This is one of a series of articles answering questions in this POST: 108 Most Asked Questions For Drugstore Marketing Activities
These are a few that I have found quite helpful for my patients:
- Continue to remind yourself of the benefits of reaching your goal. It may be looking good in those summer shorts or having more energy to keep up with your kids. Put up notes to remind yourself if necessary.
- Weigh yourself weekly and give yourself a NON-FOOD reward. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It could be giving yourself a candle-lit bubble bath or a back-rub from your spouse. Get creative.
- Continue to focus on health and wellness. Read books and articles that are motivating. Also, avoid environmental triggers that stir up your cravings such as watching food-related TV shows, meeting your friends at your favorite pastry shop, etc.
- Keep graphic records of your accomplishments. Watching that line on your weight graph go down or the line on your exercise graph go up can be quite motivating!
—-Answered by Maxine Smith, RD, LD.
- Set small, measurable goals that will help you get to your overall large goal. For instance – I will eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, incorporate leafy green veggies into 3 meals a day, drink at least 68 ounces of water daily, etc.
- Keep a food and exercise journal. This is extremely helpful to track how much you’re eating – sometimes you don’t realize how many small bites here and there add up. You can do a hand-written journal or go digital and log your food/fitness from the computer or your smartphone. MyFitnessPal is a great resource for this.
- Crowd processed junk food out of your diet by adding in nutritious whole foods.
- Skip the pantry and head to the fridge. No one really keeps a lot of processed foods in their fridge because they’re usually self-stable. When looking for an afternoon snack I tend to stick with something from the fridge (non-fat greek yogurt, fruit, veggies with hummus, edmamae, etc.)
- Try new foods. Eating steamed broccoli and baked tofu every night can get old. Look for new healthy recipes online, in cookbooks or magazines so you don’t get bored with eating healthy. I know a good place for recipes. 😉
- Enlist support from your friends and family. Whenever I realize I need to get back to my roots and clean up my eats the first person I tell is Isaac because he then knows not to offer me sips of beer and chips.
- Team up with a friend and hold each other accountable for eating healthy.
- Eat something every 2-3 hours. This keeps your metabolism running and also makes sure you don’t get ravenous and end up eating whatever is in sight when you get home from work.
- Keep nutritious foods on hand and ready to eat. Preparation is the key to eating healthy! Having fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein, healthy fats and smart carbs each week is super helpful for staying on track. I like to make big batches of roasted veggies and brown rice or quinoa at the beginning of the week so I have healthy foods in the fridge ready to go for quick lunches.
- Keep tempting foods that trigger you to overeat out of the house. For me this is cereal, packaged trail mix, granola and other packaged foods. If the tempting foods are already in your house because someone else bought them, I’ve found that putting them away in a (high) cabinet is helpful. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Always bring a healthy snack with you when you leave the house for more than a couple hours. Apples, bananas, fruit and nut bars, homemade trail mix and carrots are super portable. And healthy bars like Larabar are always good in a pinch.
- Eat and enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. Deprivation tends to backfire so if you really want a treat, then eat and enjoy it.
- When going out to eat, look the at the menu for the restaurant online. Deciding beforehand what healthy option you’re going to get can be helpful so you’re not tempted by unhealthy options once you’re there.
- Don’t let one set-back keep you from working toward your goal. Don’t get down on yourself if you slip-up -just make sure your next meal is a healthy one!