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The spectrum of behavior change

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The spectrum of behavior change is NOT a continuous progression, only moving forward until the goal is reached. People can move backward and forward between phases without proper guidance and support. 

This is also known as “relapsing”. 

Relapsing is not synonymous with failing, as behavior change is hardly ever a linear process.  However, you do not need to go through the process of change alone. 

Use the interactive chart or continue scrolling to read more about how we can best serve your needs.

Precontemplation Phase

  • Not ready to commit to change

  • Cannot visualize the positive outcomes of change

  • Unaware of the risks of continuing current behaviors


Those in the pre-contemplation phase tend to be unaware of how their current behaviors are affecting their health, eitherthrough a lack of education or due to misinformation. If a general desire to be healthier exists, there is a lack of motivationthat may be a result of their inability to conceptualize how a healthier lifestyle would benefit them in the long run. 

How we can help

  • General nutrition education 

  • Discuss the risks of continuing current behaviors 

  • Guide clients toward visualizing the positive outcomes of change



Contemplation Phase

  • Aware of negative behaviors 

  • Gathering information 

  • Weighing the pros and cons of change


Those in the contemplation phase have been made aware of how their negative behaviors are affecting their health. Theyhave a desire to be healthier and are actively engaged in learning what changes need to be made. However, motivation tomake changes has not yet reached a tipping point due to the perceived discomfort of change.

How we can help

  • Discuss potential outcomes of behavior modification vs. continuing with negative behaviors 

  • Discuss potential end goals 

  • Nutrition education 

Preparation Phase

  • Laying the groundwork for behavior change

  • Motivated to begin

  • Strong internal belief that goals can be achieved 


Those in the preparation phase have reached a point where they are ready to make behavior changes and may have alreadybegun to a small degree. They are mentally committed to reaching their goals but may need some extra resources that wouldbe helpful in their journey toward success. 

What we do 

  • Nutrition education

  • Nutrition counseling 

  • Collaborate with clients to set small achievable goals






Action Phase

  • Actively engaging in healthier habits 

  • Behavior changes have been made

Progress is happening! Those in the action phase are finding success in the short time after their behavior modifications.They may be ready to set new goals as they grow comfortable and gain confidence in themselves.

What we do 

  • Promote accountability 

  • Nutrition counseling

  • Set new small, achievable goals, always progressing clients toward their end goal

Maintenance Phase

  • A sustained period of actively engaging in new positive behaviors 

  • Working to prevent relapse 


Those in the maintenance phase may begin to feel a shift in mindset. What were first behavior modifications are now stronghabits. The longer someone spends in the maintenance phase, the more deeply rooted those habits become.

What we do 

  • Promote accountability

  • Nutrition counseling

  • Collaborate with clients to set new end goals 

Termination Phase

  • No desire to go back to earlier bad habits


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