Healthy eating is an important part of overall health. One way to help you eat healthier is to set goals. Try these steps for creating realistic goals you can sink your teeth into.
Decide why you want to eat healthier. Some people set goals to:
- Learn about good nutrition.
- Buy healthier foods.
- Learn how to cook.
- Learn healthier cooking techniques.
- Try new types of healthier foods or recipes.
Everything you eat and drink matters for building a healthy eating style. Think about what you eat now and what changes you might want to make. What eating changes will help you make healthier food choices?
Track what you eat and drink to see patterns that are healthy or not healthy. Keeping a food diary helps you identify areas for improving what you eat to help you get to your goals.
You don’t have to change your whole diet at once. It may help to set a series of small goals. Think of changes that are reachable, positive, under your control, and specific. For example, “Cut up veggies and fruit in the evenings so I can take them in my lunch the next day,” or “Eat a meatless dinner once a week, swapping veggies for the meat.” Here are a few other goals that might work for you or give you ideas for your own:
- Make half your plate a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables.
- Make half the grains you eat whole grains.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
- Choose a variety of lean protein foods.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
- Eat some seafood every week.
Reward yourself when you reach each goal. It will give you something to look forward to. Avoid using food as a reward. Treat yourself with extra time spent with a friend, a hobby you’ve wanted to try, or an activity that gets you moving. Or combine rewards, like taking a yoga class or going for a bike ride with a friend.