Setting your health goals

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katereidHands up if you’ve ever made a resolution to lose weight/live on salads/never eat chocolate again or some other variation of a food related goal?

While it’s great to aim towards making healthier choices there’s a few things to consider before you decide on next year’s resolutions.

Don’t make a weight loss goal

While weight loss may be a side effect of changing your eating habits, focusing too much on an outcome that is not 100 per cent controllable means that we often overlook the other benefits that come from eating more nutritious foods.

For example: Person A may set a goal of losing 10 kilos. But they only lose two kilos. They feel like they’ve failed and decide to give up. But what we don’t see from this scenario is that Person A has also improved their cholesterol, reduced their blood pressure and has increased their cardiovascular fitness. By focusing solely on weight we often miss the multitude of benefits that come from making healthier choices.

Make your resolution S.M.A.R.T.

Specific – make sure your resolution sets out exactly what you plan to do, ie – I will increase my daily vegetable intake by one serve each fortnight until I get to the recommended five serves a day

Measurable – set a resolution that can be measured and find a fun way of tracking your progress

Attainable/Realistic – these are by far the most important steps. Goals should be small, easily attainable and not too restrictive. It’s much more motivating to exceed your goal rather than struggling to achieve it.

Time – setting a time frame to reach your goal can be helpful but if you’re the kind of person who is likely to give up if you don’t achieve your goal in a certain amount of time, it may be best to skip this step

No matter what your resolution remember not to be too hard on yourself.

Any improvement you make to your eating habits is a step in the right direction.

Think about what you’d like to improve in 2016 and set some realistic goals.

Happy eating and Merry Christmas!

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