Achieving health and wellness goals can be frustrating. It is gradual and takes a lot of time and consideration, initially. One common frustration is that even if we try to make the right choices, sometimes our numbers don’t improve, or seem to get worse! Seemingly big changes do not usually produce immediate results.
Don’t worry! Change is constant, especially in the body. As a person with type I diabetes, I can attest to this based on daily blood sugars, which change hourly! My average blood sugar (A1c) is normal, but there are times when my instant blood sugar is higher than recommended. Blood sugar monitoring helps determine times during the day when my blood sugar is consistently higher than usual. These trends help my medical team and I make changes to improve control. A1c represents overall control, but follow-up with both myself (monitoring blood sugars during the day) and my medical team gives more information about my body and what I can to further improve my health.
The same goes for weight control. If you are not already doing this, try weighing yourself everyday rather than once per week. What do you expect to see? Will the weight always be the same? What about weighing yourself at different times on the same day? Would those numbers be the same? The answer is usually: NO! Weight fluctuates, too. I have days where my weight fluctuates an entire pound from the time I wake up to when I go to bed! Don’t let small “hiccups” during the week stop you! It’s all about trends!
Even cholesterol levels change daily! Why does the doctor ask you to fast before most blood draws? We know that these labs vary depending on when and what we eat, so it should not be surprising that all of our “numbers” can change during the day. Isn’t is awesome that what we eat directly affects all of these numbers?! Small dietary and/or lifestyle changes improve health for this reason.
The body takes time to adjust to change. When we make changes to the type and amount of foods we eat, the body changes too. Try not to view daily weights, instant blood sugars, or single lab values as “pass” or “fail”. TRENDS are more important than single values.
If trying to lose weight, keep track of daily weights; but, do not dwell on them or get frustrated if they are not always less than the day before. Weekly/monthly trends are the overall view of weight changes. If managing diabetes, check and track blood sugars at different times each day to determine trends that will help with medication changes to improve control. For heart health, keep track of your yearly lipid/cholesterol labs to see how dietary changes have changed your blood!
Need helping keeping yourself accountable? As an RD, I can help you set realistic goals and provide follow-up make sure that you stay on track and know how to problem-solve when situations arise that may push you off of your healthy lifestyle.
One day does not make or break a healthy life. Again, it is all about balance and trends. Did you overeat on your birthday? Not a problem: think about ways to decrease Calories eaten or increase Calories burned over the next few days. Contact me for personalized nutrition counseling and one-on-one follow-up as you work towards your personal health goals.