Practical Nutrition Goal Examples from Registered Dietitians

nutrition goal examples

“This year, I’m giving up desserts!”

“This year, I’m only eating out once a week!”

“This year, I’m going to stop eating after 7 PM!”

It’s not uncommon for us at KJN to hear big goals like these from our clients each January. Unfortunately, lofty New Year’s resolutions can become overwhelming to even the most motivated person and lead to a feeling of failure if the resolution is “unsuccessful.” Rather than focusing on negative and restrictive goals, we encourage our clients to set positive and realistic goals.

This month, a group of registered dietitians (RDs) came together virtually with us to discuss how we can best help our clients nourish themselves and set goals this year from a practical approach. Keep reading to find out more about some of the common barriers to healthy eating that RDs find in their practices along with realistic New Year’s nutrition goal examples!

Barriers to Healthy Eating

There are a wide array of things that can get in the way of setting and achieving nutrition goals, such as:

  • Erratic or very busy schedules- Kelly Jones
  • Feeling like they have to cook everything from scratch to be “healthy”- Ellie Meyers
  • Time to cook or exercise- Jackie Topol
  • Overwhelmed with information floating around out there and time – Brynn McDowell
  • Trying to follow inaccurate nutrition info- Kelly Jones
  • Culinary skills- Julie Harrington
  • Lack of skill in the kitchen, time to cook and prepare meals- Julie Andrews
  • Getting too caught up in the weeds of nutrition rather than just focusing on the basics- Chrissy Carroll
  • Time and not enjoying cooking, and of course, confusion – Sarah Schlichter
  • Culinary skills or interest- Abbie Gellman
  • The assumption that smaller = better performance and health- Kelly Jones
  • Time or lack of it. And running out of ideas for nourishing meals and snacks. And confusion over what defines “nourishing- Liz Weiss
  • Feeling like they have to eat/prepare food/cook in a certain way that doesn’t actually fit with their lives/needs- Rebecca Clyde
  • Misinformation- Reilly Beatty
  • Overwhelm with info, time to cook- Marita Radloff
  • Misinformation from social media, fitness culture, family/friends- Kim Hoban
  • My clients are getting their nutrition info on TikTok. They don’t know its a barrier until they end up in trouble- Heather Mangieri

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that can make healthy eating seem daunting. However, the reality is that New Year’s resolutions (or goals at any time of year) shouldn’t be to be so “now or never” or “all or nothing.” These registered dietitians shared practical and realistic nutrition goal examples that will help you feel empowered to make positive changes at your own pace. Choose one to work on and once you feel it’s become a habit, move on to another goal!

20 Nutrition Goal Examples

non diet nutrition goals examples
  • Include a carb, a protein, and a veggie everyday at lunch (check out this balanced meal building formula for ideas)- Kelly Jones
  • Start with focusing on one meal, and strategize easy meals and things you can meal prep – Jackie Topol
  • Set aside time to evaluate what you can use up in your pantry, and then stock your pantry and freezer with nourishing convenience foods- Kelly Jones
  • Strive for even just one hour of food prep – it can make a huge difference all week long!- Lindsay Livingston
  • Prioritize satisfaction with eating experiences- Kelly Jones
  • Include cultural foods! – Starla Garcia
  • Take 3 deep breaths before eating each meal to practice mindfulness- Ellie Meyers
  • Keep easy snacks on hand- Kelly Jones
  • Focus on super simple cooking/meals to help with overwhelm/time barriers- Julie Andrews
  • Include at least one fruit or vegetable with each meal and snack- Ellie Meyers
  • Focus on easy, nourishing recipes and taking the guilt out of “convenience” products (AKA processed foods). – Liz Weiss
  • Focus on adding in instead of focusing on restricting- Kim Hoban
  • Monitor urine color to ensure that you are well hydrated- Ellie Meyers
  • Use pre-prepared options- Brynn McDowell
  • Remember that your body is unique – what works for someone else doesn’t automatically mean it works for you- Amanda Sauceda
  • Start small! You don’t have to change every single thing at once. Try to do one prep at a time per week- Marita Radloff
  • Embrace a mindset of experimentation, practicing different approaches so you learn to trust your body, aligning your behaviors with your purpose and values- Jenna Braddock
  • Zoom out instead of zooming in and micromanaging everything- Laura Ligos
  • Start where you are at in your journey- Julie Harrington
  • Remember that nothing is ever going to be perfect- Rhyan Geiger

These unrestrictive nutrition goal examples can help you build confidence in the process of nourishing yourself and your families. The more you build confidence and recognize the small changes you are making, the more fun you have along the way! If you want more guidance in setting some practical nutrition goals, check out our Fitness Nutrition Foundations course.

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