So, you’re confused, huh?

You’re not alone. A recent study showed that nearly 80% of all Americans are confused when it comes to nutrition. No surprise there. There’s so much contradictory and confusing information out there it’s not hard to get mixed up.

I encounter that all the time when working with people who come to us for weight loss in Encino and Northridge. It’s not rare to hear, “I don’t know what to eat when it comes to nutrition.”

What is surprising is that people recognize that dietitians and healthcare professionals are the preferred sources for correct information, but people choose to go to family and friends for advice instead! Consequently, confused people are “helping” confused people! Not a formula for long-term success there!

Sometimes you have to start with stopping!

I completely understand why people would be confused. There’s a ton of conflicting information being presented out there in the popular media and much of it is being supported by people who have solid medical and scientific credentials.

What happens when people get confused? Nothing. Nothing happens. They freeze. In the absence of knowing the proper steps to take they default to doing nothing, and I don’t blame them.

I want to unfreeze you.

Let’s forget about focusing on what TO do and focus on what NOT to do.

Change requires starting new things and ceasing old things…

Whenever undertaking change, there are two necessary steps. You need to implement new behaviors that run counter to old behaviors that weren’t producing the desired result. AND, you need to discontinue actions that have been prohibiting your progress. Start doing AND stop doing.

Let’s talk about the “STOP DOING” list.

This list features behaviors or actions that are inconsistent with your desired results. If you want a promotion at work, in addition to new, positive behaviors you need to undertake, you need to STOP showing up late, gossiping behind the boss’s back and getting caught playing Solitaire on your computer when you should be working! The “STOP DOING” items end up being just as important as the “START DOING” ones!

So, here are 3 Quick Nutrition Tips on the “STOP DOING” list!

Tip #1: Stop drinking your calories!

Tip #2: Stop eating so much processed food!

Tip #3: Stop dining out so much!

Understand this; I’m not necessarily saying “DON’T EVER DO THESE THINGS!!!” If you can stop some of these things altogether (soda, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks), great. But even reducing and minimizing these habits will make a HUGE impact on your health and on your weight, and that’s before focusing on new, healthy behaviors.

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Jonathan Aluzas is the Membership Director for Arena Fitness, a fitness center that offers group training in Northridge as well as personal training in Encino.