1. Start slow, and make your goals realistic. It will be easier to get yourself on a diet and stick with it if you make small, gradual changes, rather than one big change. Make small steps, like switching from butter to olive oil when cooking and drinking more water. As these small changes become a habit, it will be easier to add other changes. Don’t try to be perfect, and don’t get disappointed if it doesn’t work out right away. Things like this take time.
2. Think of water and exercise as food groups in your diet. Water will help flush your system of toxins, and a lack of it will cause dehydration, which has it’s own set of complications (tiredness, headaches, etc.) It is easy to confuse your thirst for hunger, so drinking more water will make it easier to stick to your new diet and make healthier food choices.Find an activity that you like and add it to your day, just like you would the healthier foods that make up your new diet. Regular exercise can also help you make healthier food choices as a habit.
3. Moderation is the key to living a healthy lifestyle. Moderation is, essentially, only eating what your body needs, and for most of us, that means eating less than we do today. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, not stuffed (That bloated feeling is a sign that you’ve probably eaten too much). Moderation is also about balance. We all need a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins (from food, not pills), and minerals for our body to be healthy.
4. Try not to think of certain foods as “off limits”. When you ban yourself from eating certain foods, it only makes you want them more, and you feel like you’ve failed if you give in to that temptation. If you are drawn to certain unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. The less often you eat these foods, the less of an impact they will make on your body if the rest of your diet is healthy. As you eat them less and less often, you will find yourself craving them less and less, or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
5. Using smaller plates can help you subconsciously lower your serving sizes. If you use a standard dinner plate, try downsizing to one a little smaller. We are normally raised to finish what’s on the plate, and a smaller plate can help you feel fuller even though you’ve eaten less. Start with vegetables before moving on to the entree.
Overall, remember that even if you have setbacks, stick with your diet, and you won’t go wrong. By the end of the year, you may be off of the junk foods, and living a healthier life, feeling satisfied with your progress.