Just a few weeks ago, I was having breakfast with my family. It was a rare opportunity to be together with both of my siblings, their spouses, and my parents – all of whom live out of state.
As we got to talking, it turned out that both my sister Priscilla and my sister-in-law Susan had been among our Power of Three participants this past August.
You might recall our Power of Three program, over 3,800 practitioners signed up because:
- three small changes can make a big overall difference in our health at the end of a month – and especially a year.
- you can choose which three changes you want to make
- try it for 10 days
This gives us a chance to “practice what we practice with our patients.” Our thought was that if practitioners tried making some positive changes in their eating habits themselves, they might find a tool they could share with their patients.
So you might understand my surprise at hearing that my family members had joined in the challenge – neither one of them is a practitioner or even in the medical field – and I didn’t think they were paying much attention to our programs.
But both Priscilla and Susan talked about needing a little refresher, especially with the holidays coming. Neither of them could quite remember all 3 of the changes they had made for the challenge.
So I got to thinking, some ideas are definitely worth a second helping!
We invite you to try it this November for 10 days.
With the holidays just around the corner, the opportunities for celebrations, gatherings and gifting are plentiful.
But many patients tell us how vulnerable they feel around this season: family stress, financial stress, and the sheer magnitude of exposure to food and social events involving food really can be challenging for people in these normally joyful holiday months.
Whether or not you took on the challenge, revisiting it or starting it for the first time could give you fresh perspective to help your patients… and yourself!
I invite you to check out this three minute video we made on the Power of 3 below.
So join us this holiday season by giving the Power of 3 a try for 10 days in November – again, or for the first time.
Choose your options from the list below, and let us know on the comment board which 3 you’ll be using for the challenge.
Please help us spread the word by asking your friends, your coworkers or your family to take the Power of 3 challenge with you.
Pick 3 to take the Challenge
- Instead of snacking on chips from the bag, divide foods into smaller individual servings. You won’t be so tempted to overindulge by eating the whole bag accidentally.
- Eat in a well-lit room. You eat less when you can see what you’re eating.
- Keep the bones. We have a better sense of how much we’ve eaten when we can see the evidence. This could mean keeping empty beer bottles lined up on the table or hot wing bones on a side plate.
- Use the 1/2 rule. Aim for 1/2 as much protein and carbohydrates while doubling your servings of vegetables and fruit.
- Fill your plate, but keep it small. When you use a smaller plate or bowl, this will naturally reduce portion size.
- Come up for air. Try and slow down your pace at the table so you can rely on your body’s internal cues. Then follow them – stop eating when you start to feel full rather than when your plate is clean or when you’re over-stuffed.
- Downsize rather than Supersize. Try ordering a size down from what you would normally order.
- Pre-plate your food instead of serving it family style. It’s easier to make more healthful serving choices when you make decisions before you start.
- Pass on second helpings.
- Use taller, narrower glasses rather than shorter, wider ones. You’ll end up pouring less, but you probably won’t notice the difference.
- Prepare healthy snacks for when you’re on-the-go (try carrying along an apple or a small bag of carrots).
- Minimize variety in your snacks. You’ll be surprised to find yourself getting bored with the same old cheese curls, and you’ll end up eating less.
- Put your apples on display. Show-off healthy foods in a prominent, well-lit area of your eating space, and banish unhealthy foods to the back corner of your cabinets.
- Keep the chips out of reach. When you have to consciously seek out junk food, it gives you a chance to think twice before indulging.
- Turn off the TV. When distracted, we tend to consume more calories inadvertently.
- Eat meals with people who eat more healthfully than you do. Studies have shown that we’re influenced by the food choices the people around us are making.
- If you eat out a lot, embrace Wansink’s “Restaurant Rule of 2” – enjoy a salad and a glass of wine with your entree, or a piece of bread and an appetizer – but stick to only 2 extras.
- Keep unhealthy but tempting food in aluminum foil or opaque containers – out of sight really is out of mind.
- Use smaller eating utensils and serving spoons. It’s an easy way to slow down how fast we eat and get back in-synch with internal cues.
- Here’s one for the whole family: rename healthy foods to make them sound more appealing. You might turn down a carrot-beet smoothie, but would you refuse a rainforest cocktail?
Here are some favorite healthy eating ideas from our staff:
- Drink a tall glass of water before you eat – it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger.
- Finish chewing each bite before reloading your fork.
- Try Michelle May’s “speed bump” plan. Divide your food in half before beginning a meal. Then pause for a minute between halves to assess your hunger.
Want more great ideas for easy, healthy changes? Check out Brian Wansink’s book: Mindless Eating.