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Making the decision to eat healthier

This is an excerpt from Healthy Eating Every Day-2nd Edition by Ruth Ann Carpenter & Carrie E. Finley.

Nutrition Note


Identifying My Benefits

If you find yourself asking, "What’s in it for me?" you may be struggling to find a good reason for changing your eating habits. As with goal setting, it’s important to have personal benefits that will motivate you to make changes. Let’s look at some reasons why it’s important to adopt healthier eating habits. In sessions 1 and 2, we told you about the many benefits we see for healthy eating, such as stronger bones, improved weight control, and a lower risk of certain cancers and heart disease. But these benefits might not matter to you. Read the questions below and think about the reasons you chose to pick up Healthy Eating Every Day.

  • How do you think eating better will help you?
  • What positive changes do you expect to see from eating better?


List your answers in the spaces provided. Think of as many personal benefits as you can.

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  2. _______________________________
  3. _______________________________
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  9. _______________________________


Up Close and Personal


George decided he wanted to eat better. He had put on a lot of weight over the last 15 years, and had developed high blood cholesterol. He was concerned that if he didn’t take better care of himself he might get diabetes later in life, like his mother. Plus he simply wanted to feel better and have more energy. But George didn’t really like "diet" food, and he traveled a lot. These factors had kept him from adopting better eating habits in the past.


George’s brother, Patrick, also had high cholesterol and was overweight. In fact, Patrick’s doctor had recently given him a stern warning about improving his diet. But Patrick loved to eat, and he figured he might as well die happy! Patrick worked odd hours, lived alone, ate out a lot, and didn’t really know what a healthy diet was in the first place.


Who do you think was more successful at changing his diet? It was George. George could identify many more reasons for changing his diet than Patrick could. Also, although George had some major barriers to overcome, he didn’t have as many as Patrick.


Nutrition Note


Identifying My Barriers

What factors keep you from eating a healthy diet? These can vary from environmental factors (such as co-workers who tempt you with sweets) to time-management concerns to negative thinking. A barrier is anything that could get in your way of making changes. Think about your barriers to healthy eating and list them here.

  1. _______________________________
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Learn more about Healthy Eating Every Day, Second Edition.