Ditch the Diets and Set Healthy Eating Goals that Stick

Posted on Thursday, February 4, 2021
Written by Live Life Get Active
Category: Nutrition

Let us help you set some healthy eating goals that are achievable

It’s not about cutting food out, going on strict diets or being obsessed with scales. Instead, it’s about making small healthy changes that will fit into your life, and noticing how your mind and body feel when you make these positive changes in your eating habits.

1. 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!

2. 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!

3. 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.

Not a member? Register now for FREE access to outdoor and online fitness classes, live guided meditations, wellness videos, recipes and more!

Weekly recipe

Get started wth this healthy Summer meal you can make for lunch or dinner!

Tropical Chicken Salad with Honey Roasted Nuts


Serves: 4 Time: 25mins Cost: $21.15 ($5.30/serve)


2 chicken breasts
2 cups spinach
1 mango
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
½ cucumber
¼ tsp chilli flakes
½ can beans
½ cup cashews
1 lime
1 T + 1 tsp honey
1 crushed garlic clove or 1 tsp garlic paste
Extra virgin olive oil
Coriander to serve

Preheat oven to 150oC (fan forced).
Mix cashews with 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp olive oil and ¼ tsp salt & pepper.
Cook in oven for 10mins.
Dressing: Mix lime juice, 1 T honey, garlic, 2 T olive oil, ¼ tsp chilli flakes, salt & pepper.
Marinade chicken in 2 T of the dressing.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil on a grill pan at medium heat.
Cook chicken 10 – 12 mins on each side.
Prepare salad: Dice mango, slice cherry tomatoes, peel cucumber to make ribbons.
Construct salad: Put all raw salad ingredients together, add chicken, beans & cashews.
Serve with rest of dressing and coriander.

Live Life Get Active is building a fitter, healthier and happier Australia and we want people to have fun along the way. With the help of Local Government and Corporate Australia we provide FREE health, fitness and nutritional education both online and in the parks, suburbs and cities of Australia.