the diet work for you and increasing your odds of being successful.
Below is my list of exceptions so you can see how this works for someone else.
Laura’s Exceptions (example only, make a list of your own!)
- When dining out, I’m allowed to enjoy a bit of cheese, red meat and/or refined grains (likely in the form of pizza or pastaJ). I don’t eat out more than once or twice a week and being able to enjoy what I want is important to me.
- I’m allowed to enjoy a sweet once weekly but only if it’s truly special and I am savoring it with others (e.g. no mindless desserts consumption in front of the TV).
- I’m allowed to enjoy my morning coffee and one alcoholic beverage a day (maybe two on weekend nights:)).
Once you make your own list of exceptions, following the Density Diet should be an effective SMART goal for you. It’s…
- Specific and Measurable: You’ll know at the end of every day whether you’ve been successful or not. You could keep a journal of everything you consume and compare it to your DD rules if that makes it easier. Little deviations are not the end of the world. Perfection is the enemy of progress.
- Attainable: Your list of exceptions should allow the DD to be doable for you!
- Relevant: This way of eating is a return to eating for health. If health is your goal, this is as solid of a first step as you can take. Don’t be surprised if you notice you have more energy, normalized digestion, improved skin and maybe even weight loss.
- Time-bound: You set your own agenda here. Whether you follow this for a few days or the entire year, you’ll benefit.
I’d love to hear from you. Any questions or concerns about this? What are your planned exceptions? If you think it would be helpful, we could start a Density Diet hashtag (#densitydiet2018) and I can tag my meals on Instagram. Let me know. I’d love to see yours as well.
HERE’S TO 2018!
xo Laura, MS, RD