Healthy diet to lose weight
Healthy diet to lose weight
There are many people who feel they should eat a healthy diet but for one reason or another have failed to do so.
In order to be able to change how you are eating now into healthier eating which will lead you to a healthy condition, or to reach your goal weight and to achieve a normal blood sugar or cholesterol level, you will first need to change your habit.
Changing your habit in any way is never easy. It may not be enough to know about nutrition or to know what you should be doing differently. Most people also need strategies and plans for making these changes. This section will help you change your overall diet. It will address the problems of getting started, finding the motivation to change (including overcoming barriers), maintaining the changes you’ve made, and tracking your progress.
If you are a person who has never paid much attention to what you eat, making changes in your diet or using a special diet plan that has been recommended to you may seem overwhelming. If you are a person who has tried many different diets, you may be frustrated because you haven’t been able to stick to them. The following are the most important things to remember.
- Make small changes. Don’t try to change your whole diet at once. You are more likely to be successful by making small changes and sticking to them for the long term.
- Any positive changes you make will improve your health. Your diet doesn’t have to be “I must never eat this or that”. If you go back to old eating habits for a meal, for a day, or for a week, it doesn’t mean you have failed and should stop trying to make improvements in your diet.
- Try some easy ways to improve your nutrition with the help of your dietician.
- Keep track of your progress. Write down your goals. Periodically go back and check your progress. Small successes can add up quickly and make a big difference in your life.
- Make only one change at a time. For example, you may want to work on improving what you ear for lunch, or you could try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Pick a change that will be easy for you to make.
- Add something to your diet instead of taking something away. Try to add foods that you think you need more of, like fruits and vegetables. Taking things out of your diet (for example, foods that are high in fat or sugar) may leave you feeling deprived, which may make it more difficult for you to make a change. If you are trying to eat more fruits, you will sometimes reach for fruit instead of chips or cookies, and your diet will end up being lower in fat and sugar anyway.
- Choose more of the healthy foods that you enjoy. Look at the foods you like (make a list) and see how you can change them to make them healthier.
- This website is not merely a recipe website to add to your collection but a firm foundation upon which a healthier diet can be built; improving your lifestyle and that of your family. It is about achieving health, about losing any extra weight and about maintaining what you have.
Getting motivated to change your diet is essential but hard to achieve. Motivation problems may have gotten in your way in the past. Try not to let bad experiences and attitudes from the past stop you from becoming motivated now.
Barriers to eating well
Even when you know about the benefits of eating well, you may find it hard to change your lifestyle until you deal with the reasons you give yourself for not eating well. Barriers to eating well often include valid reasons for why you aren’t eating well, and excuses you make to avoid something you dislike or fear. It can be hard to tell the difference between a valid reason and an excuse, and it may not be important. It’s more important to face those barriers and find solutions.
- Recall the last few times you thought about improving your diet but didn’t follow through with it. What held you back?
- Examine the choices you make each day.
- Sometimes fear is the reason people avoid change. Consider the following list of reasons not to change your eating habits. Do any of the reasons sound familiar to you?
- I have no time. (Or, I’m too busy at work; I always feel rushed, I have more important things to do).
- I don’t like healthy foods. (Or I don’t like vegetables or low-fat foods, I crave sweets and high-fat foods too much, What if the changes I make don’t make me feel better or become healthier?
- My friends, co-workers, or family would tease or embarrass me.
- I am not good at making changes. Or I’m too old, fat, or set in my ways to make changes now)
One more important barrier to eating well is a lack of social support. You may eat on your own most of the time, so no one acknowledges your efforts and improvements. On the other hand, you may be part of a family whose eating habits are very different from those you want to acquire, and the family may not be interested or prepared to change. Any changes you make may be harder because you have to make then in an unsupportive atmosphere (this could mean being around people who don’t support you or foods and behaviors that undermine your efforts).
A lack of social support is a real barrier, but it may be overcome with careful preparation, the right attitude and effort.
- Speak with your family (or others you eat with) about the changes you are making. Ask them for support in specific ways, such as not commenting on your eating and not offering you foods you have chosen not to eat. You may not get them to stop all behaviours that make it hard for you to change, but you can often improve things just by asking for help.
- If you eat alone often and feel a lack of support, seek out friends or co-workers who may be interested in sharing in your efforts to change. Many people are aware that they could eat in a healthier way and would welcome companionship in this effort.
- Make small changes instead of big ones. People are less likely to notice small changes, so you are less likely to feel that others are undermining your efforts. Also, small changes are more likely to be maintained.
Tips for getting motivated
- Record your efforts. Circle the day on the calendar when you meet a nutrition goal. Use a notebook or diary to record your food intake. These records will increase your awareness of your success. Look over your food record forms when you begin to doubt yourself or your abilities.
- Make it a habit. Until your new way of eating becomes a habit for you, the effort needed to stay committed may seem too great to keep up for a lifetime. Here are some tips for making it a habit:
- Try to stick to changes for at least 3 months. For some people, 3 months is not long enough to form a habit. Keep it up until you don’t think about the changes you’ve made as an extra part of your day.
- When you’re first getting started, try to make some new routines. You can make variations later, but creating a habit requires repetition. For example, add some fruit to your breakfast, such as a banana on cold cereal or dried fruit on hat cereal. If you’ve never been a breakfast eater, try eating a piece of fruit to help you start a breakfast habit.