Three Things To Try After Watching The Game Changers on Netflix
If you have heard of, or watched The Game Changers, chances are, the buzz created by big names like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lewis Hamilton has piqued your curiosity in trying a plant-based diet. On the other hand, you might have read conflicting debates by critics and supporters alike, which might leave you wondering — who’s actually right?
We are not here today to join in the fun. Rather, we are here to put together an actionable plan, if a change in diet is something you would like to experiment with. After all, eating more vegetables is good for you.
Let’s take it a step at a time.
As a wellness coach, I often work with clients to understand their personal motivations behind making a specific change, so that we can make the habit stick. One way to do this is to ask yourself a series of whys.
For example, let’s take a look at Emily:
Q: Why do you want to try a plant-based diet?
A: I’m inspired by the documentary and the performance potential showcased by the athletes who went on the plant-based diet.
Q: Why are you inspired by the athletes?
A: I used to be a track runner in college, and was in the best shape of my life then. A decade after, I’m really a far cry from those days.
Q: Why are you not in the best shape of your life now?
A: My lifestyle has been a lot more sedentary after I left school. I go for the occasional jog, but I also eat pretty much whatever I want, whenever I feel like it. For someone in my early thirties, my body feels like it’s 40, and I need to do something about it.
For Emily, the root cause of her motivation is to improve her health, and to feel better about herself physically.
What about you? Try this exercise and see if you can drill down to your personal motivation. Sometimes, it takes up to five whys before you can find your answer.
Think about how you can make this change achievable based on your motivations, dietary habits and lifestyle. The key thing to remember is that it’s not an all-or-nothing approach.
Set out to change just one thing in your lifestyle, and consistently practise it daily for the first two weeks.
If you are accustomed to getting your protein from meat, don’t go all cold turkey. Perhaps start by swapping one meal of the day to a plant-based meal. If that proves to be challenging, scale it down and aim to include a plant-based side dish in every meal of the day. It could be a green smoothie, a side of baby spinach salad, or even fruits/ vegetables with every meal. Whatever you decide on, set your mind and heart to it.
Give yourself a pat on the back after two weeks of successfully doing that one thing, then think about how you can level up for the next fortnight.
If you have not mastered the first habit after two weeks, keep on trying for another two weeks, and see how you feel about it.
Set your parameters. If Emily’s goal is to improve her sense of physical well-being, how would she track her progress?
It could be as simple as tracking her energy level throughout the day, after incorporating more plant-based ingredients in her daily meals. Does she still get the dreaded food coma after lunch hour? Does she wake up in the morning feeling more rested than before?
It could also be that Emily is now able to cover more ground in a 30-minute jog, as compared to two weeks ago before she started the experiment.
How would you determine or measure your own success?
It’s always good to take a holistic view of your lifestyle, with the awareness that good health is linked to eating well, moving well and living well. The human body thrives on whole foods for optimal nutrition. In a plant-based diet, this would mean a balance of whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Minimise or avoid processed foods entirely, which includes ‘mock meats’, canned fruits and oh yes, that bag of vegetable chips you have been eyeing.
Follow this rule of thumb, and you will be able to better gauge if a plant-based diet is truly for you. Good luck!