When you make the decision to start eating healthier, it can be overwhelming. Where do you start? What foods do you cut out? What do you eat more of?
Maybe you’ve tried to change your diet before with little or no success. Perhaps you could list the fad diets you’ve tried: Paleo, South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Whole30, vegetarian -- the list could keep going.
So how can you start eating healthier and make it stick?
There’s no magic bullet when it comes to your health -- pills, protein shakes, or quick fixes can’t bring about real change. You have to want to change your health (and not just because gluten free is the new trend). While we aren’t offering the elixir of health, we’ve helped many people on their personal health journeys and have learned a few things along the way.
Here are 4 steps to getting started on your own healthy eating adventure:
Set a goal
So you want to eat healthy. What does that even mean? Committing to “eat healthier” is a broad goal that can be overwhelming to start with. Instead, pick a goal that’s more defined and that you can measure. You might decide that your goal is to eat at least one salad every day or to completely cut out processed foods. Your goals can be as big or as little as you want (click here to read more on setting goals).
Make a plan
Would you start training for a marathon by just haphazardly go for runs every now and then? If you talk to any serious runner, you’ll get an earful of their training schedule, their race day rituals, and their new gadgets to increase their performance.
Now that you’ve set your goal, it’s time to do some brainstorming on how to reach it. If your goal is to eat salad everyday for lunch, part of your plan might be prepping veggies at the beginning of the week to make it easier to stick with your commitment. What do you need to do to reach your goal?
Work with a coach
Whether you are just starting your healthy eating journey or you’ve tried many times before, partnering with an expert health coach can give you the support you need along the way. A coach can review your goals and plans to give you feedback and habit changing strategies, can hold you accountable, and will motivate you to stick with your diet. Personalized advice from coaches (instead of generic blog posts) can make a big difference.
It might take some time to see the changes start to happen in your body, especially if you choose to start slow. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be measuring your results and progress. You ate a salad for lunch 5 out of 7 times this week instead of just 4 like last week? That’s progress! Looking back to see how far you’ve come can help motivate you to keep going.
Ready to get started? Sit down for a few minutes to brainstorm possible health goals and a plan of action for how to get there. When you’ve got an idea, schedule a call with an expert nutrition coach to help you get started (or to walk you through the goal setting and planning process!). Click here to learn more.