Making healthy eating choices is crucial in achieving overall wellness and improving one’s quality of life. But many people struggle to maintain healthy eating habits.
Setting SMART goals is a fantastic way to reach successful outcomes. Luckily, this post will cover SMART goals examples for healthy eating, which you can use as a starting template. You will finally have the resources to promote healthier eating habits.
What is a SMART Goal?
The SMART system will allow you to develop practical goals for healthy eating. In case you don’t know, SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Still confused? Here is a better explanation of each SMART letter:
When you fully understand your goal, you can finally take active steps toward reaching it. You can create an action plan outlining what must be done to succeed.
For example, if you want to lose weight, make a goal like “focus on replacing unhealthy snacks with healthier options” or “cutting back on processed foods.”
Measurement allows you to track progress and determine whether the goals are being accomplished.
Consider factors such as the number of servings of vegetables daily and the time spent preparing meals from scratch. You’ll better understand how far along you’ve come in meeting your targets.
To make meaningful strides towards a healthier lifestyle, be honest about what it takes. Stay realistic in your goal setting; rather than resolving to cut out all snacks from your diet, focus on implementing only a few changes at a time—such as replacing sugary snacks with nuts or fruits.
Creating relevant goals that align with your values will prop you forward, even in times of difficulty. When setting goals that reflect your core values, consider your needs and desires. Do some soul-searching—identify your passions and ambitions, then carve out a path to achieve them.
A timeline for your goal-setting process won’t just keep you accountable; it will also help you stay organized and encourage you to stay the course.
Depending on your project’s complexity and scope, these deadlines could range from weeks to months. Once these deadlines have been set in stone, you’ll have a clearer path toward success.
13 SMART Goals Examples for Healthy Eating
Here are 13 examples of SMART goals for healthy eating:
1. Increase Fruits and Veggies
SMART Goal: I want to increase the number of fruits and vegetables in my diet in three weeks. To do this, I’ll eat a piece of fruit or a side salad with every lunch and dinner. I’ll also switch out starchy sides like french fries and chips for a healthier option.
- Specific: This SMART goal is detailed because the person has a clear plan for increasing their intake of fruits and vegetables.
- Measurable: You could track how often you eat fruits and vegetables throughout the week.
- Attainable: This goal is realistic for most people because adding fruit or salad to each meal requires little effort.
- Relevant: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables benefits your overall health and wellness.
- Time-based: The individual aims to accomplish this particular goal in three weeks.
2. Cut Sugar Intake
SMART Goal: I want to cut my sugar intake by 20% in the following three months. I plan to replace sweet snacks with healthier options like fruits, nuts, and whole grains.
- Specific: The statement is easy to understand, detailing the objective and how it will be reached.
- Measurable: You can regularly check how much you have reduced sugar consumption.
- Attainable: This is feasible by making dietary changes and replacing unhealthy snacks with healthier alternatives.
- Relevant: This goal is pertinent to healthy eating as it reduces sugar intake.
- Time-based: There is a three-month deadline for success.
3. Plan Meals Ahead
SMART Goal: I’ll plan my meals ahead of time each week to ensure I have access to nutritious and healthy food after a long day of work. I’ll make a list of meals and snacks to prepare ahead of time and have ready to go. This way, I’ll never be tempted to make unhealthy choices or grab takeout when I’m in a hurry.
- Specific: You’ll plan out meals and snacks for the week to ensure healthy options are available.
- Measurable: Spend time every week planning out your meals and snacks.
- Attainable: Planning can easily be achieved with dedication and time.
- Relevant: Making healthy food choices consists of planning and avoiding temptation.
- Time-based: Consider this goal reoccurring; you’ll achieve it every week.
4. Drink More Water
SMART Goal: I want to drink more water throughout the day to stay hydrated and energized. I’ll keep a reusable water bottle with me and aim to drink three liters daily within two months.
- Specific: This goal states what action needs to be taken (drinking water) and how much should be consumed in a time frame (three liters in two months).
- Measurable: You could count how many refills you’ve done and the total number of liters consumed.
- Attainable: It’s reasonable to assume that drinking three liters of water daily is doable.
- Relevant: Drinking more water is beneficial for your health and hydration.
- Time-based: The goal should be completed within two months.
5. Avoid Processed Foods
SMART Goal: By the end of two months, I’ll strive to avoid processed foods and instead focus on eating primarily whole, natural ingredients. I hope to shop at local farmers’ markets and read ingredient labels at the grocery store to avoid processed foods.
- Specific: The goal is well-defined. The individual knows they want to avoid processed foods and focus on eating whole, natural ingredients.
- Measurable: You can track how often you shop at local farmers’ markets and read ingredient labels.
- Attainable: This is absolutely doable if given the necessary resources and time.
- Relevant: The statement is appropriate for people’s desire to eat healthily.
- Time-based: Goal completion will be met within two months.
