Often people put too many restrictions on themselves about what they can and can’t eat when they decide that they want to start eating healthily. These foods are good, these are bad. Or, certain foods can only be eaten on cheat days.
Large changes like this can be hard to maintain. It’s wonderful to have big goals and you should definitely set some if they help to motivate you. But you don’t want to make them too hard to handle or overwhelming, and you quit.
Instead, having realistic healthy eating goals can be far more motivating, as you achieve them each day you’ll feel more inspired to continue on your healthy eating journey. Big goals like losing lots of weight aren’t achieved through one day, or one single, big action. Instead, it’s about lots of small, daily habits that will help move you towards your goals. Here are some of my favorite goals to set that will move you towards a healthier lifestyle where you feel good about your eating habits or to fall in love with food again!
Healthy Eating Goals
Eat veggies and fruits as snacks
Some people just know that they are snackers. No matter what or how much they eat, they’ll be reaching for something (anything) to keep them going in a few hours. That’s okay! Instead of beating yourself up or trying to resist this craving, get some of your favorite fruits and vegetables on hand. This means whenever that snack craving hits, you don’t have to worry about it and you can satisfy your craving. I know I’m far less likely to overindulge on apple slices, than chocolate.
Regardless of what eating plan you’re on, you’re probably not drinking enough water. As you may have heard, many times what we think is hunger is actually just our bodies telling us that they’re thirsty. If you think you’re hungry, before you reach for any food, drink a large glass of water. Let that sit for a few minutes and see how you feel. Maybe you’ll forget that you were hungry.
Swap your bread, rice and pasta
Love bread? Don’t feel like you need to completely give it up. Simply switching to wheat bread instead of white bread can help reduce your carbohydrate intake and add more nutrients into your diet. The same goes for your rice and pasta. There are so many other great options out there to help you change the grains you eat to be healthier.
Avoid eating out and fast food
I know that for some of you, this one might seem challenging. Especially if you’re currently eating out a lot. Rather than trying to go all-in, decide to reduce the number of times you eat out instead of ruling it out altogether. These foods are usually high in saturated fat, which is not helpful for weight loss and can lead to heart disease. They’re also missing any sign of green vegetables!
Stay away from on-the-go packaged snacks
Now you’re armed with some nutrition facts. Labels on packaged foods might not tell you much about whether or not the foods inside are actually healthy foods! Foods labeled as healthy, might not actually be able to back that up. That’s why I avoid on-the-go packaged snacks as much as possible. They generally contain too many preservatives and sugars.
The KISS rule
For those of you that don’t know, this means Keep It Simple, Stupid! This is the best way to make sure you’re achieving your eating goals in the long term. Rather than making a complicated plan, that requires multiple grocery stores, hours of meal prepping or foods you don’t even like, you’re far better off setting goals that motivate you and then laying in lots of baby steps to help you move towards them. Make sure you set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) so that you can track your progress over time. And they don’t have to be complicated. It could be to eat some seafood once a week, as you know this is healthier for you than too much red meat. Or it could be to eat protein foods for breakfast each day. However you do it, make sure the goals and rules to achieve them are simple!