It's easy to feel overwhelmed if you're making a goal that is either unattainable or unrealistic, so the best way is to start small and keep it simple.
If you've been making good progress, but have lapsed recently and are trying to get back on track, it can be helpful to set short term goals to get your motivation back. Plan on cutting out sugar for 2 weeks to a month, give up alcohol for a few weeks or make a commitment to not eat out for the next month or so. Once you see that your body is making some positive changes, you'll probably be more inclined to continue whatever new (good) habit you have committed to for the long term.
If you're starting from scratch, making one change at a time is your best bet for continued progress. Once you have adjusted to the first new change, introduce another one, then another (replace white rice with brown, adding a vegetarian meal to the menu once a week, cutting back on your sugar intake)...in a few months, you'll find you're eating healthier than you ever have.
I think that while it's great to want to lose weight, many people have greater success with setting up small lifestyle change goals, than weight loss specifically. As you achieve your health goals, you'll find your body changing and weight loss is commonly a result of that; as is a healthier heart, clearer skin and a better digestive track. Many times, specific number-oriented goals have little staying power.
Here are just a few ideas of great goals to work towards:
- eat slowly and mindfully
- try new vegetables
- try new spices
- learn new cooking techniques
- experiment with seasonal produce
- try recreating your favourite restaurant dish at home
- eat out less
- walk more
- cut out the sugar in your morning coffee
- pay more attention to food groups
- don't feel guilty if life gets in the way of your goals...just refocus
- make sleep a priority
- don't wait till the beginning of next week...get back on track today!
In good health,