Change can be hard. Really hard. People are creatures of habit and sometimes those bad ones are hard to break. I talk to so many people who want to eat healthier but quickly give up because they try to make too many changes too quickly. It's the "go big or go home" kind of mindset. The truth is that changing all your unhealthy eating habits all at once is never a good idea.....and rarely works! Rather, it's about taking small steps each day that result in big change over time.
Let's start with the basics. What should you be eating each day? According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, eat at least 6 oz of grains (at least half of them whole grain), about 7 oz of protein foods, 2 cups of fruit, 2 1/2 cups of vegetables, 3 cups of low fat diary and limit oils and fat to 7 tsp per day. This would roughly equal about 1,800-2,000 calories per day. If you're like most Americans, your diet may not include enough of these healthy foods. The best way to start eating more nutritiously is to set small, attainable goals each day. For example, if you notice you don't consume enough low-fat dairy, make it a goal to drink 1 cup of low-fat milk with each meal. Or if your vegetable intake falls flat, aim to add vegetables to your daily snacks.
Despite being a dietitian, my eating habits aren't always perfect. My current "small" daily goal is to eat at least 3 servings of low-fat diary each day. It's one of those things I never did as a child and carried over into adulthood. By keeping my daily goal attainable, I increase the chances i'll actually follow through and not end up discouraged.
What is a small daily goal YOU want to set?