How to Get – and Stay – Motivated to Eat Healthy and Live Actively

Chances are you have a pretty good idea of what a healthy diet entails – less junk and more whole foods.  You probably also know that exercise is important for an overall healthy lifestyle.  Following healthy eating and active living are two very important things to ensure you avoid disease, age gracefully and keep your body functioning as it should.

But once in a while, no matter how much you know about healthy eating and exercise, you just lose the motivation to plan meals, cook at home, or get to the gym.  If this happens, you probably feel frustrated and may even criticize yourself.  You could also be stuck in a plateau where either you can’t lose those last few pounds or you just can’t seem to get faster or stronger in your workouts.

If you’ve ever felt like just giving up, you aren’t alone!  Just try not to get too frustrated with yourself (because stressing out over this doesn’t help your health either).  Read on for some tips to help you get back into the swing of things and stick to your healthy lifestyle goals!

Your lack of motivation may not be because you’re bored or tired – you may just need to have some accountability.  Ask a friend to join you in a challenge:  set up a 30-day competition to see who can cook more healthy meals at home; commit to doing 2 60-second planks every day and let each other know when you’ve completed it; join a Facebook group of like-minded individuals and set daily exercise goals that everyone has to complete (comment when you’ve done your workout and create friendly banter with those who haven’t).

Having an accountability partner or a health coach will help you stick to your goals. 

 

If you are still working out regularly and eating healthy, yet you’re not happy with the results, you may have a nutrient deficiency holding you back.  According to the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, people have a hard time getting all the nutrients they need from food alone. The most common nutrient deficiencies are iodine, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin E and calcium.  What’s interesting about this is that other nutrients are required to help metabolize the deficient nutrients, and these specific nutritional deficiencies indicate that certain organs may not be functioning properly.

Make sure you’re taking a high-quality multivitamin/mineral complex every day!  And, I don’t mean head out to the nearest drugstore and pick up the cheapest brand.  You need a proven supplement that is formulated to metabolize most effectively in your body.  I like Genuine Health, AOR, Metagenics and Genestra brands, but health food stores have other high quality brands available.

 

I hear a lot of people say “I should really be eating more healthy food” but if you don’t have a true passion or deep-seated reason for sticking to a healthy diet, you probably will fail.  Sit down and think about your personal ‘why’ – why do you feel you need to eat healthy, or why do you want to exercise more?  A health scare, making sure you’re always there for your children, or wanting to travel the world after you retire are some common deep-seated reasons many people use as motivation.

Determine your ‘why’ and write it down.  Stick that reason somewhere that you see it every day.

 

I’m not a personal fan of rewards (because people typically reward themselves with bad food) but if you are motivated by small rewards, go ahead and set that up.  Reward yourself for achieving small goals and reward yourself with something extra special for meeting a long-term goal.

Set attainable goals.  For example, set a weekly goal that you’ll cook a healthy dinner 5 nights a week and only opt for take-out twice; or, promise yourself that you will go to the gym every morning before work and do something, even if you’re exhausted.

Sticking to healthy eating 100% of the time is tough but don’t let a few processed snacks or treat meals throw your entire health off track.  If you haven’t been motivated to eat nutritious foods or workout lately, now is the time to get back on course.  Fill your fridge with healthy snacks and make them easy to just grab and go.  Schedule exercise into your days and try mixing up your workouts.  Get outside, now that the weather is getting warmer, and walk more often, join an outdoor group fitness class, and meet up with friends for a smoothie!

 

Sometimes to get back on track you simply need a change in routine.  My 10-Day Total Body Reset program offers you some delicious new (and easy) recipes that can help reset your mind and improve your overall nutritional intake!

 

References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/know-what-im-doing
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/fix-a-broken-diet
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/motivation-deepest-reason
http://www.sheknows.com/videos/articles/818003/8-Ways-to-motivate-yourself-to-eat-healthy
https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/14-tips-getting-and-staying-motivated-to-eat-healthy/

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