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How Can You Motivate Yourself To Eat Better?

Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen · Dietetics and Nutrition

Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Apr 18, 2022

How Can You Motivate Yourself To Eat Better?

The question of self-motivation in order to eat better seems to have been around for as long as people can remember. After all, the thinking goes that if you can control your own food intake, then you can watch what you eat for your own personal health. Read on to learn more about finding the motivation to eat healthier. 

Motivation To Eat Healthier: Ask Yourself Why

Beyond New Year’s Resolutions and setting fitness goals for a certain amount of time, actually changing your eating habits for good has to start somewhere. You might want to start with the most basic question: Why do you want to eat better? It can range from not wanting to be heavy anymore, to battling diabetes, keeping up with your children, or to look good in your old clothes again.

Whatever the reason, take note of them and use them as a reminder. Every time you’re tempted to stray or gorge on pizza or cake, let those reasons pull you back.

The last few years have seen many studies about potential environmental determinants and physical activity behavior as causes for self-motivation regarding healthy eating. Other factors affecting eating behavior include social support and modelling, availability, accessibility of healthy food, and socio-economic status.

Another article demonstrated that the quality of motivation plays a central role in the capacity to adopt and sustain healthy diets. Yet another article referred to the kinds of motivations that work best in the long-term.

Supposedly, those include interventions that feature the essential elements of promoting a person’s sense of “ownership” over their eating routines, deeply valuing and identifying with the goals associated with eating choices and displaying genuine interest in the experiences associated with selecting and preparing meals.

Tips To Make Long-Lasting Changes

Set Clear Goals

  • Match your daily actions to support your goal. If you want to be more active, park farther from the door.
  • Start small. Make small changes you can accomplish: Bring your lunch to work or take a walk several nights per week.
  • Set new goals based on your reality. 
  • Do what you love.

Think Positive

  • Listen to how you talk to yourself. Stop every so often and reassess what you’re thinking.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Treat yourself like you would a friend by being gentle and encouraging. Look closer at negative thoughts and replace them with affirmations about what you’re doing right.
  • Focus on what you can have instead of what you can’t. If you’re trying to lose weight, look at food you can eat rather than all the food you can’t.
  • Believe. Start with what you truly believe you can accomplish, let that initial success give you the confidence to set larger goals later.

Finding the Motivation To Eat Healthier: Other Tips

  • Go slow. There’s a better chance of keeping weight off if it is done gradually. This doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Expect setbacks. No one is immune to temptation. A single splurge is not a problem, but an outright food binge is. That’s what you have to avoid.
  • Don’t be a perfectionist. When you slip up, don’t let it ruin any progress you’ve made. Tomorrow is a new day.
  • Use the buddy system. If your will power wanes for one reason or another, it helps to have friends and a support system to keep egging you on.
  • Be patient. There is such a thing as a weight loss plateau that people encounter. To combat this, try something slightly different to jumpstart your diet. A few minor adjustments can put you back on the right path.
  • Reward yourself. When losing weight, you can reward yourself as long as it’s not food-related. You can something nice for yourself or get a massage or something else as a reward for reaching a weight loss goal.

Any attempt to change a way of life can be difficult and challenging. Getting started, though, and identifying your reasons for doing so can go a long way in not just placing you on the right path but also keep you on that path whenever you are tempted to stray.

When it comes to your fitness goals, such as finding the motivation to eat healthier, you don’t have to do it alone and having a group of friends that will support your goals is ideal.

Learn more aobut Healthy Eating here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Expertly reviewed by

Chris Icamen

Dietetics and Nutrition

Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Apr 18, 2022

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