Understanding The Stages of Change

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

Which one are you in or do you THINK you're in?

Lets take a look at the 6 stages of change when thinking about your current nutrition habits or fitness behaviours.

1. Precontemplation

(Not Ready, "on the fence") People in this stage are not thinking nor considering change and will defend their choices up to this point. Generally tend to not acknowledge a problem. Example: "I don't care what I eat or look like".

2. Contemplation

Acknowledge that there is a problem, but weighing the options of whether or not to change. People in this stage generally know that there will be negative outcomes in the long run, but aren't quite convinced yet that they care enough to change before its too late.

3. Preparation

(Getting ready to change) You've acknowledged a problem and are seeking out options for change. Your attitude has changed to "I know there is a problem, I am determined to change it, but what can I do?" At this point people are taking small steps to research what can be done to help them change. As they are educating themselves on what is available to them, this stage may be a bit overwhelming with information and options. Do not skip this step and make sure to educate yourself on what is available to you in your area, as well as ask questions about programs and training. Reach out to potential trainers and ask questions regarding what they offer etc.

4. Action

(Actively engaged in change) Congratulations! You are currently taking part in a training program with or without a trainer or are seeking assistance in nutrition guidance, or BOTH! You are actively putting in the effort to make changes and investing in yourself. Huge props to you for getting to this stage. This stage will take a lot of willpower and a determined mindset to keep moving forward and not let yourself slip back to old habits. Small changes as you go are better than diving in head first and hitting the shallow end too soon. Small changes, small steps. Please don't get discouraged in this stage though, as you are making small changes it will still take some time to notice all of the benefits. Don't expect the changes to happen over night, instead embrace the changes your body is making and enjoy the process.

5. Maintenance

Once you've made small changes in the action phase, keep progressing forward with one small change at a time and remind yourself that you are invested in yourself and why you have made these changes to begin with. Throughout the journey you may feel overwhelmed that too much is changing and that is okay. It's okay to take a step back and regain your footing, but do not allow yourself to step to far back to old habits. If the cookie is torturing you, eat the cookie, but be mindful of moderation. Remind yourself how far you've come and how much better you feel and look because of the small changes you've made. You've got this!

6. Relapse

Do not fear the fail. The process of the journey may become overwhelming and that is okay. We are all human and this happens. If you have a not so good workout, or you skip a day, or you don't follow your nutrition plan for a couple days... IT IS NOT THE END! Remind yourself that you are human and that life happens and things get busy. It is okay to have a shit workout sometimes and it is okay to have that treat every now and again, but regain confidence over your mindset that your next workout will be better and that you will opt for a healthier snack next time you're tempted with treats. If you fall off the wagon dig deep past the guilt, regret, anger, and any other emotion you are feeling and get yourself back into that gym and back on track with your nutrition.


After you see what stage you are in you need to think about why you are in that stage. Maybe you think you don't need to change your current habits or maybe you've already started to see that there is a problem with something and you want to know more about your options. Either way, educating yourself about potential future problems could be beneficial as well as looking into services that could help you with goals.

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