6 Ways to Stay Motivated for a Healthy Diet after the Holidays

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Eating healthy can be really hard sometimes, especially if you are just starting to make it a part of your lifestyle; not to mention it’s January and we are all just bouncing back from the holiday season! Ah, the holidays, full of mom’s homemade cookies, breads, cakes, pie and dad’s prime rib with mounds of sour cream. Don’t forget that family holiday party where you just had to try all twenty cookies in your family’s cookie bake-off. (What? Your family doesn’t do that? You’re missing out!) Anyways, if you’re someone like me who has integrated eating healthy into their everyday lives (or even if it is a part of your New Year’s goals) it can be really hard to find the motivation to continue on this path when all you want is chocolate molten lava cake.

But hey! There is good news to this! It’s not completely your fault. All that salt, sugar, and fat is actually craved by our bodies after we stop eating it. Much like how nicotine works with a smoking addiction, unhealthy food is physically craved by our bodies. Studies have been done showing that in some cases, foods high in salt, sugar, and fat content can be as damaging to the brain as hard drugs (cocaine, heroin, etc.). When you eat (especially carbs) your brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter in your brain that causes you to be happy. On the bright side, it is very possible to start a healthy diet and get addicted to healthy eating! Here are six ways you can stay motivated to eat healthy (especially after the holidays):

1) Don’t Beat Yourself Up

I, as well as many other people, know how hard it can be to stick to a preferred diet choice. Eating healthy can be hard. Especially when you are doing it alone or don’t have a good support system. So if you have a cookie, don’t feel ashamed! Eat that cookie! You’re human and cookies are good. Even if you have a binge sesh one day and eat an entire carton of Oreo’s, don’t give up! There is always tomorrow to improve. This one day doesn’t determine who you are in relation to your eating goals.

2) Moderation is Key

Yes, sometimes having a binge sesh happens. But do you know why binge sesh’s normally happen? Because you denied to yourself that you wanted that cookie for hours, maybe even days, and when you finally caved in you ate the whole box. So, like I said in number one, don’t beat yourself up. However, moderation is key. If you have a craving for a cookie, eat the cookie! It’s not going to ruin your day of healthy eating. In fact our bodies need salt, sugar, and fat to survive; it’s just unhealthy to eat it in copious amounts.

3) Have a Good Support System

Find a buddy to start eating healthy with you and tell as many people as you can about your goals! This way you’ll feel more inclined to stick to them and your friends will be expecting it from you. Having a friend start this journey with you is the optimal situation because you are both going through the same thing! Motivate one another to stick with it and soon you’ll have integrated healthy eating into your lifestyle.

4) Self Confidence

Feeling healthy and happy in your body is so important. Our bodies are temples. We need them to inhabit the earth. So we should feel as confident as possible in them. Eating healthy is a way that we can achieve that! From someone who eats healthy, trust me when I say I have way more energy and am much happier eating healthy. Believe it or not, all my friends think I have the softest and clearest skin. It’s all from eating healthy, and eating healthy has really led me to love my body more and more.

5) Feeling Accomplished

Like I said earlier, eating healthy is sometimes really hard! But there comes a certain pride in knowing you can overcome and do something that a lot of people struggle with. It starts with eating one healthy meal, and then eating a day of healthy meals, and then a week… People will be impressed, trust me! The feeling of accomplishment when you have integrated eating healthy into your lifestyle is indescribable; it’s empowering.

6) Being Healthy is Fun!

What did I just read?” I’m sure that’s what most of you thought when you saw the last way to stay motivated for eating healthy. I’m totally serious though, being healthy can be really fun. I’ve discovered so many new things on my journey to being healthy and it’s so much fun. I never would have guessed that I would have been opened up to a new world of possibilities and choices. There are so many healthy things that I would never have gotten into if it weren’t for me deciding to stick with eating healthy and trying to stay motivated. Carrots and hummus, different fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, almond milk, healthy granola bars, dried fruit, dark chocolate (yes, chocolate), and tons of other things! Whenever I crave something sweet I always grab a hunk of dark chocolate or some dried apricots/coconut strips.

These are the best tools I can mention based off of my motivation to eat healthy, especially after the holidays when our bodies are craving the salt, sugar, and fat. Some of these are tips for you to use to help yourself stay on the track to a healthy lifestyle, and others were motivation for you to know that you can achieve it if you stay on the track. But the best advice I could give you is to never give up.

What are some ways you have motivated yourself and others to stay motivated after the holidays or even year round? Please comment and share to help a friend!

mary@individualadvantages.com'

Written by

Mary Smith is a final year English Literature major student at the University of Redlands. Her passion for healthy living motivated her transition from vegetarian to vegan which inspires her writings. Mary's articles cover her motivations and recipes for healthy living, passions for yoga, mediation and some of the joys and struggles in transitioning to a healthy lifestyle.

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