The Key to Changing Your Diet for Good

key to diet changes

source: Pablo Gómez

This month’s Eat Well, Spend Less topic is food resolutions!

While many of my fellow bloggers will be sharing specific tips for various goals & resolutions — everything from involving kids in the kitchen to wasting less food — I thought I’d share something a little bit different:

What if I told you there was one key that held the secret to actually changing your diet for good?

It’s not really a secret formula or hiring a personal chef or choosing the “right” diet.

No, what I learned from our experiencing transitioning our youngest daughter to a gluten-, dairy-, soy-free diet was that the key to successfully making any diet change is to have a comprehensive list of food you can eat…that you actually want to eat.

This principle applies whether you want to participate in a Daniel fast, eliminate white sugar, go Paleo, try the 80-10-10 raw diet or any number of other dietary changes.

No matter what change you’re trying to make, you’re almost destined to fail if you focus simply on what you can’t eat rather than what you can.

And really, the same principle applies whether you’re making a huge lifestyle shift or simply trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup or processed foods from your diet.

Perhaps even more importantly, your list of can-eat foods must grow with time. No one wants to be stuck eating the same meals over and over with no variation, so seeking out new recipes and snack ideas on a regular basis is an important part of sticking with a diet.

We’re actually planning a sugar detox for our family very soon. I had intended to do it for all of January but because I truly believe this is the key, I’ve been reluctant to actually say we’re going sugar free until I have time to sit down with the whole family to make a list of meals and snacks to get us through a month without sugar. January started out so busy — with sickness, visiting family and traveling — that I simply didn’t have time to focus on making the list, and I knew it was pointless to try to make such a huge shift in our eating habits without a firm plan in place.

I’ve created a food goals printable for myself you to use to make your own can-eat list. Here are some things to think about as you’re filling it out, no matter what your food resolution may be:

  • What foods does your family already eat and enjoy that fit this new diet or lifestyle?
  • Be sure to add quick and easy options for busy days/weeks.
  • Look for portable meal and snack ideas for when you’re on the go.
  • Include frugal meal options as well so that the change doesn’t break your budget!
  • As your searching for recipes, be sure to write down any sources you come across that contain lots of recipes so that you can refer back to them from time to time for new ideas!

Click here to print or download the food goals printable.

What are your food resolutions for 2012? Have you seen this principle play out in your own food journey?

Mandi Ehman is the blogger behind Life Your Way. She and her husband have four beautiful girls plus one baby boy, and together they live, work and homeschool on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia. Mandi loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.