By Bhavin Prajapati
“A phrase I often use is: ‘If you’re failing to plan, you are planning to fail’.”
I would like to share some insights from a Behaviour Change course with the NHS I recently attended. It was one of the most informative and fascinating courses I have been to. It deepened my knowledge as a Nutritional Practitioner. The course highlighted how practitioners could address patient barriers and encouraged them to set more realistic goals. These should be manageable, achievable in a specific time frame. By asking the right questions I was able to pinpoint what the patient’s problem. Empathy and the ability to build a rapport were crucial. This allows the patient to open up and realise what was blocking their goals.
Behaviour Change is a key concept when it comes to losing weight. And It becomes more important when we have achieved our ideal weight. After we lose the weight it is easy to slip back into bad habits. Remember it’s a lifestyle change not a diet! We need to establish new habits and make them a part of our daily routines. Yes we will slip up, this is normal. However, when slip up we must identify and accept these behaviours to help get back on track.
When delivering a weight management program, planning is key. A phrase I often use is: “If you’re failing to plan, you are planning to fail”. Such a simple mantra, but it’s so true. If you know the fundamentals on planning foods around your lifestyle, it will help you achieve weight loss. When doing a session on planning with patients, I always start by asking them a question.
“What’s the first few things we should take into consideration when we are planning to lose weight?”
I often give a clue to my patients by saying it’s not food related. People tend to get confused at this point. I give them another clue. “What do you do in your lives?” I then proceed to explain: If we are trying to plan our meals, we have to understand what we do in our lives. For example, work, activity, social events, family time, doctors appointment etc. If we want to plan our meals and make our lives easier, we have to understand how we are spending our time to create a positive lifestyle change. Every single person lives a unique lifestyle, so we have to adapt and tailor a nutritional plan that best suits that individual. Once we understand our week and have a breakdown of our habits, we begin to understand our bodies and its needs. We can then start to plan what we are going to eat, how much and when.
Join us for Part three where Bhavin reveals a key way to lose weight and keep it off.
‘Behaviour bytes’ is written by Bhavin Prajapati. He shares his experiences of how to improve lifestyle and well being with a holistic approach. He is currently a Nutritionist working for Nottinghamshire’s Obesity Prevention and Weight Management Service. He currently delivers high quality, evidence based nutritional advice for children and adults. Including those with maternity needs, anyone seeking weight loss interventions on a one to one and in group settings. Within the weight management service he facilitates and empowers patients to affect behaviour and adopt positive lifestyle changes by providing health education and high quality nutritional counselling.