Simple Ways to Stick to a Healthy Diet

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Eating healthy can help you lose weight and have more energy. It can also improve your mood and reduce your risk of disease. Yet despite these benefits, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can be challenging.

Here are ways to stick to a healthy diet.

Start with realistic expectations

Eating a nutritious diet has many benefits, including potential weight loss. However, it’s important to set realistic expectations. For example, if you pressure yourself to lose weight too quickly, your plan to achieve better health may backfire.

Researchers found that obese people who expected to lose a lot of weight were more likely to drop out of a weight loss program within 6–12 months. Setting a more realistic and achievable goal can keep you from getting discouraged and may even lead to greater weight loss.

Having realistic expectations increases your chances of maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Think about what really motivates you

Remembering why you’re making healthy choices can help you stay on course. Making a list of specific reasons why you want to get healthier can be helpful. Keep this list handy and refer to it when you feel you need a reminder. When you’re tempted to indulge in unhealthy behaviors, remembering what motivates you can help you stay on track.


Keep unhealthy foods out of the house

It’s difficult to eat healthy if you’re surrounded by junk foods. If other family members want to have these foods around, try keeping them hidden rather than on countertops.

The saying “out of sight, out of mind” definitely applies here. Having food on display in various areas of the house has been linked to obesity and increased consumption of unhealthy foods.

Keeping unhealthy foods out of the house, or at least out of sight, can increase your chances of staying on track.

Don’t have an ‘all or nothing’ approach

A major roadblock to achieving a healthy diet and lifestyle is black-and-white thinking. One common scenario is that you have a few unhealthy appetizers at a party, decide that your diet is ruined for the day, and proceed to overindulge in unhealthy foods.

Instead of considering the day ruined, try putting the past behind you and choosing healthy, unprocessed foods that contain protein for the remainder of the party.

This will help you feel full and satisfied rather than stuffed and frustrated. A few off-plan choices make very little difference in the long run, as long as you balance them with healthy foods.

Rejecting the urge to judge your day as “good” or “bad” can prevent you from overeating and making poor choices.


Carry healthy snacks

Sticking to a healthy diet can be tough when you’re away from home for extended periods. When you get too hungry on the go, you may end up grabbing whatever is available. This is often processed food that doesn’t really satisfy hunger and isn’t good for you in the long run.

Having healthy high-protein snacks on hand can help keep your appetite in check until you’re able to have a full meal. Some examples of good, portable snacks are almonds, peanuts, and jerky. Also consider filing a small cooler with hard-boiled eggs, cheese, or Greek yogurt.

Take healthy, high-protein snacks when you’re on the road or traveling in case you’re unable to eat a meal for several hours.

Exercise and change diet at the same time

You may have heard you shouldn’t change too many things at once when trying to improve your health. In general, this is good advice. Still, research shows that when you make both dietary and physical activity changes at the same time, the results tend to reinforce each other.

In a study in 200 people, those who began eating a healthy diet and exercising at the same time found it easier to maintain these behaviors than those who started with either diet or exercise alone, then added the other later.

Simultaneously beginning to exercise and changing the way you eat increases your chances of healthy lifestyle success.


Have a game plan before eating out

Trying to maintain a healthy diet while eating out can be very challenging. Still, there are ways to make it easier, such as checking out the menu before you go or drinking water before and during the meal.

It’s best to have a strategy in place before you get to the restaurant rather than being overwhelmed once you get there.

Having a plan before eating out can help you make healthier food choices 🙂 🙂

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