Tips for Setting Healthy Goals from Jess, our resident Registered Dietician!
January 28, 20223 min read
Tis the season to make healthy change in your diet and your life! We caught up with our friend and RD Jessica Barrett, who gave us some advice on how to make those changes stick long term. Enjoy!
Hey Nourish family! Jessica here, your resident dietitian. I wanted to give you some tips and tricks to sticking with your healthy goals. As you know, it’s not easy to make a goal and stick to it long term. In fact, some estimates suggest only 8% of people that set healthy goals can adhere to them long term. So how do we set healthy goals that stick?
A common mistake made when setting goals is changing too much at one time. Keep in mind, the habits we’re changing are just that, HABITS. They are a part of our daily and weekly routines. I can remember a time when I wanted to lose weight. I would decide that I was going to eat healthy and stay away from junk food. It would work short term. I’d lose weight and ultimately put it back on. I didn’t realize I was taking on too much at once. It wasn’t until I decided to take small steps that I saw major changes in achieving my goals.
Here is a list of examples of small healthy goals to set. Keep in mind, when setting small goals, you don’t have to set a bunch of them. You can pick one and focus on achieving that goal for a period of weeks before setting a new healthy goal.
Increase consumption of non-starchy vegetables: It is recommended for adults to consume 3-5 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. Instead of making a goal to increase it to the recommendations, consider how many servings you currently consume. If it’s 1 per day, increase it to 2 per day, most days of the week.
Increase consumption of fruit:It is recommended for adults to consume 2-3 servings of fruit per day. If you aren’t eating the recommended amount of fruit, consider increasing consumption by 1 piece or half a cup per day, most days of the week.
Increase consumption of whole grains:It is recommended for adults to consume at least 3 servings per day. Just like non-starchy vegetables and fruit, figure out how much you are consuming and increase it by one most days of the week.
Decrease fried foods, processed food, sugary sweetened beverages, or sweets:Similar to increasing healthy foods, figure out how much of one of these suggestions you’re eating but decrease it by 1 meal or snack per day or week, depending upon your existing habit.
Decide on how many days a week you want to achieve this goal. Continue this goal for several weeks before you start to increasing/decrease another habit. There are so many options to choose from when considering a small goal and the list above is just a few of them. If you keep taking small steps and adding on as you’ve made a new healthy habit, you will find that you can successfully achieve your goals long term.