Posted in Healthy Eating

Are Your Health Goals Attainable and Within Reach? By Gretchen Scalpi, RD, CDE

Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®

How many times have you decided to start eating healthier, lose weight, or exercise more? If the answer is you have started and stopped this quest many times over, maybe your goals for getting healthier are too ambitious.
While most of us could use healthy lifestyle improvements, it’s important to keep in mind that change can be very challenging. Most of the time, making lifestyle changes has to be a slow, deliberate process. This is especially true when it comes changing one’s eating habits or weight loss.


Suppose you would like to lose weight. Resist the impulse to make a clean sweep of all of your old eating habits when you start. Certainly bad eating habits that contribute to weight gain should be changed. However, if you try to change too much at once, the task becomes daunting. Too much change at once will leave you feeling deprived or resentful of the “new eating rules”. Try working on one or two small but positive eating habits at a time, before moving on to something else.


Here’s a few examples of what I mean:
Problem: I drink too much coffee (or soda, iced tea, latte, etc) during the day.
Strategy: Have 1-2 cups of of coffee (or ditto for your favorite beverage) during the day, and then replace the remainder of your beverages with water or seltzer.
Problem: I buy fast food (pizza, Chinese takeout, etc.) for my lunches during the work week because I’m always in a rush and never prepared.
Strategy: Pack your lunch the night before and start taking your lunch to work Mondays through Thursday. Buy your lunch out on Friday as your reward for a job well done! On the days you pack a lunch take along a sandwich & fruit, soup and salad, or leftovers from dinner.
Problem: I’m starving when I come home from work, then I end up snacking on chips, cookies, etc. all evening.
Strategy: Start eating breakfast and lunch every day so you aren’t so hungry at night. Plan to have healthy snack when you come home from work or after dinner. Snack ideas: a piece of fruit and a small handful of nuts, 6 whole grain crackers and 1 oz. low fat cheese, or a container of low fat yogurt.


Each of the examples above has the potential to result in significant calorie savings over time. When you make a small plan for what you will change, practice it until you’ve mastered it. When you feel confident that your new plan will stick, move on to improve something else.


Changing behavior by taking small steps makes health goals achievable and relatively stress-free. Ultimately, your efforts will add up to result in calorie savings, a healthier way of eating or gradual weight loss. Give it a try and soon you will be celebrating your success!


© 2013, Gretchen Scalpi, RD, CDE.  Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice since 2002, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, and general wellness. Gretchen provides lectures and workshops on a variety of nutrition topics to corporate and community groups. She is the author of the "Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance at Health," and "Quick Start Recipes for Healthy Meals". To learn more about Gretchen, her books, or to subscribe her newsletter visit


 This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit