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The half-way point is in sight for Italian cookery writer Valentina Harris, but she’s looking for a motivation boost to lose more cm. Dietitian Lucy Jones has a plan

BREAKING YOUR FINAL GOAL down into smaller challenges gets better results. And there are four simple rules that will make these more likely to succeed…

Start by setting yourself no more than three challenges. If you try to set too many all at once you’re likely to feel overwhelmed. You may feel there are more than three things you want to change, but it’s better to get some early points under your belt and build up your confidence. You can then tackle other challenges.

Second, focus on short-term results. Doing this makes it easier to recognise when you’ve achieved each goal and will help you to feel more positive. If you’re struggling to think of short-term gains, try breaking down a longer-term goal into a series of shorter ones. For example, if you want to eat more fruit and veg, you might decide to start by adding a chopped banana to your cereal every day, or a side salad to your sandwich at lunch.

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About Healthy Food Guide

You can eat carbs! Our dietitian discusses how good carbs can help with your weight loss and energy levels. We find out how one reader reversed his type 2 diabetes through diet, and get an expert update on clean eating and the processed foods you SHOULD be eating. Plus, our food psychologist reveals how you can take control of your willpower and say no to office cake. All this plus 30 calorie–counted recipes in the March issue of Healthy Food Guide.