I have noticed over the years that there are patterns in what has worked and what has failed. Particularly as my diet gets worse, I always move on to worse foods in the same order, and I improve by reversing that.
I have also noticed that I can never successfully make more than one improvement at a time. Very occasionally, when I have had lots of free time, I have improved two things at once – but that was a full-time project. So it’s important for me to know where I am in my eating habits, and what a realistic goal is. The table below helps me to do that. I can easily see which level I’m on, and what I need to add/cut to improve one level.
Please note, I’m not saying that this is true for everyone, this is purely what I have noticed in my own diet. If you’re reading this, you may find that you have different “trigger” foods, or that you don’t have this kind of “slippery slope” at all.
The other thing I’ve noticed, which depresses me a bit, is that I can’t get to the top level as a vegetarian or vegan. I get to level 2 at best. I was vegetarian for 20 years, and would like to cut out meat again for ethical and environmental reasons – but it just doesn’t work for me. I eat too many carbs and not nearly enough protein. I haven’t given up, but I haven’t found a solution for that one yet. I’m living in hope.
I’d love to have comments from anyone else who has noticed similar patterns what works or doesn’t work for you.