As you begin learning how to live a healthier lifestyle, consider the four stages of competence or the “conscious model”. This is a common perspective in psychology and
relates to the psychological states we experience in our learning process; a process that begins with incompetence and ends with competence in a particular matter or skill. These are the
phases we typical go through to making an activity/habit a lifestyle. These 4 stages are:
Unconscious incompetence – in this stage you do not know that you do not know. The German philosopher Jurgen Habermas referred to this as “epistemic risk”- the risk of not
knowing what one does not know. You do not recognize your deficiency in knowledge or ability and may deny the need or value in knowing. The time spent in this stage is
directly related to the motivation, positive or negative to learn the new knowledge. A 2F2Q objective is to educate our members so they know what they do not know.
Conscious incompetence – this is the stage you know you do not know. This is a stage of awareness whereby you recognize your deficiency and the value of correcting
the deficiency. Constantly making the same mistake is a core aspect of learning at this stage. This stage the member begins assuming responsibility for their learning to progress
to the next stage.
Conscious competence – this is when you know that you know but you have to consciously think about it before performing it. You are knowledgeable and capable to perform
the act but it requires your concentration. This stage the member must consistently apply their knowledge.
Unconscious competence – this is when the subject matter is truly learned where you no longer have to think about it; you perform it easily; it is a habit; it becomes part
of our tacit knowledgebase; it is what we often referred to as “second nature”. You possibly are able to teach it to others. This is the level of achievement!
See yourself as living a more robust life that is full energy and joy. View your health as a holistic way of living that is more than nutrition and exercise. Health is
only one aspect of a healthy lifestyle and should be the viewed as the most important.
Decide now to begin making incremental changes in various areas of your life. It is recommended to make only a few changes at a time and set small goals. This approach leads to a
better chance of achievement which will inspire you to continue on your journey.
Begin with your eating habits.
Remember the core of a successful health and wellness program is being healthy. At the core of good health, is proper nutrition and exercise.
A good place to start your health & wellness program is to begin improving your nutrition and exercise habits as together they provide you the energy to do all the other things to
complete your health and wellness program.
Prior to beginning an exercise program, you may consider establishing changes in your eating habits. It is more challenging to exercise if the body does not have the proper fuel.
Good nutrition provides the energy to exercise and improves your cognitive abilities. Focus on more on eating nutritional foods and less on calorie counting. Overall caloric intake is
important for managing your weight and should be considered but lead your change with a focus on nutrition.
Lead with your mind and your body will follow.
Determine your motives for changing your diet. What are your goals (lose weight, increase energy, improve health, etc.) You may want to read the
"Developing the Right Mindset" for establishing the proper mindset for improvement, change, or transformation which is provided by our
sister company, LevelUp Thinking.
Be a continuous learner. Learn as much as you can about nutrition, macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, foods, diets, meal planning, etc.
Become a home chef. Cook your own food. Cooking can be creative and relaxing making it a mind-body-spirit experience.
Read food labels. Be aware of misleading food labels that contain the words "low-fat, 98% fat-free, reduced fat or low cholesterol". When either fat, sugar or sodium is
reduced in a packaged food it is usually replaced by one of the other three. So low-fat may mean higher sugar or higher sodium.
- * Read the ingredients and look for the amount of fat, sugar, sodium and carbohydrates.
- *Avoid foods that contain ingredients such as: hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- * Triglycerides (fat)
- * Lard (fat)
- * Lecithin (fat)
- * Palm Kernel Oil
- * Sugar, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, dextrose, sucrose, corn syrup
- * White or "Wheat" flour
- * Avoid or reduce products with high amounts of the above listed ingredents. If these ingredients are at the top/beginning of the ingredient list then the food item mostly contains
simple carbohydrates and should not be consumed.
- * Remember ingredients are listed in the order of their weight or amount within the food item.
- * Pay attention to the sodium per serving.
Everyone's body and schedule are different therefore take action where it works for you. Take a few actions at a time. Master these
actions until the actions become part of your unconscious competence.
Eliminate processed or refined foods. These foods typically come in a box, bag, can, vending machine, etc.
Pay attention to serving and portion sizes.
Consume foods with nutritional value. You can make tremendous improvement in your health by simply eating foods that have nutritional value which are benefcial to the body.
Eliminate "empty calories" from your diet. "Empty calories" are those foods that provide no or little nutritional value to your body such as processed foods
(boxed, canned, vending machine etc.) or foods that contain refined flour and/or sugar.
Avoid dieting. Severely reducing your caloric intake will cause your body to become efficient at producing energy from your food intake but when you return to your normal eating habits your
body will begin to store the extra calories as fat. Instead of dieting change what and how you eat.
Manage your meals
- * Eat smaller meals.
- * Have 3 small meals and 2 to 3 snacks
- * Eat smaller portions
- * Avoid going all day without eating because it slows down your metabolism and leads to overeating
Make breakfast your biggest meal
Make dinner your smallest meal
Going to bed on a full stomach causes you to feel sluggish the next morning and does not give you the opportunity to work off the calories. This does not mean you should not eat
before going to bed as the optimal words are “full stomach”. There are cases where eating certain foods such as
specific types of protein before bedtime can be beneficial to rebuilding muscles and maintaining good
Eliminate refined sugars, flours and simple carbohydrates. The average American eats about 100 pounds of sugar a year. The good news is that only takes about 2 weeks to overcome the desire for sugar. Most of these foods are
"empty calories" and provide little nutritional value. Simple carbohydrates and sugars will cause your insulin levels to spike which causes fat storage.
- * Avoid white rice, white potatoes, white pasta, white bread, refined grains, cereals, granola.
- * Avoid sugar, candy and other sweets
- * Reduce the amount of baked goods as most of these contain refined flour.
- * Consume more complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Consume more complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole grains, and legumes
- * Increase complex carbohydrates intake by juicing and blending.
- * Make fruit and vegetable smoothies with more focus on vegetables as a way to consume your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Many enzymes are lost when
vegetables (and fruits) are cooked especially if boiled.
- * Consume raw fruits and vegetables which provide more nutritional value.
- * Keep carbohydrates to a minimum.
- * Eat protein or fat with carbohydrates to slow down the absorption into the blood stream and to minimize blood sugar spikes.