Healthy Eating: Starting a Plan for Change
What is an Actionset?
If you have decided to start a healthy eating plan, congratulations! Making that decision is an important step in becoming a healthier person.
Keep these key points in mind:
Eating one healthy meal isn't hard. It may not even be hard to eat three healthy meals in a single day. The hard part is making changes in your daily life so that you start eating healthy every day—and keep eating healthy every day.
It's all about changing your habits. And changing your habits is easier if you make a plan first.
Starting a life of healthy eating—or making any kind of change in the way you live your daily life—is like being on a path. The path leads to success. There are three steps that can help you get started:
Test Your Knowledge
Changing your eating habits is easier if you make a plan first.
Your reason for wanting this is really important. Don't do it because someone else wants you to. What makes you want to start eating healthier foods?
Write down your reasons for wanting to make this change. Put the list where you can see it easily. It will be a daily reminder of why you want to make a change.
It's not easy to make changes. But taking the time now to really think about what will motivate or inspire you will help you stay with it.
Test Your Knowledge
To be successful at making healthy eating a regular part of your life, you need to know why it's important to you.
It's important not to jump in too far too fast. Slow, steady steps will set you up for success. In this section you'll learn about the steps to follow in setting up a healthy eating plan:
Set your goals
When you are clear about your reasons for starting a healthy eating plan, it's time to set your goals.
What is your long-term goal? A long-term goal is something you want to reach in 6 to 12 months. For example, your long-term goal may be to:
What are the short-term goals that will help you get there? Short-term goals are things that you want to do tomorrow and the day after. For example, you might decide to:
Here are some quick tips about healthy eating goals:
Track your progress
Keeping track of your progress helps you see how far you've come. It also helps you stay with your plan.
Think about your barriers
Take the time to think about what things could get in the way of your success. We call these things barriers. And by thinking about them now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them if they happen.
Here are some tips for dealing with barriers:
Expect to encounter some barriers. And remember: The idea is not to get rid of barriers but to identify them ahead of time and plan what you will do to deal with them.
Get support—from others and from yourself
The more support you have, the easier it will be to change your eating habits.
If your family members tell you that they love how you're getting healthier, you'll probably be motivated to keep up the good work.
And there's more support out there. You can even ask for encouragement. Here are a few things to look for:
Support is everywhere. You just have to look for it.
Test Your Knowledge
Setting your goals is an important step in making a healthy eating plan.
Unless you identify all your barriers and get rid of them, you won't be successful.
Now that you have read this information, you are ready to make a healthy eating plan.
Talk with your doctor
If you have questions about this information, print it out and take it with you when you visit your doctor. You may want to mark areas or make notes in the margins where you have questions.
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