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7 Healthy Eating Goals

Update Date: Apr 28, 2016 04:20 AM EDT

Setting healthy eating goals is often misconstrued as a way to starvation and eating disorder. In addition to that, many have also expressed that by just thinking what they want to achieve is already either overwhelming or discouraging.

Here are seven goals you have to seriously take into consideration to set out an effective healthy eating plan.

1.      Understand that there are absolute health benefits to your overall being when practicing healthy habits. It will improve your mood, combat diseases, boost your energy and improve longevity, as discussed by Healthline. To begin with, these will serve as your motivation and without such awareness, it will be easy to give up before you can even start.

2.      Make a decision. Although this is probably the hardest part in any endeavor, but in order to proceed, this is something you cannot do without. One way to ease the task of deciding is to remind yourself how much you want to see changes from your current state. In a parade article, actor Will Smith said, "There's a certain delusional quality that all successful people have to have, you have to believe that something different than what has happened for the last 50 million years of history, you have to believe that something different can happen."

3.      Check your weight. Know where you are. "Do I want to lose weight? Maintain? Or gain?"

4.      Understand basic knowledge of Calories in food and liquid you drink. In a simpler definition, they give you the energy you need to survive. But eating too much of them and not burning them off by being active can lead to weight gain.

According to USDA NAL, Here's how many calories are in 1 gram of each: carbohydrate - 4 calories; protein - 4 calories; fat - 9 calories. With this simple guide, you can then figure out the amount of calories are in the food by multiplying each gram.

Example: One boiled egg has 6. 29 grams of protein, 6.29 x 4 giving you a total of 25.16 calories.

Although calories intake vary according to age, size, height, sex lifestyle and overall general health, there are calorie calculator tools you can use to help you identify what is best recommended for your body.

5.      Embrace the widely known S.M.A.R.T technique in tackling eating goals. This type of approach narrows down your target into minimal steps but ensuring progress every step of the way.

Specific. (Make sure you write them.)

If you want to lose weight, you can say, "I will not eat second helpings during healthy meals for two weeks."

If you are trying to be more active, you can say, "I will walk for 30 minutes around the neighborhood every day for two weeks."

If you want to increase your fiber intake, you can say, "Instead of refined white bread I will have whole grained bread and cereal in breakfast in two weeks."

Another example would be, "I will drink more water or tea instead of soda and juice for a week.

Manageable.  Keep track of your progress and strictly stick to baby steps. The next thing you know, you will be amazed who much you are achieving it more than you thought you could.

Attainable. "For the whole month of May, if I feel like frying, I will broil or steam my foods, instead."

Realistic. Be honest and don't be too hard on yourself.  Remember, consistency is the name of the game. If you tend to set it higher, you are most likely to think of it as a tedious goal. Applying S.M.A.R.T is simply having fun checking off a to-do list on daily basis.

Time-framed. "No more than two bagels for me today." may sound ineffective but can have a long-term effect on how you perform for the next following period. What you repeatedly do becomes a habit.

6.      Reward yourself with anything you think will make happy but not food. A good tap on the back after a job well done can keep you going.

7.      Ask someone to do it with you. One of the reasons people go to the gym is seeing other people exercise makes the whole process a lot more fun. Having someone as an accountability partner to check up on you and vice versa can help you follow through.  It doesn't have to be a solitary endeavor. Witnessing other people's progress can also be a very good motivation. If you cannot think of anyone to join you and you wouldn't mind spending extra, perhaps you can get a professional help like a dietitian to guide you throughout the process.

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