My husband recently told me about how a popular new verb is “to adult”. Our family is undergoing a lot of changes in the next few months, and I will admit to sometimes wondering when an adult will step in and tell me what to do. Then I remember I am the adult. Scary. I guess I always imagined as an adult I would have all the answers. I would know the do’s and don’ts. When I am “adulting”, I find myself saying “no”to my toddler a lot, which isn’t fun.
Turns out, saying “no” is also not very effective when it comes to teaching people about nutrition. A recent study looked at the combined data from 43 previous studies on nutrition messaging. The combined results suggest that negative nutrition messages don’t work well in changing behaviors but positive messages do.
How do you apply this? If you are talking to others about nutrition, focus more on the good things they are eating than the bad. For example, rather than criticize your spouse for eating too many hamburgers, praise them for choosing a salad or a side of vegetables. For self-talk, focus on the good things you are doing in your diet rather than harping on yourself for any side steps.
Being positive works! Happy eating!
Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!