8 Tricks to Eat Healthy Even When You’re Not Motivated

You know the basics: A forkful of salad is healthier than a mouthful pizza. Get your hand out of the late night Doritos bag and onto a warm mug of herbal tea instead. Blah Blah Blah, right?

But what if you just don’t care about the repercussions in that moment? What if you’re sick of trying to eat perfectly and feel like you freaking deserve that half pint of gelato whenever you damn well please thank you very much? Or you’re actually following a nutrition plan, but no one’s around, and your kiddos left plenty of leftover nuggets & mac n’ cheese for you? Then what do you do?

This is when you need a little help. When you’ve fallen off the wagon for longer than what’s reasonably comfortable and need a strong & willing hand to pull you back on. Or how ’bout when you’ve reached your goal weight (happy dance!) but the last time this happened you gained it all back, and them some…

So here’s your strong & willing hand. These are 8 mind tricks to eat healthy even when you’re not motivated. When you want to lose weight in the long term, but don’t feel like working on it in the short term, choose 3 of the 8 tricks and make them your own. Don’t feel like reading? Watch the video at the end of this article instead!

{Psssst: Don’t have time to read the blog post? Download your Nutrition Motivation Pocket Guide here. It’s a snapshot of all 8 Tricks listed below!}


1. Remember What Food Is Actually For

It’s fuel, yo. We were designed to eat for energy. To keep our hearts beating, blood pumping, brain thriving, muscles sculpting. Yes, there are some soulful aspects to red wine and dark chocolate, but those aren’t the ones keeping the lights on. Ya feel?

Unmotivated Thought: Uuuuugh that Denny’s Grand Slam was bonkers this morning. So I might as well order a pizza tonight and top it off with a pint of pistachio gelato & half a bottle of cab. I’ll start fresh tomorrow.

Eat Healthy Trick: You’re not doing yourself any favors here. You’re now MORE inclined to wake up craving more junk. If you’re about to slide down the slippery slope, remember: Solid nutrition nourishes the body and mind. Most of the nutrients your body needs to both survive & thrive come from the foods we eat. So yes, you are what you eat.

2. Read Up on What Unhealthy Food Does TO Your Bod

If you’ve read any books or blogs on elimination diets, they get into why you may wanna ditch certain foods for a certain period of time due to what studies have shown those foods may do to your body.

Unmotivated Thought: Everybody’s Whole30ing and I’m over here like “WTF is wrong with Greek yogurt and peanut butter?!” 

Eat Healthy Trick: There has been some science around the potentially harmful affects of foods like wheat, gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, beans, soy. Should you give these up completely forever? Hale no! Should your diet consist of only these foods all day errry day? Hale no! Do the work and look into it, but here’s a quick run down in the meantime:

  • Many studies have linked diet with health outcomes including cancer (yup, dropping the C word here), osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes.
  • A research study show that approximately 16% of deaths in men and 9% in women could have been prevented by choosing a healthier diet.
  • Each person’s body reacts differently to different foods, but eating too much of the bad stuff may lead to:
    • Inflammation
    • Early signs of aging
    • Bloating
    • Fatigue
    • Skin irritation
    • Brain fog
    • Slowing down of the healing process
    • Feeding the bad bacteria in your gut
    • Slippery slope syndrome (not being able to get back on track)


3. Read Up on What Health Promoting Foods Do FOR Your Bod

Let’s take a lesson from our Netflix friends, the StoryBots:

  • Proteins build
  • Fats protect
  • Minerals and vitamins prevent
  • Carbohydrates give you energy to keep you alert
  • You can’t get all of that from dessert

Unmotivated Thought: I kinda want something to eat, but I don’t want carrots, or an apple, I’ll just have some sweet potato chips or a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips to fill the void.

Eat Healthy Trick: Instead of falling victim to what your mind wants, grab the remote and change the channel to what your BODY NEEDS. In that moment of choice, think of how you felt yesterday:

  • Brain fog at work? 
    • Grab Healthy Fats: Nuts, olives, avocado, high-quality cheese
  • Energy low at the gym? 
    • Grab Complex Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, squash
  • Body aches, throat scratches or sinus congestion? 
    • Grab Vitamins & Minerals: Fruits & vegetables with Vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium.

4. Repeat After Me: Consistency Compounds 

This is actually a quote from the famous author John C. Maxwell. Be states it in terms of business & leadership, but it completely works for health & wellness too. The more often you eat something, the more it will impact you – whether it’s kale or brownies.

Unmotivated Thought: I have this nightly habit of drinking 2 to 3 glasses of wine, every evening. I’ve definitely gone up a size since last year, but it’s def not from the wine, right? 

Eat Healthy Trick: You are the collection of your habits. If you habitually consume 300 extra calories a day, and you’re not burning off an extra 300 calories a day, simple science & math states that the pounds will increase. Additionally, you may feel even worse the next day and continue to make more poor nutritional choices.

Moral of the story: Whatever you do consistently {be it late-night snacking or intermittent fasting / party appetizer hoarding or weekend wine only} will add up, and then some.


5. Get Legit Inspiration

No, I’m not talking about Instagram. I’m talking about LEGIT resources that remind you what’s up when it comes to nutrition.

Unmotivated Thought: Gah @eatshealthyallthetime literally eats healthy all the time. I’ll never be able to eat healthy all the time with my work schedule, kids schedule, social schedule, etc.

