Healthy Eating - Making Change a Habit
3. Prepare for slip-ups.
It?s perfectly normal to try to change a habit, go along
fine for a while, and then have a setback. Lots of people try and try again
before they reach their goals.
What are the things that might cause a setback for you?
If you've tried to make lifestyle changes before, think about what helped you
and what got in your way.
By thinking about these barriers now, you'll be better
prepared to deal with them if they happen.
Some ways to deal with barriers to healthy eating
"It takes a lot of time to prepare vegetables."
- I'll buy packaged salad mixes and
precut vegetables that I can prepare quickly.
"Fruits and vegetables are expensive."
- I'll look for fruits and vegetables
that are in season so they cost less.
- I'll buy frozen and canned
fruits and vegetables when fresh produce is too expensive.
"I eat out a lot at restaurants."
- I'll pick a salad or cooked
vegetables for the side dish instead of french fries at restaurants.
personal action plan(What is a PDF document?) to write down your barriers and backup plans.
4. Get support
The more support you have for eating healthier, the
easier it is to make the change.
Tips for getting support
- Get a partner.
It will motivate you to know that your partner is doing the same thing and may
be counting on you to help him or her succeed. That person can also remind you
how far you've come.
- Get friends and family involved. Don't be afraid to tell them that their encouragement makes a
big difference to you.
- Give yourself positive reinforcement. When you feel like giving up, don't waste energy feeling
bad about yourself. Remember your reason for wanting to change, think about the
progress you've made, and give yourself a pep talk and a pat on the back.
- Healthy Eating: Getting Support When Changing Your Eating Habits
You can use this
personal action plan(What is a PDF document?) to organize your support system.
5. Keep track of your progress.
Keeping track of your progress helps you see how far
you've come. It can help motivate you to do more and help encourage you when
you get off track.
- Use a notebook, journal, or calendar to keep
track of the healthy things you do. Look this over when you begin to doubt
yourself or feel discouraged.
- Pay attention to how you feel. Can
you notice any difference when you are eating better?
whether your desire for certain foods changes. As you change how you eat,
you'll learn to like new foods. You may lose your taste for some of the foods
you ate before.
- If you follow a specific healthy eating plan
because of a health problem, look over any lab tests or other health
measurements you might have. You may notice improvements.
- Every time you meet a goal, reward yourself.
See a movie, buy a new book, or do something else you love.