*Welcome to my blog post series about the ups and downs of my adopting a healthy, Mediterranean diet! I received much-needed advice from one of my favorite experts in dietetics. I hope this helps! Enjoy!

I solicited the help of Shawn Beasley, a registered dietitian, who gave me tips on how to start this journey toward healthier eating habits. See the conclusion of interview. . . below: 

Tawanda: Is there anything you would like to add to our conversation for clarity? 

Shawn: There is one thing I would like to add.  You mentioned weight loss and keeping it off. I also suggest that people stay away from stressing out over the scale, particularly over the numbers. Consider focusing on other ways to determine your progress outside of regular weigh-ins. For example, you may notice that your clothes fit differently or that you have more energy. Like you said earlier, it’s a mindset as well, because your body is not going to move until you tell your mind to do it. Keeping your mind and body in line can help, and the weight will fall off because you want to have that mindfulness about what you’re eating and how you’re going about it. It’s not always helpful to get focused on what you’re seeing on the scale every single day. That affects your mindset, and you’ll get discouraged. Of course, for some people, it may be a good motivator. It depends on what works for you as an individual. But like I said, sometimes looking at the scale every single day can be discouraging. I’ve seen clients get discouraged because they wanted to see the pounds dropping fast. But in essence, they only dropped a pound or two, which is a healthy weight loss, by the way. But they just want to throw it all away and start over. However, the body has to make adjustments. It’s important to be patient with your body and to also be patient with yourself.

Tawanda: So when should I see changes? I’m going to start with changing my breakfast. But how long will I have to go before seeing significant changes in my body? 

Shawn: That is a hard question to answer because everybody’s metabolism and inflammation—it’s all different. To be honest, it takes 15 to 20 times for something to become an established habit. So, if you introduce yourself to something new, it’s going to be an adjustment. If you have support, it can happen even faster. But seeing changes. . .and when? It depends on your body’s makeup. 

LaShawnda (Shawn) Beasley is a registered dietitian. She gives helpful dietary advice and will be starting her own private practice soon. She helps people develop a healthy relationship with food. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Alignable for updates.