Creating a healthy eating plan is all about setting goals, recording your progress, and rewarding yourself. Let’s talk about here for more health benefits:
Set goals that you want to achieve. Generally, it is best to set small, measurable goals. You can fix them daily or weekly or monthly. When setting goals, think about the following: Where do you want to start? This could be with meals or food. For example, start by focusing on a healthy breakfast, and move on to other meals after you’ve reached this goal. Or, decide to eat more fruit and worry about other foods later. Make one change at a time. Instead of changing your diet from one day to the next, make your changes one at a time. For example, try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, reduce the times you eat out to just once a week, or eat seafood instead of meat or poultry twice a week.
- Add something to your diet instead of eliminating something. Add foods that you think you need more of, such as fruits and vegetables. Cutting things out of your diet (for example, foods that are high in fat or sugar) can leave you feeling deprived, which can make it harder to make changes.
- Choose more of the healthy foods you enjoy. Make a list of the foods you like and see how you can change them to make them healthier. For example, make pizza at home using low-fat mozzarella cheese and lots of fresh vegetables. Replace the less nutritious foods in your diet with healthy foods that you like.
- Write down your goals. This provides a clear direction towards what you want to achieve. Also, reading your goals can serve as a helpful reminder.
- Do not set goals that consist of losing weight quickly. Losing weight quickly is unhealthy, and it’s hard to avoid gaining it back.
Record your progress
One way to assess your progress is to start recording what you eat in a food journal. People who keep track regularly may be more successful at losing weight and keeping it off.
To help track your progress:
- Write down the healthy things you do in a notebook or journal. Review it when you start to doubt yourself or your abilities.
- Pay attention to how you feel. Can you tell any difference when you eat better? Or, do you notice a difference when you sometimes eat poorly?
- Notice if your food preferences change. As we change what we eat, we start to like new foods. You may find that you don’t like some of the foods you used to eat before you started making changes to your diet. And you may have learned to enjoy new foods that you thought you didn’t like.
- Review any lab tests that might have been done if you’re on a special diet. Might notice better values.
- Blood sugar tests will tell you if your diet is helping to control your diabetes.
- Regular blood tests can measure your levels of cholesterol and of triglycerides.
- You can take your blood pressure, or your health care professional can do it, to see if changes in your diet are improving it.
give yourself a reward
When you reach one of your goals, reward yourself. Link each reward to a specific, measurable goal, such as eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day for 1 week. But don’t reward yourself with food. Go to the movies, buy new clothes or go for a massage session.