If eating healthy consistently has always been a challenge for you, this article will show you how to motivate yourself to eat healthy all the time.
But first, let me be clear on one thing. Motivation alone is not enough – the most important thing is to change your eating habits.
Once you’ve changed your habits, eating healthy won’t be a challenge anymore. Junk food cravings will disappear and you’ll enjoy healthy food.
The tips in this article won’t just motivate you to eat healthy, they’ll also teach you how to permanently change eating habits.
Chances are you’ve tried to eat healthy before but fell off the wagon at some point. Well, you are not alone. Almost everybody struggles with healthy eating.
Most people eat healthy for a few days and then switch back to old eating habits.. After today, lack of motivation to eat healthy won’t be a problem anymore.
How to motivate yourself to eat healthy all the time
1. Prep healthy meals in advance
The first thing you need to address is food availability. You have to be able to access healthy food at all times. Think about it, it’s much easier to eat healthy if you have healthy food in the house, than having to go to the grocery store, buy food, then come back home and cook it.
Cook food that will last several days and store it in the fridge. You’ll just need to take it out, warm it up and eat. If you’ve never prepped meals before, here are actionable tips you can apply. Feel free to check out these meal prep recipes.
2. Drink a lot of water
This is my number one healthy eating tip. Drinking water is very simple, and anyone can do it. Surprisingly, I often see excuses like ‘I’m too lazy to drink water’ or ‘I don’t like water’. Well, if you can’t do something as simple as drinking water, may be eating healthy is not for you.
Drinking water will motivate you to eat healthy in many ways. For one thing, it will remind you of other healthy habits like eating fruits and veggies. Additionally, studies show that drinking more water enhances weight loss even without changing diet. Aim to drink at least 2 liters of water a day. Here are tips for drinking more water each day.
3. Set realistic goals
Most people are so enthusiastic when they decide to eat healthy that they set unattainable goals. You can’t make an instant transition if you’ve never eaten healthy before. Start slow and make small changes as time goes by.
If you set a goal to lose 30 pounds in 21 days, you’ll end up being frustrated. The kind of frustration that can cause you to binge eat and jump off the wagon. Start with small goals and make sure your diet isn’t too strict.
4. Always keep your goals in mind
Setting realistic goals is important, but keeping the goals in mind is more important. We tend to forget about our goals a few days after we write them down. And that’s about the same time we become less enthusiastic about our eating habits.
You have to remind yourself of your goals every day to stay motivated. Write down your most important health goals and stick them on a wall or a mirror – where you can see them every day. Whenever you feel unmotivated, read your goals.
5. Don’t be a perfectionist
Do you beat yourself up every time you bite a piece of cake? Well, there’s no need for that! Frankly, it’s impossible to eat healthy 100 percent in today’s world. Chances are you’ll munch on unhealthy food every one and then. So don’t feel bad about yourself when that happens, just forget and move on. Feeling guilty can actually trigger bingeing.
Nobody is always motivated to eat healthy, I eat junk and sugary foods from time to time, but I don’t feel bad about. I just forget and move on. Remember eating healthy is long term – don’t allow one meal to affect your eating habits.
6. Eat to improve your health
The truth is folks are willing to eat anything as long as it’ll help them lose weight. To put it simply, most people care more about how they look than they care about their health.
Don’t obsess over weight loss and forget about your health – it’s more important. If you make your health a priority, you’ll continue to eat healthy even after you’ve hit a weight loss plateau.
Reduced risk of diseases, improved skin health, improved heart health and better digestions are all benefits of eating healthy foods. So don’t focus on weight loss alone.
7. Carry healthy snacks with you
As I mentioned earlier, availability of healthy food will make a huge difference. Carrying healthy snacks like fruits, beef jerky, greek yogurt, and so on will reduce chances of eating unhealthy snacks.
When choosing snacks make sure they’re low in calories and rich in fiber. Note that you don’t have to carry snacks if you’re not into snacking. It’s possible to maintaining healthy eating habits without snacking.
8. Involve friends and family
The people around us influence our eating habits. If you hang out with people who eat junk food, you’ll end up eating junk. So tell your family and friends about your goal to eat healthy, and ask for their support. Even better, ask them to start eating healthy. That way you’ll be more accountable, and they’ll encourage you to eat healthy when you’re tempted to order pizza.
