Living Well: Healthy eating doesn’t have to be tedious

It’s a new year and you’ve made a pact to eat healthy.  But, now it’s almost a month later and you’re losing steam.  So, what can you do to get back on track?

First of all, it’s important to approach healthy eating in a realistic manner. Restricting foods, labeling foods as ‘“good” or “bad”, and not eating enough food can wreak havoc on your body — emotionally and physically. It can lead to feelings of deprivation, overeating, and a resounding amount of guilt that can lead you back to square one.

Instead, focus on small changes, healthy foods that you enjoy, and take the time to create a support system to help maintain lifelong healthy eating habits.

Three tips to stay on track with healthy eating:

Be realistic. Trying to tackle too much at once can be overwhelming. Big things happen when small, sustainable changes are repeated over a lifetime. By including a fruit at breakfast or an extra vegetable at dinner, you can achieve large goals over time.

Choose actions that are relatively easy to fit into your day on an ongoing basis.

Focus on the positive. All too often, resolutions can leave you feeling deprived.  Try reframing your resolutions to focus on things you will enjoy. Rather than restricting your favourite foods, try incorporating healthier foods that you enjoy more often and have fun trying some new foods too. Getting a new cookbook might serve as a special reward for yourself as well as an inspiration.

Find support. Don’t try to do it alone! Talk to your friends and family about the changes you’d like to make.  You may be surprised to learn that others want to join you as you strive to make healthier choices at home, work, school and play. Invite family members to plan a weekly menu together so that everyone feels part of the changes.

For more healthy eating tips, sign up for the latest Dietitians of Canada healthy eating app, eaTipster, and get daily tips delivered right to your smart phone. It’s free!

Look here for healthy cooking inspiration:

— Lindsay Boyd is community nutritionist and Selena Devries is a dietetic intern with Interior Health.


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