6. Eat Whole Grains
SMART Goal: My aim is to increase my intake of whole grains by replacing two refined starchy foods with healthier, whole grain options within this month. I’ll read labels and choose items with ‘whole grain’ or ‘whole wheat’ as the first ingredient.
- Specific: This is explicit because the person will replace two refined starchy foods with whole grain options.
- Measurable: Keep track of your food intake by taking notes or using an app.
- Attainable: This SMART goal is achievable if you take the time to read labels and choose the right food items.
- Relevant: Eating whole grains will give you more fiber and other essential nutrients, which is a reasonable goal.
- Time-based: One month is required to accomplish the goal.
7. Cook at Home More Often
SMART Goal: I’ll cook dinner at home three nights a week by the end of two months. I want to save money while encouraging myself to be more mindful of my ingredients and meals.
- Specific: The goal is detailed because it details how many nights a week you will cook.
- Measurable: You can evaluate success by logging how many meals you cook.
- Attainable: Realize that cooking at home three nights a week is not an impossible task.
- Relevant: The goal is relevant to creating healthier meals while saving money.
- Time-based: You should be able to achieve this goal in two months.
8. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
SMART Goal: I will reduce my alcohol intake from thrice a week to once per week after 6 months. I want to improve my overall nutrition and reduce health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
- Specific: You aim to reduce alcohol intake from three times per week to once a week.
- Measurable: The amount of alcohol consumed can be measured regularly.
- Attainable: This is reasonable because it allows the individual to gradually reduce their intake.
- Relevant: The goal directly relates to improving nutrition and minimizing health risks.
- Time-based: The goal is time-bound because it has an end date of 6 months.
9. Practice Mindful Eating
SMART Goal: I want to become more mindful of my eating habits within three months. I’ll take the time to appreciate my food and savor my meals’ taste, texture, and smell. I’ll also be mindful of how much I eat and not overeat or rush my meals.
- Specific: The SMART goal defines the objective and timeline for completion.
- Measurable: Track how often you pause to appreciate your food and savor the flavor.
- Attainable: This is possible because mindful eating can be learned within the given time frame.
- Relevant: Being mindful of eating habits and becoming aware of one’s eating habits can improve overall health.
- Time-based: The goal has a three-month window for success.
10. Track Calorie Intake
SMART Goal: I will track my daily calorie intake using a food journal or mobile app for the next two months. I’ll stay within a reasonable range of my recommended daily total and use calorie tracking to identify areas where I can make healthier food choices.
- Specific: The person has identified the exact means for tracking calorie intake.
- Measurable: You’ll be able to measure progress by logging food entries and ensuring the total calories consumed don’t exceed the daily recommended amount.
- Attainable: This goal is doable because two months gives you enough time to adjust your diet.
- Relevant: Monitoring calorie intake will definitely help you make healthier food choices.
- Time-based: Two months is the timeline given to reach this goal.
11. Balance Macronutrients
SMART Goal: Within three months, I will be able to identify macronutrients and understand their importance for a balanced diet. I’ll aim to create meal plans that contain carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats in the right proportions.
- Specific: This goal is about learning about macronutrients and creating meal plans incorporating them.
- Measurable: You can identify macronutrients and create meal plans with the right proportions.
- Attainable: Learning about macronutrients isn’t impossible and can be achieved with research.
- Relevant: Understanding macronutrients can allow you to create healthy and balanced meal plans.
- Time-based: The timeline for this particular goal is three months.
12. Try New Recipes Regularly
SMART Goal: To encourage healthy eating, I will try one new recipe weekly for three months. I’ll take the time to incorporate good ingredients, like fresh vegetables and lean proteins. I want to also document what I make to recreate it in the future.
- Specific: This goal is clear because it focuses on trying new recipes weekly for three months.
- Measurable: Track your progress by documenting your recipes and ingredients used.
- Attainable: This is attainable because it gives you a reasonable timeline for finding and trying new recipes.
- Relevant: Trying new recipes is a great way to get creative with eating healthy.
- Time-based: Goal achievement is anticipated after three months.
13. Avoid Fast Food
SMART Goal: I’ll avoid eating fast food for 5 months by preparing my meals ahead of time and packing them for lunch. I plan to shop weekly for fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to make healthy meals.
- Specific: This goal is straightforward because it sets a precise method for avoiding fast food.
- Measurable: Count the days you have gone without eating fast food.
- Attainable: Limiting access to fast food by preparing meals ahead of time is absolutely doable.
- Relevant: Avoiding fast food is an integral part of having a healthy diet.
- Time-based: You have 5 whole months to meet this certain goal.
Establishing SMART goals for healthy eating enables you to achieve your desired dietary changes. Froming reducing sugar intake to eating more plant-based foods, these SMART goals offer a structure for success.
All it takes is committing yourself with focus and determination to become your healthiest self. Remember that consistency is key; take things one step at a time, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
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