With people that are attempting to quit smoking, there is the concept of a mini–quit. Knowing that with smoking, there are various situations that may lead to smoking, a mini–quit is a concept where a person can practice different coping strategies in a given situation in their attempt to quit smoking. These are short experiments to learn alternative coping methods rather than smoking, and are intended to solidify alternative healthier behaviors and deal with urges to increase the likelihood of quitting smoking for the long term.
I’ll give you an example.
Some people may find that they tend to smoke more when they are bored. A mini–quit for this would be to find alternative behaviors to participate in when the urge to smoke hits, such as using distraction, taking a walk or starting a project that needs to be done.
Now, how do we apply this to nutrition?
Perhaps you are trying to stay on track with healthy eating, and you find it difficult to stay on track with nutrition in social situations.
What is your mini quit, or coping strategy to challenge yourself to stay on track in social situations? Think about strategies that you could employ to start to solidify your foundation with alternative healthy coping strategies to make these situations less stressful.
Here are some ideas. As an alternative to eating foods or beverages that may derail you from your health and wellness goals you could try the following:
Offer to bring a healthier dish to the gathering – meat to grill, cut up veggies, a salad, or fresh fruit. This way you are guaranteed to have some healthy options to choose from.
At the gathering, position yourself away from the food table, so that its less tempting to graze.
Be mindful of your choices and aim for a balanced plate of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
For beverages, aim to alternate alcohol with water, choose healthier alternatives like sparkling water, virgin bloody marys, vodka/tonics or light beers rather than blended fruity drinks that often contain a lot of sugar.
Come up with a mouth substitute to eating – Carry toothpicks (the flavored ones are great!), sugar free hard candies, or chewing gum.
Try distractions and aim to start conversations or play games with others at the party rather than eating more food.
If nutrition is something you are working on, what is your mini–quit?
Take some time to think about this, and talk with your nutrition coach about your goals and plans. It’s not always black and white – eat this and not that. There are many behavioral areas to address when it comes to adopting healthier eating habits. Your nutrition coach is there for accountability–to partner with you to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.