Positive Nutrition


The word nutrition means “the process of nourishing or being nourished” - a positive association between health and food. Unfortunately, health and nutrition information often focuses on the negative; what we are doing wrong or not doing enough of. Headlines such as “We eat too much”, “Too many carbs” and “Inactive lifestyles” scream at us each time we open a newspaper or turn on the television. While awareness of health is important, focusing on the negative is not exactly an inspiring way to approach lifestyle change. If anything, a negative focus tends to make us feel worse than we already do, emphasising the bad and not providing us with any useful strategies to move forward. 



Instead, developing your own positive nutrition mindset can be as easy as making a slight shift in the way you think about food, nutrition and your body. For example, rather than fostering the thoughts, “I am fat and need to go on a diet”, a positive nutrition mindset would ask, “What will be gained in my life if I eat better and lose some weight?” 

Examples of negative lifestyle assumptions held by many people, assumptions that actually tend to hold us back from making lifestyle changes include the idea that there are “good” and “bad” foods; that dieting means food restriction and that healthy eating means choosing boring food options.

While there may be general health recommendations about what we should eat, there are actually no rules but what constitutes an “ideal” diet - every single one of us will have different food likes and dislikes, different lifestyles and different nutritional needs, and hence different diets. Similarly, there are no good or bad foods. Every food can potentially be included on a healthy eating plan; it simply is a matter of balancing the amount and type of food you eat with the weight you would like to be. The only thing that is definite is where you want to be in terms of your weight and your health, and then choosing the style of eating and activity that will take you there. For some, this will mean extra exercise to compensate for extra food, while for others; a strict diet in the week followed by a more relaxed approach over weekends will work well.

To develop your own positive nutrition mindset, start to ask yourself some pro-active lifestyle questions that will help to guide you in developing a diet and exercise regime that is right for you. Key questions to ask and make a note of the answer include: 

  • What sort of diet has worked well for your previously?
  • What do you want your weight to be in 5 and 10 years time?
  • What habits need to be changed to move you towards this goal?
  • What food do you really enjoy eating?
  • What type of exercise helps you to feel good about your body?

Simply make a list of all the diet and exercise changes you could make that will help you move towards your weight related goals. Once you have your list, identify the most attractive and sustainable options you can implement in your life immediately – there is no need to wait. For example, if you know you need to move more, rather than join a gym which you know you dislike immensely, perhaps getting off the bus a stop earlier is an achievable option to begin with, and one you can begin today.

A rule of thumb is to start with the easiest changes first and then progress to the more challenging ones, and to work on just one change at a time. Starting small and building is the key to long-term lifestyle change, particularly in relation to food and exercise habits.  

Not only does focusing on the positive aspects of eating benefit you, it also benefits your family. Imagine if you could avoid subjecting your own children to the dieting cycle that you have lived with? Of no nagging, no fighting or food stealing which often occurs when certain types of food are continually banned, concentrating instead on telling your children what they can eat, about the foods that taste good and that are also good for their bodies.  Finding your positive nutrition mindset will let you achieve this. 

Box Out Dieting Mindset

Positive Nutrition Mindset

I need to eat less

I need to eat better quality food

I am fat and need to lose weight

Losing weight will help me to feel better

Eating healthy means eating boring

Healthy food is nourishing my body

Junk food tastes good

Junk food is not giving my body what it needs

I hate exercise

My body loves movement

Losing weight means a strict diet

Losing weight means a diet that suits you


Susie Burrell

Please note: This blog aims to supply user-friendly nutrition information for busy people without comprising on food taste and quality but should be used as a guide only and not in place of advice from your own dietitian or medical specialist. For further information on this topic, please consult your health professional. The content of this blog, including attachments, may be privileged and confidential. Any un-authorised use of this content is expressly prohibited. Any views that are expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender expressly, and with authority, states them to be the views of Susie Burrell Pty Ltd.
Category: Nutrition

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