The SANE Nutrition Method

A lot of women tell me that their biggest struggle when it comes to weight loss is nailing down nutrition strategies that actually work long-term.  We’re inundated with quick fixes and the promise of fast results and a new diet pops up almost daily and it’s super intriguing to jump on board, but by now I think we know that cutting out food groups is not a realistic long-term goal, most of us are tired of counting calories, carbs and macros and don’t want to track every morsel of food forever and we also know that anything promising a quick fix is bullshit.  If you don’t know that yet, that’s OK, just check out thisthis and this 🙂

So what can we do to make sure we’re moving towards our goals without cutting out food groups, tracking our food incessantly and being tricked by the promise of losing 10 pounds in one week?

We can stay SANE.  This is the exact method I use for my online coaching clients and I want to give it to you because I know it works and it keeps nutrition fool-proof and super easy. SANE will help you nail down the exact changes you need to implement to get to your goal in a simple, SANE, successful way.

SANE stands for:

Study current habits

Acknowledge what needs to change

Narrow down your nutritional absolutes

Evaluate how you’re feeling


Let’s break it down:

Study current habits

If you’re spinning your wheels because you think you’re doing everything right and not seeing results you have to first get really honest with yourself and take a good look at what you’re currently doing. We tend to forget about a lot of choices we make as we mentally go throughout our day, so a good strategy here is committing to keeping a 5-day food journal and write everything down. This way you can actually see what you’re eating in black and white. For example, you’ll be able to see if you’re dong a lot of nighttime eating, or if you’re digging into the office candy jar multiple times per day- two things you forgot you did because they simply became habits.

Acknowledge what needs to change

Now that you have everything down in black and white and have taken a good look at your nutrition choices, the next step is to find what changes you can make.  Maybe you allow yourself more treats throughout the day to avoid a nighttime binge or maybe you bypass the candy jar and fill yourself up with a protein shake instead.  Commit to one or two small changes and stick with those for three weeks or so then go back and reassess how you’re progressing. If you feel ready, you can make more changes.

Narrow down your nutritional absolutes

Nutritional Absolutes (NAs) are guidelines that you personally set for yourself which set you up for success to reach your goals. NAs are not rules or restrictions, they are just simple strategies you can implement to make your food choices really simple and focused on your goal. NAs can be anything you want as long as they’re reasonable and realistic for you <– Super important.  Avoid something like “cut out carbs” or “no sugar for three weeks” and instead try “prioritize protein, increase healthy fats and drink 90oz of water per day.”  Make your goals positive (more of xyz instead of no abc) and make sure they’re realistic and reasonable.  I know I said that before but I seriously can’t stress it enough.

Evaluate how you’re feeling

It’s really important that we know when our energy levels are low and when our cravings are high. We want our body functioning at its best.  We not only want to look great but we want to feel great, too, don’t we?  When energy is down and cravings are up, it’s a recipe for weight loss disaster.  In other words, our body is doing exactly what we don’t want it to- and it’s our fault.  The good news is we can usually fix that with nutrition swaps by looking at proteins, fats, water and/or sugar intake and making some changes there. Ideally we want high energy, low cravings and a feeling of satisfaction throughout the day.


Here’s how SANE can work in real life:

Goal: You want to lose weight and you think you’re doing everything right but your weight still isn’t changing. 

Using SANE, you keep a 5 day food journal to make sure you’re eating as healthy as you initially thought.  On day 5 you review your journal you realize that you had been forgetting about the 3pm bag of chips you’ve been getting almost daily from the office vending machine and the three bars of chocolate you munched on after dinner a few times this week.

Now that you see what’s going on in black and white, you can look at what habits you need to change to reach your goals.  Instead of the chips, maybe you start bringing some hummus and veggies or crackers to work for your snack.  Or instead of eating the chocolate bar after dinner, maybe give yourself a smaller amount of chocolate earlier in the day to ease the craving.

Now you can move on to NAs. Are you actually eating in a way that will bring you closer to your goal? Concerning weight loss, your NAs could be something like prioritizing protein, increasing veggies and drinking lots of water, or maybe increasing fiber intake, eating more healthy fats and only eating out twice per week instead of 4.  You can make NAs anything you want as long as they put you right in line with your goals and as long as they work for you.

Now it’s time to evaluate.  You’ve identified the changes you need to make after studying your current diet and you’ve narrowed down your NAs. After three weeks or so it’s time to check in to see how these changes are going. First look at your energy levels.  Do you have more or less energy? Are you still hitting that 3pm slump?  Is it easier to jump out of bed in the morning?  Are you sleeping better at night?  Then look at cravings.  Are you still craving the 3pm chips or have the hummus and crackers/veggies done the trick?  Have only munched on chocolate a few times in the past three weeks?  In other words, are the changes you’ve made actually working?  If yes, go ahead and make more small changes.  If no go back and re-acknowledge what changes need to be made.  Remember, your nutrition plan is never set in stone.  Nutrition is an evolving puzzle so things will change. 

And that’s it!  That’s how SANE works.  You can go through this framework over and over until you nail down what works best for you. If you need a place to get started you can grab my FREE #simplesanesuccessful Fat Loss Nutrition Guide which takes away all of the complicated formulas, tracking apps and guess work. If you follow this easy guide, you’ll see how simple fat loss can really be.

If you think you need some help getting started, I’m opening up THREE one-on-one Nutrition Coaching spots.  We can start as early as next Monday to get you on the right track.  Check out the program here and fill out the form linked in the description if you’re interested or have any questions.

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