We all know the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, but sometimes this task can be pretty challenging. The truth is, it’s much easier to eat poorly, so don’t feel guilty when it happens.
The most important thing is that you understand how to control your impulses, knowing your body to avoid exaggerations that damage your health and delay your goals. There is no rule for healthy eating, but there are two things that will make you boost your fitness goals: education and planning.
These 8 steps to stick to a healthy diet can make you achieve your goals faster, whether it’s burning fat, gaining muscle mass, or just getting better health.
If you haven’t read our latest healthy nutrition articles, check it out:
- What are Macronutrients? Starting a Healthy Diet
- Protein Intake Benefits And How Much You Should Eat
- 5 Healthy Carbs You Can Eat Every Day
- High-Protein Foods You Should Be Eating
- 5 Healthy High-Fat Foods That You Can Eat
- 4 Tips To Stop Eating Junk Food
8 Steps to Stick to a Healthy Diet
1. Be Realistic
Being realistic is the first step to stick to a healthy diet. Many people start a diet by setting extremely challenging goals, which makes changing behaviour even more difficult.
Your dietary re-education must consider your limitations – physical or even taste – so that the process is as enjoyable as possible for you.
By setting unattainable goals or hard to reach, you are more susceptible to failure, and when you realize this, you tend to be less consistent. The change process is already complicated, so having realistic goals will make you not discouraged in times of difficulty.
2. Don’t Jump into Crazy Strict Diets
This is the most prominent mistake people who want to burn fat (and lose weight) make. There are several alarming points in a restrictive diet, such as zero-carb diets, among others. The lack of essential nutrients slows down your metabolism, affects your mood, your sleep, your energy level, among others.
Furthermore, it is a process so harmful to the human body that, sooner or later, it will become unsustainable. Because there is no transition process or dietary re-education, most people end up returning to their original weight despite immediate weight loss.
In short, you will not have a healthy lifestyle in the medium and long term, and your body will suffer the consequences of these bad decisions. Regardless of what stage you are in your fitness journey, we strongly recommend that you see a nutritionist.
3. Find Healthy Foods You Actually Like
Trying out new things can be an enjoyable process, and it will help you diversify your diet. Many people have difficulty losing weight simply because they don’t know what they can eat.
Allow yourself to try vegetables and fruits and incorporate them into your routine. Fruits can serve as a substitute for that chocolate you love to eat, while vegetables should complement your main meals.
To lose weight, we have to put our body into a caloric deficit and, if you are used to eating a lot, you may feel hungry in the first few weeks. Fruits and vegetables are usually rich in fibre, which gives you greater satiety, so they are excellent options to relieve your hunger, besides ingesting essential vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of the body.
The most important thing is that you find as many healthy foods as possible to diversify your diet. Think that being healthy is a long-term plan, so it’s easier to stay consistent when more options are on the menu.
4. Get Rid of Unhealthy Foods
It’s simple. Stop buying unhealthy food, and if you have it at home, throw it away. You won’t control your impulses if you have chocolates or high-calorie foods in your fridge.
When you eat something, your body is responsible for digesting the nutrients, while your brain receives the stimuli from that food. That’s why you start to salivate when you think of junk food: it’s scientifically pleasurable to eat it.
If you’re hungry and your house is full of unhealthy food, you just won’t be able to control your urges. Another tip is to delete food delivery apps from your phone. Eliminate anything that can delay your goals.
5. Carry Healthy Snacks
Healthy Snacks are an excellent alternative when you are out or just too lazy to cook. This does not mean that you should use snacks to replace meals but rather supplement your diet when you are more likely to make mistakes.
Think of foods you can eat anytime, anywhere, but always keeping in mind your caloric expenditure. Even fruits, healthy sandwiches, and nuts can be high in calories, so you need to find a strategy that suits your goals.
Most importantly, your diet should be rich in all macronutrients, especially protein, so try to include high-protein snacks in your routine. We’ve already written a few articles about caloric expenditure and macronutrient options, so there are no excuses!
6. Start Exercising
Exercising will make you stick to a healthy diet for the simple fact that it will give a significant boost to your results. In addition to making you burn extra calories and build muscle, and exercise makes you produce more serotonin, a hormone responsible for stabilizing our mood, feeling of well-being, and happiness.
When you feel good about yourself, are motivated, and notice that you are getting closer to achieving your goals, you become even more consistent. Plus, the exercises help you create a sense of discipline.
Once you are willing to work out 3, or 5 times a week, eating well is no longer a problem – as it becomes part of your routine. You come to understand that eating well is not an obligation but a choice – it’s a lifestyle.
7. Plan Your Eating Ahead
Planning is a must to achieve your fitness goals. Before planning what you will eat for each meal, try to look at your routine.
If you work 40 hours a week and tend to spend weekends away from home, for example, you need to find a way to adapt your diet to your lifestyle. We often eat junky food simply because we are out of food or hungry when we are away from home. An easy solution is to cook larger amounts of food to save time cooking and always have something ready to eat.
Another tip is to readjust your eating habits according to your lifestyle. If you tend to go out on Friday, or have dinner out with your friends on Saturday night, consider that you may already be eating extra calories these days, so your diet during the week should be more regulated.
In the end, losing weight or gaining muscle mass is simple math: reduce or add calories according to your daily caloric expenditure. Therefore, planning your meal based on your lifestyle is the best strategy to achieve your goals.
8. Track Your Progress
Often, the best way to keep us motivated is to know we’re on the right track. Choose a time to weigh yourself daily and record your progress in a notebook, or on your computer.
It is very important that you establish a pattern that can have a realistic picture. If you weigh yourself every day at different times, wearing different clothes, your record will be inaccurate. A tip is to weigh yourself every morning, before breaking the fast.
Another important tip is to take pictures of yourself! There is no greater motivation than looking at your own photo from months ago and seeing that you are on the right path. Take pictures biweekly or weekly, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your body can change!
Founder and Editor of TheLifesty. Passionate about Health & Fitness and enthusiast about changes. Interested in everything that improves the quality of life.