Strategies to Help You Stick With a Healthy Eating Plan for Life

How many times have you started a healthy eating plan only to have your good intentions gradually slip away? When that happens, you may find yourself back where you started and frustrated with your lack of ability to keep on track. Most people know how to eat right, but maintaining what you have started is another matter. Here are five strategies to help you make healthy eating habits stick.

Set Reasonable, Attainable Goals:

Decide what your most important goals are and write them down. Goals need to be specific and measurable. Spell out what you will do, how often and when.

Learn From Others:

Changing lifestyle habits are often easier said than done. One way to come up with goals that will work for you is to discuss your goals with a nutrition professional. Choose someone with the experience and educational credentials that makes them a nutrition expert, such as a Registered Dietitian.

Keep a Journal:

When learning new skills, write down what you are doing. Keep a written journal of what you eat and review your journal at least once daily. Writing it down as you go lets you know exactly what you are eating and gives you quick insight into what areas need improvement.

Accept that you will have some setbacks:

It’s human nature to revert back to old behaviors, especially when social occasions or unexpected events occur. Accept the fact that sometimes life gets in the way of your plans! Don’t take the “all or nothing” outlook, and feel as though you have failed simply because you had a setback. If you have a setback, decide upon a time in the very near future to resume you plan, then just start again.

Check in with your progress:

The only way to know how well you are doing, is to keep track of your progress and see how far you have come. Besides keeping a food journal, it can be helpful to make a list of the improvements you have actually made along the way. Seeing your “improvement list” validates all the little things you have already done and is a great way to keep yourself motivated.

People that have a well thought out strategy for making healthy lifestyle changes are the ones who realize success. Lifestyle changes take time, but a systematic approach will help you maintain what you have changed. Give it a try!

© 2014 Gretchen Scalpi. All rights reserved. You are free to reprint/republish this article as long as the article and byline are kept intact and all links are made live.

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. She is the author of “The EVERYTHING Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes 2nd Ed.”, “The EVERYTHING Diabetes Cookbook 2nd Ed.”, “Virtual Grocery Store Tour: Getting The Most Nutrition Out Of Your Food Shopping”, “Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance At Health”, “The Quick Start Guide to Healthy Eating”, “The Quick Start Guide To Pre-Diabetes” and “Quick Start Recipes For Healthy Meals”.  Read her articles, recipes and blog at http://www.nutritionxpert.com and learn more about her books at http://www.gretchenscalpi.com.

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