Nutritionist Advice

3 Ways to Nurture Healthy Eating Habits

Certified nutritionist Sara Sullivan shares three simple tips for sticking to your diet.

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Did you know that fewer than 2 percent of people actually follow through on their diets? Therefore, I thought I would share my favorite, actionable tips for meeting your weight-loss goals. To build your determination and resolve, follow these three tips that will help you set realistic expectations and maintain your commitment to healthy eating throughout the year!

1. Be Realistic 

The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. Many people have the problem of making overambitious resolutions that are too challenging to stick with. For instance, resolving to never touch your favorite food again is setting yourself up to fail. Think small: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding a favorite food more often than you do now. Resolutions don’t have to be huge to be positive. In fact, starting off with smaller goals will help you stay on track for the year. Instead of saying you want to lose 20 pounds, commit to cooking healthier meals, or drinking less soda. The big goals will follow once you’ve succeeded with the smaller ones. As you rack up small successes throughout the year, you’ll build confidence in yourself.

If you’ve resolved to drop a few pounds this year, or just to eat better food, join nutrition counselor and Cornell-certified plant-based nutrition expert Sara Sullivan for her online course: 6 Weeks to Plant-Powered Weight Loss, featuring 80+ healthy recipes designed to help you lose weight. Sign up today!

2. Buddy Up 

You aren’t in this alone! Whether it’s someone you know who wants to lose weight or learn how to eat healthier, find a friend who will help you keep your resolutions. Meet to share your goals and kick off your plan, then check in weekly (by phone, email, etc.) to report to each other what you’ve accomplished. Plan to meet again 4 to 5 weeks later (that’s when most people quit) to review and modify your goals. This approach will help keep you focused and feeling successful. See if someone in your life wants to help meet a goal together, or will at least help hold you accountable for yours!

3. Don’t Give Up!  

Do bear in mind that a slip-up is almost inevitable at some point, and you must not let this become an excuse to give up. Instead, start over again! Don’t become critical of yourself. Recommit to your goals for just the next 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. Do the best you can each day, and take it one day at a time. Be persistent, patient and kind to yourself. Finally, it’s important to remember that most of our resolutions involve change, and change is hard. Change is emotional and it can leave us feeling stressed. Stress makes us more likely to fail. So, instead of giving up on your resolutions at the first sign of struggle, cut yourself some slack, but keep at it. You’ll get there eventually.