How To Stay Motivated To Eat Healthy: Complete Guide
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
Healthy eating is a journey with an end goal of feeling better and increasing overall wellness.
Staying motivated can be a challenge, and finding creative ways to stay on target can be difficult.
Taking a supplement like fatty15 can help support your goals and even help with between-meal snacking.
If your January goal of eating healthy has started to take a backseat to life, that’s completely normal. Even the most determined and self-driven among us struggle to stay on track.
Summer barbecues, work events, birthdays, and holidays have a way of derailing us by stimulating nostalgia (usually through sugary treats or comforting dishes). Most of us really want to be able to keep our healthy eating goals but find it challenging to balance our schedules, much less our diets.
When you feel like you’re running out of steam, there are ways to help increase your motivation to stay the course. We’ll cover the top 10 ways to reignite your willpower and stay the course through every season.
1. Remember Your Why
When you first started your healthy eating journey, there was likely a stimulus. Maybe your doctor wasn’t happy with your recent blood panel. Perhaps you were trying to avoid certain illnesses preceded by a poor diet.
According to the CDC, adults who eat a healthy diet are at a reduced risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and several different types of cancers. Maybe you started cutting back on your daily caloric intake to lose a few pounds.
Whatever your original motivation was, remember it and focus on it when you are tempted to forgo the salad in lieu of fast food.
2. Collect Some Data
Are you a numbers person? We get it. There’s nothing quite as rewarding as seeing the metrics and seeing a trend in the right direction can help keep you motivated to continue on your course.
If you start eating healthfully to lose weight, weekly weigh-ins can help keep you on track and spark your drive to keep going. If, however, weight loss wasn’t the first or only goal, there are other bits of data you can collect to help fuel your fire.
- Energy levels. Take note of how you feel in the mornings and throughout your day now that you are eating more healthfully. Do you rely less on stimulants like caffeine? Have you given up napping?
- Blood panels. Your bloodwork tells a lot about your health, and seeing your cholesterol numbers and A1C levels trend downward can help motivate you to continue your efforts.
- Strength and stamina. Eating unhealthy foods can make us feel sluggish. Eating a healthful diet can result in increased stamina. Notice ways you can accomplish tasks without becoming winded (walking up a flight of stairs or chasing your kids around the yard).
Data is useful, but if you aren’t seeing the numbers you want just yet, don’t be discouraged. Changes like these take time and effort, but the payoff is a long-term investment in your longevity.
3. Monetize It
If there’s one thing that can motivate practically anyone, it’s money. In fact, financial incentives have been used in numerous weight control programs for decades. You can apply the same type of motivation to your healthy eating goals.
Subscribing to a meal delivery service or hiring a nutritionist can help you view your healthy eating journey as more of a financial investment that needs attention and protection. If you find it hard to stay on target for the benefits to your health, targeting your wallet could be a good solution to keep you on course.
4. Make Your Home a Safe Zone
Coming home from the market with bags of treats and snacks can set you up for failure. In a moment of weakness, you’re more likely to reach for an easily accessible, prepackaged snack than you are to take the time to make a protein smoothie. Keeping unhealthful foods out of your pantry can help keep you successful.
First things first: take stock of your fridge and pantry. If there are items that shouldn’t be there (we’re looking at you, frozen holiday cookies from last year), go ahead and toss them.
It’s also important to only buy what you will consume. For instance, if you have company and want to serve dessert, buy a dessert that will be consumed that evening. Having three additional slices of cake leftover won’t pay dividends in your health.
5. Pre-Game Like a Pro
The best defense is a strong offense, and in terms of healthy eating, that means preplanning. It may seem like a tall order for someone with an already busy schedule, but if you want to stick to your goals, this is incredibly important.
Preplanning can involve making a weekly dinner menu and purchasing the items needed to cook those dinners. It can also involve meal prepping, a method of precooking your weekly meals and storing them in airtight containers in the fridge to have them on hand when you need them.
If you already have your food planned and/or cooked, it’s much easier to pick the healthy option than if you have no idea what you’ll cook or what you want.
6. Set Achievable Goals
Nothing will derail your motivation like a goal you just can’t hit. Consider your real goals with eating a more healthful diet.
If your goal is to improve your cholesterol numbers, jumping to the goal of not taking your cholesterol medication may be too much too soon. Instead, aim to lower your bad cholesterol level (LDL) in six months, then reevaluate.
The reason why many healthy eating plans fail is often because they are too restrictive. Instead of saying you will only eat salad for lunch and dinner every day, set a goal of increasing your vegetable intake each week. Instead of restricting yourself to zero desserts per week, set a limit of two per week. These goals are achievable and help set you up for success.
