Sticking with your in motion Nutrition Goal!
A common New Year’s goal is to lose weight. Many often resort to "going on a diet”, which usually starts on January 1. Unfortunately, "going on a diet" often means giving up everything you enjoy. So, by the end of January many find that it becomes too hard to stick with it and by the beginning of February, they're back to square one and they don't feel any better!
To ensure your healthy eating success, avoid the "diet" and think about some small, specific and measurable changes you can make to your current behaviours that would improve your eating plan and your well-being. Small focused changes will add up to huge health benefits over time! Some examples of healthier eating behaviors could be taking the time to eat a healthy breakfast, increasing the number of fruits and vegetables you eat, or cutting down on the amount of fat in your regular eating plan.
Research shows that people who plan ahead and set SMART goals are more likely to succeed in adopting new healthy habits. To help you stick to your goals, make sure your goals are:
- Specific: Is it clear and identifiable? You are more likely to meet your goal if it is specific rather than general. A general goal would be “eat more fruit and vegetables” while a specific goal would be “eat 1 apple every day”.
- Measurable: How will you know if you have met your goal? In the above specific example, if you’ve eaten a fruit everyday, you have met your goal.
- Attainable: Can you do it? Choose a goal that is important to you and you will find a way for it to work for you. Do you have access to fruits and vegetables on a daily basis? If you don’t like fruits and vegetables, maybe the example goal is not the right one for you to start with.
- Realistic: Is it possible? Set a goal that you know you can do. If you currently don’t eat any fruits or vegetables, it would be unrealistic to set a goal to meet the recommended intake of 5-10 servings of fruits and/or vegetables a day. But if you start with a goal of 1 fruit or vegetable each day, once you’ve done it for awhile, you can adjust your goal to eat 2 fruits or vegetables a day and so on until your overall goal of 5 a day is met. Start small and build up gradually.
- Timely: Set a timeframe for your goal. In the specific goal example, the timeline is daily. If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague and is less likely to happen.
Try to change just one behaviour per week. Pick the one that is most important to you to start with. Once a goal is reached and the behaviour maintained, choose another goal to work towards. After a year, you will have made 52 changes!
Don't forget to reward yourself for achieving your goals. Of course, not by eating a box of chocolates, but by doing something you enjoy that you don’t always make time for.
In motion Nutrition's
by Marni McFadden, RD