What to Do When You Have No Motivation to Eat Healthy

by Natalie on March 6, 2014

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You want to get healthier and lose weight, yet you keep reaching for the cookies.

What’s a girl to do?

Well you’re not alone here. Sometimes simply knowing or having the desire to do something isn’t enough to make yourself take action.

For example, sometimes I know that I need to get more sleep and even strongly desire it, yet I still keep turning the pages of my book.

So why do things like this happen?

Easy explanation – sometimes the motivation is just not there. Plain and simple. You could waste time waiting around for the motivation to come, or you could just start working around it.

Here are 4 Ways to Improve Your Diet When Motivation is Low:

1. Set Super Small Goals

According to Dr. BJ Fogg, creator of Tiny Habits, if you set teeny, tiny goals, you can completely bypass motivation. By setting the goal super small, you won’t even think twice about doing it. It completely drops any barriers to success. For example, lets say you have the big goal of eating more vegetables. A super small way of doing this would be to have a small side salad with lunch Monday-Friday. Once you get used to that, you will gradually increase, to let’s say adding a cooked vegetable with dinner every night.

2. Create your own “food rules”

Rules give you information about what you can and cannot do. When rules are in place, something “is” or “isn’t”, there is not much in-between. Food rules will help if everything you eat is “always in moderation” – i.e nothing is off limits. When food rules are in place, you won’t have to access any will-power or motivation when deciding what to eat. Here are a few examples: “I only eat sweets on Saturday night”. Or “My grain intake is limited to 3 servings a day”.

3. Keep junk out of your house

How many times have you found yourself eating the leftover cake from the party just because it was there? This kind of thing happens to me all the time – a well informed dietitian with the best of intentions! Bottom line – if you keep junk in your house, you will eat it. None of us are immune to this simple fact. Use tip #2 to decide when you will allow treats into your life. When you keep junk foods within easy reach, you will use up all your willpower trying to avoid them, and eventually give in.

4. Look at the big picture

We humans are wired for short term gratification. It’s so easy to ignore the consequences when you’re in the moment. We think “oh this little bit is not going to hurt”, or we rationalize “I had a rough day so I deserve this tonight”. The problem is that we tend to do this over and over and each little thing adds up to a laundry list of bad habits. Writing a health vision statement  can help with this. All you have to do is write down how you would look and feel in your ideal state of health and why you want it. Read this statement often, and it will become easier for you to resist “in the moment” temptations.

Take action: tell me, which of the tips are you going to put into place to deal with low motivation? Leave a comment below.

As always, thank you for reading!

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photo by Brett Jordan on Flickr

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