7. Treat Yourself (But Not With Food)
If you aren’t making room for rewards for hitting your goals, you may find it hard to stay motivated. Even though the end goal is to make healthy eating a lifestyle, it’s easier to put into practice if you reward yourself along the way.
You can approach the reward system in a couple of different ways.
- Reward yourself for milestones. When you hit 30 days of eating healthfully, reward yourself with a massage, a new trinket, or something non-food related.
- Reward yourself when you’re having difficulty avoiding unhealthy food options. Whether you’re on vacation or just out to dinner with friends, it can be more difficult to make healthy choices when fewer healthy options surround you. These are great times to reward yourself without food, whether that means booking time at the spa or simply carving out an afternoon to yourself to read a good book.
The big takeaway here is to make sure you pay yourself for your hard work, but not with a reward that derails your progress.
8. Make It Enjoyable
Most of us grew up with certain mindsets about food, which usually include foods that are “good” and “bad.” Having a good/bad food mindset can make it more difficult for you to enjoy cleaning up your diet, especially if you view all healthful foods as less flavorful.
One way to do this is by finding delicious substitutes. For instance, a venti coffee drink can pack in a lot of added sugar and empty calories, but numerous substitutes will still give you a great pick-me-up with plenty of flavor but less sugar and calories.
With the internet, we have access to millions of delicious, adventurous recipes. Healthy eating has never been more exciting or delicious.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a good cook, there are plenty of recipes and ideas to help you make better selections at the grocery store and quickly prepare snacks and meals at home. Healthy eating should be something you enjoy, not something you do because you “have” to.
9. Get a Buddy On Board
It’s much easier to hit goals when you have a partner in crime. Making changes by yourself is possible, but with the buddy system, you’ve always got someone to encourage and spur you on when you are losing steam.
The key to finding the best person for the job is to find someone with like-minded goals. This might not be your incredibly athletic friend who hits the gym at 5:00 a.m. every morning, but maybe it is. Make your intentions clear, and talk about how you will support one another while you’re on this journey.
10. Take a Supplement
No magic pill will change your taste buds and make you crave kale over ice cream, but there is a supplement that can help you reach your goals of healthy living and even reduce your cravings between meals. That supplement is fatty15.
Pentadecanoic acid (aka C15:0) was discovered as an essential and beneficial fatty acid by a veterinary epidemiologist while studying longevity in bottlenose dolphins. Taking her research further, she discovered that the health benefits seen in the dolphins were also available to human populations.
She went on to work with a team of researchers and scientists to develop FA15™, the pure, sustainable, vegan-friendly version of C15:0, and the single ingredient in fatty15. Fatty15 can support your health at the cellular level. In fact, it does some really impressive work inside your cells.
How Fatty15 Works
Fatty15 contains C15:0 in a bioavailable, pure powder form. C15:0 is an odd-chain, essential, saturated fatty acid that dives deep into our cells to keep them strong and thriving. Fatty15 can improve cellular energy, keep our cell membranes strong, and reverse aging at the cellular level. In fact, a recent study in Nutrients supports that C15:0 has more benefits to our long-term health and longevity than the leading anti-aging pharmaceuticals such as Rapamycin and Metformin.
It does this by:
- Keeping cell membranes strong. C15:0 is a sturdy fatty acid that integrates into cell membranes to fortify them. In studies, C15:0 improves cellular strength by 80%.
- Clearing damaged cells. By activating AMPK, the housekeeping molecule in our bodies, C15:0 helps clear unusable, damaged cells. These cells that lose their function and do not die (like zombies) can lead to inflammation and disease.
- Keeping our mitochondria functioning properly. When we get older, our mitochondria lose their function. They produce less energy (ATP) and produce more reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are damaging to our bodies. C15:0 helps restore our mitochondrial function, decreasing ROS by 45% and increasing cellular energy. In one peer-reviewed study, C15:0 was shown to increase ATP levels in cells by 350%.
- Restoring whole body homeostasis. By activating AMPK and special receptors called PPARs, C15:0 helps restore balance and regulation to systems and functions like glucose uptake, immunity, metabolic function, heart and liver health, and even sleep, mood, and appetite.
The best part? The only known “side effect” of fatty15 is decreased snacking between meals. Adding fatty15 to your daily health stack can not only help you increase your overall wellness, but it can also help you stay motivated on your healthy eating journey.
Get Fired Up
Your goals may have been sidelined, but that doesn’t mean you can’t return them to the field. Be forgiving of yourself, and grab some allies in the fight, like a friend who can support you when you’re feeling vulnerable and a supplement that helps you toward your goals.
Fatty15 is the world's first, and only science-backed, pure, patented, award-winning C15:0 supplement that supports your long-term health & wellness, and it comes with the added benefit of decreased snacking between meals. Give fatty15 a try to see what reversing cellular aging can do to support your health.
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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