Eat Healthy Trick: Print out some of these downloads and tape them to your fridge or pantry for helpful reminders! You may not WANT to grab the carrots & hummus, but sometimes, honey, ya should.

  1. US Department of Agriculture’s My Plate
  2. Harvard Healthy Eating Plate

Both of these resources have nutrition recommendations for kids, too!

6. Set a Little Goal

Wow, we’re over halfway through the article and she FINALLY mentions goals?! That’s because I know you, and you’ve already read enough about goals. You’ve HAD IT with the goals! But sometimes, it’s that little goal that sparks action and creates change

Unmotivated Thought: Goals are the WORST. New Years Resolutions are SO BAD for you. You only last 3 weeks, forget all about them, and feel like a failure. I’m out.

Healthy Eating Trick: Think for a moment. What’s bothering you when it comes to your health & wellness. Are those skinny jeans not buttoning as well? Wish you could run faster at your Orange Theory class? Start SMALL. Create the tiniest goal ever connected to fixing what’s bothering you. Like “drink at least 1 glass of water today” or “don’t have a treat JUST today this week.”

Accomplishing a teeny tiny health goal will boost your confidence towards striving for even bigger ones.


7. Make It a Game

Still not into goals? Make it a game! If you get enough stickers or check marks or pics of healthy food that you’re HONESTLY gonna eat, you get a date night or a mani-pedi, etc. Keep it going and simply see what happens!

Unmotivated Thought: I’m not going to tell myself I can only try two appetizers at the event tonight. That’s the straight up definition of crazy talk and I won’t stand for it!

Eat Healthy Trick: Ok so tonight. There are going to be apps, not entirely health-promoting apps, and lots of them. I can either go hog wild and hate on myself with regret tomorrow per usual, OR I could fuel up at home with a super healthy dish before I go, THEN pick the best two apps to try. If I stick to this plan, I earn a sticker for the calendar.

If you download the Nutrition Motivation Pocket Guide, you could also make a game of choosing one of the 8 Clean Eating Tricks each week. Each week you stick to a trick, give yourself a check mark towards your reward. OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress mani here you come!

8. Connect It to Something You LOVE

When you want to feel trimmer & more energetic, and you know you should eat healthier to get there, but you just don’t feel like it, linking it to something you’re passionate about outside of health can work.

Unmotivated Thought: If I lose the extra 20 pounds of my baby weight, I’ll probably be more confident in my conversations, but my friends & family love me no matter what, so maybe I don’t really need put in the effort.

Eat Healthy Trick: What about your job? Would being more focused & confident in your job motivate you to hop back on the nutrition train? How about your family? Would your kiddos be blown away to see how fast you can run or jump rope or swim?


When All Else Fails: Consider Why You’re Reading this Article in the First Place

Remember: Choosing healthier option does NOT have to mean avoiding all the foods you love. After all, quality of life is an important part of being healthy, too.

But if you DO want to slim down, tone up, gain energy or appreciate life a little more, and you’re finding it hard to stay committed to consistent healthy habits, do this:

Take Action

  1. Download the Nutrition Motivation Pocket Guide with the 8 Tricks to Eat Healthy Even When You’re Note Motivated.
  2. Choose 3 of the 8 tricks that resonate with you best.
  3. Over the next 3 weeks, try 1 of your 3 tricks each week when you know you should eat healthy, but you’re just not motivated in the moment.
  4. Decide which of your Top 3 Tricks works best for you, and use it on the daily so you can start choosing healthier options more naturally & confidently.

You can keep this post-it sized printable at your desk, in your wallet, on your fridge or in your pantry anytime you need a reminder of these 8 Tricks.

Want a companion guide to this blog post? Watch my Facebook & Instagram Live video on the 8 Tricks to Eat Healthy When You’re Not Motivated below! 

Final Note

A healthy diet for one person may not be healthy for someone else. Personal preference and specific medical dietary needs can both influence what makes up an optimal diet for an individual. Keep this in mind when weighing your healthy options.

Lots of Love,
Coach Katie

WholeHardy Integrative Health Coaching include: Nutrition, Mindset, Fitness, Personal Development, Sleep, Stress Management, Spirituality.
The Coaching Method of WholeHardy Health LLC helps you identify your health obstacles and overcome them, so you can be your healthiest, happiest, most productive self. Grab your free 5 Step Blueprint to Identifying & Overcoming Your Biggest Health Challenges here.

PS: Have you joined our Facebook Tribe yet?

What are you waiting for?! We’re constantly sharing meal prep inspo & wins & fails & encouragement & motivation. CLICK HERE and join in on the conversation!

PPS: Did you grab your FREE 5 Step Blueprint to identify & overcome your most frustrating health challenges?

Get it HERE so you can FINALLY reach those bold health goals you’ve been attempting to achieve for years.

PPSS: Have you scheduled your FREE 30-minute Health Obstacle Breakthrough Call?

Schedule it HERE and we’ll pick a date & time that works best for you to discuss what you want for your health, what’s driving you to want it, what’s been stopping you from getting it, and how to overcome that block and finally achieve the vision of health you’ve been workin on for years. Schedule it now! What have you got to lose?


2 thoughts on “8 Tricks to Eat Healthy Even When You’re Not Motivated

  1. This information is…and you are…incredible!! Thank you! I need to print and refer each time I go for the bad!!

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