10 Ways to Get and Keep the Motivation to Eat Healthy
Get your diet off to the right start and set yourself up for success.. Get the motivation to eat healthy and stay motivated for the rest of your life.
Let’s be real my friends. Most women when they talk about eating healthy, only mean one thing. Eating to lose weight. Eating healthy and losing weight are two different things.
But we’ve got them so mixed up that most women don’t even know how to eat anymore. It’s feast or famine and for many, there is way too much feasting going on!
Here is the biggest problem that I see with the way women eat. If they make positive changes in their diet and don’t lose weight; they give up on their healthy eating!
So instead of being overweight and healthy you choose overweight and unhealthy!
You can absolutely weigh more than you want to and still be healthy.
You can diet to thinness and be unhealthy. If you are still thinking about dieting, read this first.
Your weight and your health are two different things.
I want to remind anyone reading this, that diets create more problems than they solve. I know they promise every good thing you want in life but it’s all just a lie.
If there was a diet that worked long-term, there wouldn’t be a diet industry. We’d all just do the diet, lose weight, and be happy forever.
But there isn’t and we aren’t. My goal is to expose you to the idea that you can eat healthy and get off the never-ending plan to diet.
I still want to help you lose weight but not at the expense of your health. Despite what all the ads and books say, losing weight is a complex process and there is not one way to do it.
Over the past seven years, I’ve written more than 50 posts about losing weight! I started because I figured out what worked for me and I wanted to share my own journey.
My most comprehensive post of my process is in the post, Ten Powerful Tips to Lose Weight After 50. It really lays out all the components in the order that I see work best for most of my clients.
I’m not a doctor or nutritionist. I’m a mindset coach who helps women do the things they want to do and dealing with motivation is a big part of what I do.
Why You Aren’t Motivated to Eat Healthy
Eating to be healthy isn’t sexy. We are so focused on getting the quick satisfaction of losing weight that we totally ignore the real reasons to eat healthy.
No one wants to eat healthy if they aren’t going to lose weight quickly. So instead of eating in a way to support your body for the next 30 to 50 years, most of you just say, “Why bother?”
I’m going to tell you why bother. Because if you don’t bother now, there is going to come a day when you can’t reverse some damage.
We’re all going to have issues as we age. Some we can’t control. But we can control some things right now that are going to make our lives better overall and for a longer time!
Understanding the real why of why you need to eat healthy will help you get motivated and stay motivated. The scale can only do so much!
What happens when you lose the weight? You’re still going to need that motivation to keep up with new habits. Start with the right mindset to set you up for success.
Why is it important to eat healthy? This might seem like a no-brainer but most people only see part of the picture—the part about losing weight. Your eating habits and nutrition are important to having a healthy lifestyle and to your health goals as well.
Here’s the thing. Doctors prescribe “lose weight” to every person who is overweight. Yet, losing weight isn’t a magical cure for your health.
You can lose weight the wrong way and in the process, make your health even worse! A lot of times nutrients are sacrificed to get calories or points down below a certain number.
Small changes and healthy food choices done consistently can lead to a lot of great results!
Here is what eating healthy can do for you:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Increased energy
- Decreased inflammation
- A healthy gut
- Improved skin
- Overall feeling of wellbeing
Losing or maintaining your weight is only ONE of the benefits. The other benefits are just as or more important than your weight.
Here is some inspiration and encouragement to help you get started.
What is Eating Healthy?
Eating healthy is not about depriving yourself. It is about increasing the nutritious food you eat and phasing out the unhealthy foods you have been eating.
There is so much variety in foods and in the advice we are given. It can be confusing to figure out what does eating healthy look like.
There are three main nutrients: Protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Yes fat is a nutrient and an important one at that.
Most people agree that we need the basics.
- Proteins: meat and eggs
- Fruit (a small amount per day)
- Healthy fats
In addition there are all the other things. Grains, beans, nuts, sugars, and dairy. Some like sugar are all carbohydrate and some like beans are both protein and carbohydrate.
Consistency is your friend in eating healthy. I like to think of it as an 80/20 plan. 80% of the time, I eat from the basics. 20% of the time, I’ll have the additional things.
This adjustment from all or nothing thinking is important. Diets traditionally are strict and what you to adhere to the rules.
The problem with that is that eventually you are going to go off the diet and if you’ve been an all or nothing person, then it’s likely you will abandon even the good eating habits you were developing.
How to Get the Motivation to Eat Healthy
The first five tips to eat healthy, are about creating the motivation to eat healthy. We have to believe that it is important in the first place and we have to understand why we are doing this.
Later on, I’ll also share how to stay motivated to eat healthy. It’s doable, I promise.
In the beginning though, you’ll want to make sure you set yourself up for success. The more you understand the connection between your health and the foods you eat, the more you will be motivated to eat healthy.
Change your Mindset from Sacrifice to Self-Care
Learning to eat for your health does require that for the most part, you avoid sugar, grains, beans, and dairy. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever have them—but you will feel better without them in your diet.
You might not believe that at this moment, but I can almost guarantee, if you go for a period of simply eating real food, you will feel better.
If you see it as self-sacrifice, you won’t be able to make the change permanent. It will only be a temporary sacrifice to get a few pounds off and it will be much harder to resist cravings.
Train your brain to see healthy eating as pleasure
To be successful long-term, you have to train your brain to see healthy eating as a pleasure. Back in the day, so-called “healthy eating” was about depriving yourself of fat and calories. It included eating dry, tasteless foods, and being hungry.
That is definitely not pleasurable!
However, newer research and even the real older research, shows that fat doesn’t make us fat. And that’s a great thing.
Because healthy fat is what makes food taste good and keeps us full. When we can have it with our meals, you can create food that is delicious and satisfying, that won’t make you fat and won’t cause inflammation in your body.