Make a habit of going for lunch with workmates who maintain healthy eating habits. In a nutshell – if you’re not motivated to eat healthy, ask for help from people who maintain healthy eating habits.
9. Learn to enjoy healthy food
If you think of eating healthy food as punishment, you can’t be motivated to eat it. I’m amazed so many people think healthy food tastes bad.
You have to embrace healthy food and eat it without prejudice. And if it actually tastes bad, you need to improve your cooking skills. Trust me, you’ll stop craving junk food once you learn to cook delicious healthy meals. Try out different recipes to keep things exciting.
That said – every meal shouldn’t taste like heaven. Learn to eat the not so tasty food from time to time.
10. Exercise regularly
Exercise isn’t just important for burning calories and building muscles. It can actually motivate you to eat healthy. I mean, you won’t want to eat junk food after exercising for an hour.
Surprisingly, there are folks who reward themselves with snacks after a workout. That’s a bad habit because you probably regain all the calories burnt during the workout.
I may also note that exercise keeps your mind alert and reduces stress. And as you may know, stress triggers junk food cravings. Make sure you exercise at least 3 times a week. Here’s a 3-day bodyweight beginner workout.
11. Practice simple eating habits
Eating healthy is not just about the food you eat. You have to practice mindful eating, that is, chew food slowly, avoid distractions while eating, sit down properly and so on. Practicing mindful eating will reduce chances of overeating and bingeing.
12. Think and eat healthy
If you hold the belief that you can’t eat healthy, it’ll be very hard for you to change your eating habits. Research shows that dieters can improve eating habits by simply thinking of eating healthy food. But for this to work you need to be specific. Thinking ‘I want to eat healthy’ is not as effective as imagining eating a specific healthy meal.
There are numerous examples of people who have used visualization to attain different goals. But visualization works with specific imagination, not vague imagination. Create the self-image of a healthy eater. And counter any thoughts that imply you’re an unhealthy eater.
13. Realize it’s hard to change habits
The reason why most people think they’re not motivated to eat healthy is because they expect eating healthy to be easy. The brain will naturally favor the food it’s used to. So know that there will be resistance and you’ll crave junk food.
Resist the cravings and use your willpower to maintain healthy eating habits. If you eat healthy long enough you’ll start seeing results. And the results will motivate you to eat healthy. As the saying goes – nothing succeeds like success.
14. Plan for your meals
Not knowing what you’ll eat in the next meal makes it very possible to eat junk. So use a meal plan until eating healthy becomes a habit.
It’s quite simple to design your own meal plan. You just need to list down the healthy foods you enjoy, find out the calorie content for each food at calorie king, and then allocate foods for each meal. But if this seems like a lot of work, here are meal plans for different caloric needs.
15. Think about how you’ll feel afterwards
Eating junk food may make you feel good for a few minutes but you’ll feel bad afterwards. But eating healthy food will make you feel good about yourself hours after the meal. The key is to avoid the desire for instant gratification and think long term.
Instead of focusing on the feeling you’ll get when eating junk, focus on the feeling you’ll have after eating healthy food.
16. Read healthy eating quotes
Here are a few quotes that will make you eat healthy even when you don’t feel like it.
The greatest wealth is Health
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates
If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?
The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor – Chinese Proverb
The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not – Mark Twain
Eating crappy food isn’t a reward — it’s a punishment ― Drew Carey
Sorry, there´s no magic bullet. You gotta eat healthy and live healthy to be healthy and look healthy. End of story ― Morgan Spurlock
One should eat to live, not live to eat -Benjamin Franklin
17. Stay knowledgeable
Knowledge is power. Don’t believe everything you see in adverts, and food labels, most of it is lies. Most of the foods labeled healthy in the supermarket are actually bad for your health. Learn about food labels and the tricks used by companies to conceal unhealthy ingredients.
Read nutrition articles and journals, or any other reliable sources. Being knowledgeable can make you want to change your eating habits for good. But don’t obsess over it. Reading too much can be overwhelming and confusing.
Everybody won’t be motivated by the same healthy eating tip. You may be motivated to eat healthy so you can improve your health while someone else is motivated by the quotes. Find out what works for you and stick to it.
Realize that you won’t always be motivated to eat healthy. So work on changing your eating habits for good.
How do you motivate yourself to eat healthy? Let me know in the comments below.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]