Five motivation tips to keep on eating healthy
Are you among those who, year after year, start to eat more healthily, but your motivation wavers with mood and season? Here are a few tips to help you integrate healthy foods into your lifestyle for good!
Take baby steps
Make one change at a time: avoid drastic changes since they are the hardest to maintain. For example, start by making a habit of always loading your plate with healthy veggies. Then add variety (root vegetables, leafy vegetables, squash, etc.) and a rainbow of colours, with the bonus of their wide range of vitamins and minerals.
No outlawed foods
No food deserves to be put in the dock: it’s the dose that makes the poison! If you overly deprive yourself, to the point of eliminating all your guilty pleasures, frustration could set in and trigger the return to your former eating habits. Worse still, by prohibiting some foods entirely, you could develop an unhealthy relationship with food through feelings of guilt and compulsion. The name of the game is moderation. Allow yourself your treats, but in smaller portions and less frequently!
Aim for flavour
Make sure that the healthy foods you prepare abound in flavour and colour. It goes without saying that if your healthy meals are limited to steamed broccoli, white rice, and boiled chicken, you are at a high risk of dropping the changes owing to lack of taste and texture. For an explosion of flavour, season your food with fresh herbs and spices and vary your cooking methods!
Variety on the menu
Make your meals interesting: when you use the same recipes too often, it’s not surprising that the hamburger at the restaurant across the street is more enticing than the same old ham and cheese sandwich you make for lunch every day. Seek inspiration in recipe books or cooking blogs: the goal is to look forward to your meals! If the simple idea of eating your B-B-Q Chicken Quesadillas or Fennel, Apple, and Chicken Salad tantalizes your taste buds, you won’t need to tickle them with a cookie or slice of cake at the end of your meal. The meal itself will have pleased all your senses.
If you are particularly partial to certain foods and know that you absolutely cannot go for less, finding a healthy alternative may be the best solution. This way, you’ll change your eating habits without neglecting your personal likings! Maybe the article 5 healthy alternatives to your favourite foods will give you a few ideas.
So how about you, how do you go about staying motivated to eat healthily?
Marilyne Petitclerc, P.Dt. – Nutritionist