1 February 2024

Get More Out of Your Health Goals This Year

Have you ever found that strict diets don’t last? Chances are, you are probably trying too hard and expecting too much, too quickly or following a regime that is unrealistic. So how else can you lose weight and keep it off? It all starts with reframing how you think. Here are 10 tips to help you keep on track with a healthy eating in 2024:


  1. Slow and steady wins the race: Dieting may help you drop kilos fast in the short term, but how sustainable is it in the long term? According to Centers For Disease Control and Prevention[i], if you’re overweight, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can improve blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies have also shown that switching to a low GI, higher protein eating plan can reduce insulin levels to help the body burn fat, increase feelings of fullness to delay hunger, and maintain metabolic rate.[ii]
  2. Am I motivated? No motivation, no change! We all want the outcomes but is it really a priority to make changes compared to other priorities in life? Ask yourself, ‘what is in it for me? What are the benefits and consequences if I do/do not take action?’
  3. One thing at a time, one step at a time: What happens when you try to make to make too many changes at once? Setting a goal such as exercising every day when you are normally quite inactive may prove to be too much to start off with. For example, cutting out carbs altogether or aiming to exercise every day when you are normally quite inactive. This type of goal setting may prove to be unrealistic. Prioritise and choose one action to work on and build up gradually e.g., instead of cutting carbs out altogether, aim to reduce carb portions and make low GI choices.
  4. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail: Do you know what to do, but find that it is a lack of planning that can get in the way? It only takes a few minutes to write a plan and review it each week to see what is working and what isn’t working. If planning meals or writing a shopping list are a challenge, get started with our low GI shopping list and Meal plan/recipe collections.
  5. The 10% rule to making changes: What happens when you try to cut down or cut out food too quickly or try to do too much exercise? Making 10% changes (e.g., reducing food portions or increasing exercise) is often a more realistic strategy for us to sustain.
  6. Do I have the right mind set? Do you have a plan, but sometimes talk yourself out of taking action at the last minute? Thinking in a helpful way can help support what you are trying to achieve. One idea is reminding yourself of your reason (motivation) to change e.g., ‘I want to be healthy when I retire’ ‘I want to be a healthy role model for my children/grandchildren’.
  7. What you track is what you get: Weighing yourself is one way of measuring progress however it takes time to see a change. Have you ever found that the scales have not shifted even if you are putting in a lot of effort? Focusing on just the scales when you are not seeing progress can affect motivation and persistence. Whilst you are waiting for weight to shift, tracking other changes can help sustain motivation when you see progress. For example: clothes size, belt notch, energy levels, blood tests, sleep, mood, breathing, fitness.
  8. When at first you don’t succeed…try a different strategy! What happens if life gets in the way, and you don’t have a backup plan? It is quite easy to just throw in the towel and give up. Humans don’t fail it is the strategy that fails. So rather than taking it personally saying, “I have failed”, reframe the way you approach the situation by thinking “that strategy didn’t work, what else can I try?”
  9. Habits don’t change overnight: Remember that changing complex eating and exercise habits takes time and usually longer than 21 days. According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18 to 254 days for someone to form a new habit. The study found that it takes on average 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic! If you find that you are not giving yourself enough time to adjust to a new change, you might need to remind yourself of this important study. [ii].
  10. No forbidden foods unless you have an allergy: Have you ever said to yourself “I shouldn’t eat chocolate” “I’m avoiding carbs” and the next minute you are doing the opposite! Putting rules and restrictions on ourselves merely leads to rebellion! Try reducing portions of particular foods e.g., carbs and schedule in small treats so you don’t feel deprived.
Low GI Diet New Year Habit Change Diary/Tracker:

Low-GI Diet New Year Habit Tracker

It helps to track your habits you would like to change, making sure to track any positive changes you make. We’ve put together an easy to use FREE habit change diary/tracker to help you get started and on track with a healthy eating in 2024.



How to use Habit Change Diary/Tracker:

The idea of this tool is to track your actions that will move you closer to achieving your goals, for example:

  1. Tick the days when you meet an alcohol free day goal or days that you exercised.
  2. Aim to increase the number of days that you take any action to change your habits into health enhancing ones.
  3. Most importantly do not cross or record the days you don’t do so well. Tracking the not so good days will only focus on your perceived failures, not your successes.
  4. Tally up your week’s achievements and make comments in the last two columns.

Very soon you will see you habits transform into healthy ones!

For more tips on how to use the Habit Change Diary watch the  video below.

How to achieve the BEST outcome with your goals this year:

Be patient
Encourage positive self-talk
Set realistic goals
Track your progress



By Rebecca McPhee, Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) & Health Coach Consultant.


[i] Losing Weight | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity | CDC

[ii] GI and Weight Management | GI Foundation 

[iii] Lally, P et al. European Journal of Social Psychology Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 40, 998–1009 (2010).

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