No matter how much you want to eat a healthy diet, it can be tough to stick with the good food habits when you are not used to it. Learning to eat a healthy diet is part of an overall lifestyle change that you will want to maintain for the long term. That means that you need to find ways to be comfortable with your new diet so that it is easier to continue.
1. Keep a Food Journal
A food journal is a great way to keep track of what you are really eating every day so that you can adjust it to fit your new health goals. Write down everything you eat all day long for a week. After the week is over, look through the journal to see how you can make subtle healthy changes.
2. Build a Menu for the Week
Eating healthy does not mean sacrificing taste. All you need to do is plan what you eat so that you can make sure it is balanced and contains the vitamins and nutrients that you need. At the beginning of each week, sit down and list all of the meals you plan to eat over the week. Making a menu will help you stick to your planned diet more easily and it also gives you a chance to carefully consider each meal for the entire week.
3. Throw out the Junk Food
Go through your cabinets and refrigerator and get rid of all of the unhealthy junk that you find. If you do not want to throw it away, find someone to give it to. It will be far easier to keep your daily diet healthy if you do not have unhealthy temptation just a few steps away. Refrain from buying new packages of junk when you go to the store. You do not have to cut out junk food entirely, but it is safer to make the junk snacks special treats rather than something that is always in the cabinet.
4. Stash Healthy Snacks at Home and Work
Find healthy low-fat and low-sodium snacks that you like and keep them everywhere you like to snack. Dried fruits, nuts, fresh vegetables, and other healthy snacks will help you get through the hunger between meals without tempting you to find something that is not good for you. If it is easier to get to the healthy snack than it is to get to the unhealthy snack, you are more likely to choose the healthy option.
5. Experiment With new Recipes
Get creative with your weekly menu. The internet is full of recipes that use healthy foods in new and unusual ways. Every week try to plan one meal that is something you have never tried before. You will look forward to the new food adventure and it can be fun to introduce healthy foods through a new experience.
6. Avoid Eating Out
Eating out is the worst enemy of a healthy diet. Try to cook your own meals and eat at home as often as possible. If your time is limited during the week, take some extra time on the weekend to cook healthy meals and then freeze them so that you can enjoy them quickly on the weekdays. Pack your lunches rather than hitting the local fast food restaurant. It can take some time to cut eating out entirely from your diet, but you will feel better and save money if you can manage to eat at home.
7. Eat Several Small Meals Rather Than Three Large Ones
Break up your meals over the day. When you have smaller meals every few hours, you will feel full longer and it will be easier to moderate portion sizes. Eating smaller and more often also allows your digestive system to manage the food more comfortably because it is never overwhelmed with large portions.
8. Allow Yourself a Daily Treat
Write something into your diet that is a treat every day. Allow yourself a small ice cream or 3 of your favorite cookies. This will keep you from feeling deprived, which will keep you from gorging on junk food when you get tired of being good.