How to Set Healthy Eating Goals that Stick
Change the focus to how you want to feel rather than your weight
If you focus on how healthy food makes you feel rather than the scales or how you look, the rest will follow.
Although maintaining a healthy weight is vital to lowering disease risk and living a longer healthier life, focusing on weight and how you look too much can be detrimental.
It is perfectly okay to have a goal to say lose 5Kg over 10 weeks. Aiming for 0.5kg per week is a healthy and realistic approach to weight loss. It allows you to slowly make small changes to your eating that won’t disrupt your life too much and help you to form new healthy habits.
The secret to easy weight loss is to start to notice how healthier food choices make you FEEL.
By reducing the intake of processed foods high in sugar, fat or salt, and increasing wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, your energy levels, mood, sleep, concentration, self-confidence will all naturally improve.
In fact, you will feel so good that you’ll want to keep the good feelings going and the weight will just fall off without you even focusing on it!
Forget the Diets
Food should not be feared and fear is the response most diets generate around foods.
‘Diets’ and tight food restrictions that cut out whole food groups put too much pressure on you, which is why you may cave and grab a cookie from the cookie jar… then maybe another… and another… and another.
The reason this happens is because you have labelled it as “bad” or “forbidden,” which makes the humble cookie so much more desirable.
When it comes to healthy eating, we say NO to rules and restrictions and YES to listening to what your body really needs to feel good.
Instead, allow yourself to have a cookie and don’t feel guilty. But always make sure your number one priority is to nourish your mind and body by fuelling yourself with lots of fibre and nutrients – you may even be too full for that cookie!
Make small changes to reach a bigger goal
If your healthy eating goals look something like ‘I am cutting out sugar this week’ or ‘I’m only eating salads this week,’’ then the likelihood of you falling off the bandwagon is pretty high. Going cold-turkey is not sustainable.
Instead, try “This week, instead of eating half a block of chocolate each night, I am going to eat one row.” or “I am going to increase the amount of salad or veggies on my plate this week.” – Make baby steps each week!
Here are some small changes you can make that will assist with healthy eating goals.
Why don’t you pick one or two new ones each week until you form lots of new healthy habits:
✔️ Increase your veggie intake by adding grated vegetables to mincemeat based meals (bolognese and burger patties), fried rice and pasta bakes.
✔️ Swap white bread, wraps, pasta and rice for brown grainy varieties.
✔️ Add lentils to mincemeat based meals to reduce the amount of meat you eat and increase plant foods – check out our Lentil and Mince Pattie Cheeseburger Recipe.
✔️ Make nearly all your meals and snacks at home. Check out these Healthy Snack Ideas.
✔️ Make a double batch of your meals so you have a healthy lunch the next day – try doubling a batch of our yummy and low-cost Morrocan Chicken recipe.
✔️ Avoid pre-packaged meals in the supermarket – they have lots of hidden fat, salt and sugar. See our simple Guide to Reading Nutrition Labels at the Supermarket.
✔️ Swap soft drink and juice for water flavoured with fresh fruit. See our Fruit-infused Sparkling Water Ideas.
✔️ Don’t skip breakfast – this will help to prevent cravings later on. Check out our yummy Overnight Oats recipe.
✔️ Don’t include junk food as part of the weekly shop – if it’s sitting there, you’re more likely to eat it. Check out our guide to shopping at the supermarket.
✔️ Monitor your portions – use our portion guide in your Personalised Nutrition Plan.
✔️ Chew slowly and stop eating when you start to feel full rather than when you’re overfull. See our Three Simple Steps for Eating More Mindfully.
✔️ Drink a glass of water before eating a meal or snack.
Download our family healthy eating plan to find a 7-day meal plan full of yummy healthy eating or login to download your personal nutrition plan to help create a healthier eating pattern. This is FREE to all members.
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Check out this week’s healthy recipe to kick start your healthy eating goals
Frittata with pumpkin, sundried tomato & basil
Time: 50mins Serves: 4 Cost: $10.45 approx. ($2.61/serve)
- 8 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 500g pumpkin
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes
- ½ bunch fresh basil
- ½ block feta
- pinch salt & pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 200o
- Chop pumpkin in small cubes (2cm x 2cm).
- Steam for 10mins.
- Beat eggs, add milk, salt & pepper, beat until mixed.
- Roughly chop sundried tomatoes, basil and feta then mix with egg mixture.
- Mix through steamed pumpkin
- Add to small baking dish or pie dish
- Bake for 40mins
Serve with steamed broccoli or a salad for extra veggies!