Whether it is staying inspired to continue with a New Year resolution, diet change, elimination diet, or just being healthier, maintaining motivation to achieve a nutrition goal can be a challenge. So we have compiled our top 5 tips on maintaining motivation to reach your nutrition goals!
- Measure progress
Review your action plan regularly. Whether that be asking yourself at the end of each day: “What did I do today that helped me reach my goal?” reviewing weekly food diaries, or fortnightly meetings with your dietitian, whichever works for you, as long as it holds you accountable. Being reminded of progress already achieved is a great way to see the big picture, and get you back on track to reach your goal.
- Celebrate little wins
Don’t forget to applaud yourself, and give yourself a pat on the back for achieving short-term goals. Everyone’s nutrition journey is different, so celebrating little goals will make it more enjoyable. Try to not give yourself food rewards, but instead focus on little treats such as buying yourself flowers, or watch a movie or an episode of your favourite TV series.
- Overcoming barriers
Some days we don’t feel motivated to do anything, and that’s ok, setbacks and challenges are normal. However, to keep going forward instead of halting, it’s important to have plans in place to get you back on tract. Thinking about barriers in advance, and having a plan to counteract each barrier, will help prevent creating excuses, and help avoid relapses from occurring. Your dietitian can help you brainstorm potential barriers, and come up with solutions that are tailored to you.
- Being mindful
Mindfulness starts by being present in the moment, and taking a second to tune in. Take cues from your body, and ask yourself: “Am I hungry?” “Or am I bored/tired/sad/thirsty?”. Checking in, and being aware of how your body is feeling will ensure you only eat when hungry, reduces snacking, and overeating.
Being mindful also includes limiting distractions such as TV and computer screens (phones included), and enjoy your meal and make meal time special. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full, so try chewing for longer, and take your time enjoying your meal.
- Have a support person
Having a person in your life supporting your nutrition or health goal will make the journey there so much more enjoyable, and research shows, more likely to help you reach your goals. Choosing a partner, friend, or even a dietitian, means that you have a personal cheerleader, someone cheering for you to succeed, but also hold you accountable for when you need a little push. If you prefer the electronic version, there are lots of free Apps available that give daily reminders, and are a good way to help keep track of your progress, depending on your nutrition goal.
If you need more individualised advice and support, contact Tree of Life Nutrition on (07) 3891 6199 to make an appointment to see one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians. We would love to help you reach your nutritional goals.