14 Simple Ways To Stick To A Healthy Diet


Published:

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 14 ways to stick to a healthy diet.

1. 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 (1). Setting a more realistic and achievable goal can keep you from getting discouraged and may even lead to greater weight loss.

2. 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.

3. 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 (23).

4. 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.

5. 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 (4). Some examples of good, portable snacks are almonds, peanuts, and jerky. Also consider filling a small cooler with hard-boiled eggs, cheese, or Greek yogurt.

6. 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 (5).

7. 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. Here are 20 clever tips to eat healthy when eating out.

8. Don't let traveling derail you

Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, being outside of your familiar territory can make it difficult to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips:

  • Research the restaurants and supermarkets ahead of time.
  • Pack some healthy foods that don't spoil easily.
  • Challenge yourself to stay on track for most of the trip.

9. Practice mindful eating

Eating mindfully can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Take time to enjoy your food and appreciate its ability to nourish you. This increases your chances of making successful, lasting behavioral changes. In a four-month study, overweight and obese women who practiced mindful eating significantly improved their relationship with food (6).

Another 6-week study in women with binge eating disorder found that binge episodes decreased from 4 to 1.5 per week when the women practiced mindful eating. Plus, the severity of each binge decreased (7).

10. Track and monitor your progress

Logging the foods you eat into a diary, online food tracker, or app can help you stick to a healthy diet and lose weight (8910). Measuring your exercise progress is also beneficial and provides you with motivation that can help you keep going. In a three-month study, overweight women who were given pedometers walked farther and lost six times more weight than those who didn't use them (11).

11. Get a partner to join you

Sticking with a healthy eating and exercise plan can be tough to do on your own. Having a diet or exercise buddy may be helpful, especially if that person is your partner or spouse (1213). Researchers studying data from over 3,000 couples found that when one person made a positive lifestyle change, such as increasing physical activity, the other was more likely to follow their lead (13).

12. Start the day with a high-protein breakfast

If your first meal is well balanced and contains adequate protein, you're more likely to maintain stable blood sugar levels and not overeat for the rest of the day (1415). In one study, overweight women who consumed at least 30 grams of protein at breakfast felt more satisfied and ate fewer calories at lunch than those who ate a lower-protein breakfast (15).

13. Realize that it takes time to change your habits

Don't be discouraged if it takes longer than you expect to adapt to your new, healthy way of living. Researchers have found that it takes an average of 66 days to make a new behavior a habit (16). Eventually, eating healthy and exercising regularly will become automatic.

14. Figure out what works best for you

There is no perfect way that works for everyone. It's important to find a way of eating and exercising that you enjoy, find sustainable, and can stick to for the rest of your life. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run.

The bottom line

Breaking your habits and improving your diet is not easy. However, several strategies can help you stick to your diet plans and lose weight. These include mindful eating, keeping unhealthy snacks out of sight, carrying healthy snacks, and managing your expectations. Still, one of the keys to a successful diet is finding out what works for you in the long term. If you’re trying to lose weight, some of the strategies above may give you a significant advantage.

Franziska Spritzler has a BSc in nutrition and dietetics. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with expertise in carbohydrate-restricted diets for diabetes and weight management. She enjoys a vibrant lifestyle that includes healthy foods, walking on the beach, and performing a combination of resistance, cardio, and flexibility exercises to stay fit.

This article was republished from Healthline.

See also:
Flexitarian Diet: Your Starter’s Guide And Sample Diet Plan
Health Benefits Of Fasting: Splitting Fact From Fiction

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

September 24, 2019

Before sunrise the Moon enters Leo where she harmonizes with the Libra Sun and puts the day on comfortable footing. Everyone is a star in some way. Mental Mercury is also in a fine sextile with optimistic Jupiter today. Mental faculties are sharp and…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

September 2019

It’s time for a workshop!  One plus one always equals two. In a similar fashion EFT plus Law of Attraction always equals effective and positive change. Teaching Emotional Freedom...

Cost: $40

Where:
21 Wiles Farm Road
Northboro, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Medicine My Way
Telephone: 508-523-7132
Website »

More information

In this 90 minute workshop you will find clarity in what brings you joy. You will create your personal vision statement that will help guide you to living a more satisfied, balanced life. This...

Cost: $25 early-bird till 9/20 ($30 after)

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

Witness the healing power of mediumship! Join New England's own trusted spirit medium Raylene Sousa and top UK medium Dominic Boag from Scotland for an afternoon of spirit messages. If...

