How to stay motivated with healthy food and lifestyle changes.

You may have started with the best of intentions on the road to healthy food and lifestyle changes but with the test of time and other social and health pressure you have found it difficult to stay really motivated and so you find yourself giving up. It doesn't have to be that way.

Here are some very useful 20 tips you can try to keep on the straight road of recovery and stay motivated:

1. First start with proper advice from a qualified professional such as a state register dietitian nutritionist who will provide you with evidence based nutrition and diet advice,

2. Have a clear vision of your goal not for aesthetic but also for health reasons and write it down to see clearly with some simple steps on how you will get there,

3. Set simple or specific, measurable, achievable, realistic within a reasonable time frame your food and lifestyle goals ,

4. Planning on how you will go about achieving your simple goals can save you a lot of time and money and help you stay in control,

5. Weekly weigh in and daily monitoring is good initially but can become a boring chore so start to review your progress every 6-8 weeks once good habits have been set e. g check your exercise regime or write a food diary for a week or check for symptoms. This keeps you from straying or allowing old unhealthy habits to creep back in and helps you stay on track,

6. Acknowledge that it will take time and stay focussed,

7. Keep well informed and stay in touch with your Dietitian who can keep you up to date

8. Put up post it reminders

9. Remember it's a lifestyle habit and like learning to brush your teeth ,once you have started to introduce the changes regularly they will gradually become healthy habits,

10. Believe it's possible

11. Become committed

12. Create a good social support with friends and family e. g with like-minded individuals

13. Acknowledge failures may happen but don't dwell on guilt , it's counterproductive,

14. Don't be a perfectionist or have all or nothing view as this may encourage disappointments

15. Try new challenges with food and lifestyle e. g exercise changes to avoid boredom,

16. Keep a journal which will help you reflect,

17. Reward yourself with non food and beverages e. g warm bath, flowers, message,

18. Ensure you get enough sleep e. g 8 hours to stay physically strong.

19. "Act “as if”. Decades of research show that there is indeed a simple but highly effective way to transform how you think and feel. Much more powerful than positive thinking is the principle called positive acting. By acting “As If” you are a certain type of person, you can become that person. Take, for example, willpower. Motivated people tense their muscles as they get ready to spring into action. But can you boost your willpower by simply tensing your muscles? Studies led by Iris Hung from the National University of Singapore had volunteers visit a local cafeteria and asked them to try to avoid temptation and not buy sugary snacks. Some of the volunteers were asked to make their hand into a fist or contract their biceps, and thus behave as if they were more motivated. Amazingly, this simple exercise made people far more likely to buy healthy food. -

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20. Finally never give up , try again until you recognize what areas keeps you motivated.


For specialised Diet and Nutrition advice seek the advice of a Professional Dietitian and Nutritionist Tabby kabeer

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