Healthy eating sounds easier than it is but how do you stay motivated? I mean, I always say I am going to eat healthier but then I totally mess up and end up having a chocolate bar or chips or something and all my attempts have gone to waste. Do you have any suggestions for how to keep it up?
Absolutely! Check out these tips:
Move ahead one step at a time.
If you are someone who eats fast food every day it’s not realistic to change overnight to someone who is preparing nutritious home made meals instead. But what might be a good idea is to start with a goal – a small, realistic one. For example, “I am going to make a home cooked meal one night per week”. And once you are able to achieve that you can build on it.
Set goals and track your progress.
If you are unsure of where to begin you might want to compare what you are currently eating to what is recommended for you in Canada’s Food Guide. There is a fabulous tool from Dietitians of Canada, called EATracker, which does exactly that. You can enter in what you ate for a sample day and the program will give you suggestions on ways to improve. Remember to cater those goals to you and what is realistic for you.
Don’t worry about getting ‘off track’.
Don’t beat yourself up for getting ‘off track’ or having treats. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed on your goal to healthy eating. Many people have the ‘all or nothing’ mentality, where they believe they have to follow a perfect healthy eating plan, or they shouldn’t bother. It’s not true! For instance, treats can be a part of healthy eating. I always emphasize the 80-20 rule which is healthy eating according to Canada’s Food Guide 80% of the time and allowing yourself to enjoy treats (guilt free) for the other 20%. If you feel like you’ve gotten ‘off track’, forgive yourself and start again!
Feel good about the small changes and healthy choices that you make every day. It’s the small changes that last a lifetime that are important! Celebrate by being good to yourself!
We know it’s easier to stick to a fitness schedule when we have a work out buddy right? The same goes for our nutrition goals. If you have friends or family who also want to try to eat healthier then do it together. Maybe you have a healthy meal potluck where everyone brings a different dish. Or maybe you and your roommates try balanced breakfasts as a team. Prepare and cook nutritious meals together.
I’m really glad you asked this question because part of changing our habits is having the information (I hope The Dish is helping with that). But the other part is putting it into practice. Thanks for your question!