This might be the most important thing that will motivate you to eat healthy.
Most of the foods you eat are probably causing moderate to severe inflammation. Science is now showing that it is inflammation in the body that causes all disease.
And inflammation is primarily caused by the food you eat.
Eating foods around the clock and eating foods that raise your insulin too high cause inflammation. When you continue these unhealthy habits, your body loses its ability to contain inflammation.
And that is not good my friends.
Being overweight is not just about aesthetics, it’s about a body that has excess inflammation that could eventually cause diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.
How to Stay Motivated to Eat Healthy
Now let’s look at how you can STAY motivated to eat healthy. This is super important because the more you can bank up healthy habits, the more benefits you will reap.
The better you look and feel, the more you are going to enjoy your life!
Eat food you like
Here’s something new. Eat food you like! Sometimes we get so focused on what we’re not eating that we forget that we actually like most of the healthy foods we can eat.
Losing weight isn’t just about eating kale and lean protein. There is so much variety to choose from.No matter how you eat, there is
I happen to really enjoy beef, chicken, pork, and salmon. I keep my portions small, about 4 oz. and I buy the best quality I can. Since I don’t need a lot of it, I buy grass-fed and pastured.
I love avocados, nuts, eggs, and most vegetables.
Grass-fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil combined with herbs and seasonings make foods taste amazing.
If you love to cook, you will have a blast creating wonderful meals that keep you full and leave you feeling satisfied and healthy.
If you aren’t a big cook, I’ll address that in a minute. I’m more of an assembler myself. But I’ve learned to do it in a healthy way rather than grabbing a frozen meal or fast food.
Eat Enough at Meals
Here’s the secret to not getting hungry while you diet.
Eat enough food and use plenty of healthy fats.
It really is that simple.
The second part of this is to avoid foods that actually cause you to have cravings and get hungry. Yes, many foods you eat on a routine basis make you hungrier!
Foods that make you hungrier and cause cravings:
- All sugar and foods that contain sugar
- Wheat and products made from wheat (pasta, breads, crackers, etc.)
- All grains (corn, oats, rice, etc.)
- Junk foods such as chips, energy bars, yogurt.
You even have to be careful about healthy versions of these types of foods. Sugar and grains raise your insulin too much and they create an endless cycle of cravings, being hungry, and overeating.
How to Make Eating Healthy Easy
As I said earlier, I’m more of an assembler than a cook. Many people love to find recipes, plan menus, and cook really lovely meals of healthy real food.
Me, I like to have ingredients on hand and put them together for my lunch and dinner.
For example, this week I bought a rotisserie chicken (I save the bones for broth), 1 lb of salmon that I cooked (Like this), some vegetables to cook and some vegetables to have in salads and green smoothies.
I roasted several of the veggies and made a mash of cauliflower.
Several nights a week, I make a salad. Greens, chopped peppers, a few nuts, half and avocado, and either chicken or salmon. I top it with a really good quality olive oil and an aged Balsamic vinegar.
The other nights, I’ll have the protein with the cooked vegetables. Sometimes, I’ll make a sauce from avocado mayo and herbs.
I do portion my protein and fats but non-starchy vegetables can be as much as you want.
To round out a meal, I might have some berries or a little sweet potato or winter squash.
To keep all this from getting boring, which it never does for me, I mix up the proteins and vegetables I buy each week.
While I enjoy a good meal, I’m no longer a “foodie.” Each meal doesn’t have to be amazing, they just have to be nourishing, tasty, and satisfying.
I eat out about once a week. While, I mostly stick to my plan, I will occasionally have something not particularly healthy. It’s not a big deal because I don’t see myself as deprived the rest of the time.
Focus on the big picture
The big picture is your health and wellbeing. Losing weight can and does feel good. Staying motivated to eat healthy means you have to look beyond just losing weight.
Our bodies are complex systems and if you’ve been overweight for a while, your body might not just start dropping the pounds right away.
That’s why it is crucial to believe in the “health” component of “eating healthy.”
You are doing this for the long-term and to keep yourself in the best health possible. No drugs you take to combat inflammation or the effects of inflammation will EVER be as effective as your diet.
You really do have more of your health within your control than you realized. A healthy real-food based diet can be life-changing.
Combined with exercise and stress relief, you can enjoy more health than you might have previously believed possible.
Celebrate your Successes
This is so important to your motivation. You have to celebrate your successes. Success isn’t just a result of the scale. Your success is about you and what you do each week.
Successes can be a simple as trying healthy recipes or skipping a snack. It can be putting your workout into your daily schedule and doing it.
Your success with eating healthy is about more than your weight. I want you to celebrate all your success!
- Each day that you add more whole real food to your diet is a success.
- Each day that you don’t snack is a success.
- Each day that you eat healthy fats is a success
- Each day you avoid wheat or other grains is a success.
- Each day you exercise is a success.
- Each day you take steps to decrease stress is a success.
How to Get the Motivation to Eat Healthy
I’ve shared my way because I haven’t been an overeater or binge eater for over 5 years now. My diet is primarily based on protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.
I’ve read countless books over the years and I feel 100% comfortable with my choices. My choices are reflected in my energy, my great skin, my healthy weight, and in how I feel.
The truth is that I never feel deprived. I feel blessed, actually blessed that I started eating this way years ago and that I mostly feel and look great.
Occasionally, I will have something that is not optimal. For example, I had pizza last week. I had two pieces and that was it. The rest of the week was how I normally eat.
When I go to a birthday party, sometimes I’ll have cake and sometimes I won’t. I know a piece of cake doesn’t determine my overall health.
It’s what we do consistently over time that makes our eating healthy. Start with eating for health and to feel better.
Keep showing up my friends,
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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! Big changes can happen with a shift in thinking. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.