How Do I Stick to a Healthy Diet?

healthy breakfast foodDiet. The word itself is enough to make you curl up your nose in disgust! I mean, who wants to eat bland, yucky food instead of all the delicious but supposedly bad-for-you foods that are out there!!!

Besides, everyone knows once you go off your diet, you are just going to gain back everything you lost — and then some!  So really, what’s the point?

This week’s “From the Mailbox” Question is: “How Do I Stick to a Healthy Diet?”

This is a great question for so many reasons.

First, let’s take a look at the word “diet”. There are two definitions.

  1. food you habitually eat;
  2. food you restrict yourself to either for weight loss or medical reasons.

Most people focus on the second definition and totally ignore the first. That, my friends, is where the problem lies.

As long as you look at your diet as a temporary restriction, you will never be successful at sticking to it. We need to reframe the way we see our food choices. Healthy eating needs to become a lifestyle, not a temporary denial.

It’s really not difficult to make healthy food choices. Most of us know the difference between healthy food and unhealthy food. Most of us know we should buy most of our groceries not from individual aisles in the store, but from the outer edges of the store.

fresh fruitLook for bread with the word “whole” on the package (whole grain, whole wheat). Buy low-fat meats, skinless turkey or chicken or fish. If you buy red meat, but the leanest cuts you can find. When choosing rice or pasta, go with brown rice or whole wheat or grain pasta. When buying fruits and veggies, think colorful and varied. And finally, don’t drink your calories! Stick with water or tea (herbal is best) and unsweetened, of course.

The other thing to keep in mind when planning a healthy diet is how many calories you consume. It boils down to basic mathematics for the most part. If you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight.

Healthy food does not need to be bland. Healthy food is delicious when prepared right!

It’s a new year. Why not resolve to improve your eating habits this year. It’s a habit that will make a huge difference for your future. Start with small changes. Eating right is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your loved ones and your future.