Cost: $40

Where:
The Little Meetinghouse
723 Roosevelt Trail
Windham, ME  04062
View map »


Sponsor: Raylene Sousa Medium LLC
Telephone: 207-956-0220
Contact Name: Raylene Sousa
Website »

More information

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

2nd and 4th Monday of every month This psychic message circle is for anyone wishing to raise their connection using their psychic centers known as the “clairs.” Learn how to use...

Cost: $20

Where:
Messages From Heaven Healing and Learning Center
646 Central Street
Suite 3
Leominster, MA
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Members of the Reflexology Association of NH will be offering “mini” hand or foot reflexology sessions at the Salt Cave within Bien Soigne in honor of World Reflexology Week.

Cost: Donations suggested $15 - $20

Where:
Bien Soigne Salt Cave
350 North Broadway
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: Reflexology Association of NH
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

September 25–October 29, 2019 Expert Tai Chi instructor and Qigong Master Instructor Terry Dunn will be giving a total of four five-day intensive workshops in October 2019 at Eastover...

Where:
Eastover Estate & Retreat
430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
View map »


Telephone: 866-264-5139
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

September 26–29 This training at the Center for Mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) uses mindfulness meditation and cognitive therapy to break the cycle of...

Cost: $1,390

Where:
Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
1035 Cambridge St, Suite 21A
Cambridge, MA  02141
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
Telephone: 617-591-6132
Contact Name: Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
Website »

More information

Come detox, relax and renew yourself for the fall in our sanctuary! We have an intimate gathering of great readers and healers providing services at sampler rates to enjoy their services while...

Cost: $60: 3 Pack Service Special; $25: Single Service

Where:
Healing Power Of Flowers—Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Mirabai Starr was an adjunct professor of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years. Her emphasis has always been on making connections between the perennial...

Cost: $20

Where:
First Parish in Lexington
7 Harrington Road
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: Lexington Community Education
Telephone: 781-862-8043
Contact Name: Craig Hall
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Maryellen Labelle, David Sholemson and Steve Cunningham are excited to announce Qigong for Inner Peace teacher training fall term 2019. This 50 hour certification training is appropriate for a wide...

Cost: $1100 / $800 early registration

Where:
Yoga Depot
17 Depot Square
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: Qigong for Inner Peace
Telephone: 617-721-7215
Contact Name: Maryellen Labelle / David Sholemson
Website »

More information

Join life coach Cheryl Richardson and her husband, Michael Gerrish, a psychotherapist and gifted intuitive, for a special evening designed to help you upgrade your life! During this event,...

Cost: $35

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

This Dating Program is the follow-up to Kerri Morrison's workshop, Deliberate Dating: 5 Keys to Successful Online Romance; held Friday, August 16th, 2019 from 6:30-7:30pm. View that event...

Cost: $199

Where:
Awaken Holistic Counseling Services
2 Liberty St., Unit 2L
Newburyport, MA  01950
View map »


Sponsor: Awaken Holistic Counseling Services, LLC
Telephone: 978-255-7893
Contact Name: Kerri Morrison
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn Reiki—revitalizing self-care and healing in the palm of your hands. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (master teacher.) This one-day class covers the...

Cost: $150

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

With Laura Haley, IET Master Instructor Trainer  This class provides you with everything you need to conduct a powerful Integrated Energy Therapy session on yourself or others (either in...

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
Methuen, MA


Telephone: (978) 474-8010
Website »

More information

Learn the benefits of yoga for families as well as how to develop character in children to get them more focused, respectful, and confident before returning back to school this fall! This class...

Cost: $45 early bird till 9/25 (includes child and a parent), $50 after

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

September 28–29 Saturday 10 am Registration; 10 am–5 pm  Sunday 10 am–5 pm This practitioner training takes place over 2 days and offers students the opportunity to...

Cost: Course Fee: $450; Recalibration Appointment: $333

Where:
The Hampton Inn Coventry Warwick
850 Centre Of New England Boulevard
Coventry, RI
View map »


Telephone: 617-366-6042
Website »

More information

September 28–29 Learn hands-on techniques for the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, as well as the sacrum, psoas and ilium. Leave with tools you can use right away. Coming in...

Where:
Downeast School of Massage
Waldoboro, ME


Telephone: (617) 678-8920
Website »

More information

Learn to overcome spinal tensions through therapeutic postures, designed to decompress your spine and relieve pain. Taught by a certified yoga therapist, classes bring you through poses...

Cost: 5/$50

Where:
Bliss Through Yoga
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
View map »


Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice O'Brien
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags