How To Start A Healthy Diet and Stick To It

May 29, 2024 in Healthy Food

How To Start A Healthy Diet and Stick To It

how to start a healthy diet

Starting a healthy diet can seem overwhelming, but with the right strategies, it’s entirely achievable. That’s why we’re going to explore how to start a healthy diet, offering practical advice to help you maintain it in the long run.

Whether you’re looking to improve your eating habits or complement your exercise routine, these tips will set you on the right path.

Understand Your Motivation

Before diving into how to start a healthy diet, it’s essential to understand why you want to make this change. Is it your goal to lose weight, or maybe you want to boost energy levels and improve overall health? When you know why you want to change, it makes it easier to stay focused and committed. 

Start with a Healthy Eating Plan

A solid plan is the cornerstone of starting a healthy diet. Focus on including different types of nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid ultra-processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Tips for Meal Planning

Effective meal planning is crucial when learning how to start a healthy diet. It not only ensures you have nutritious options readily available but also helps you avoid the temptation of unhealthy convenience foods. Here are some detailed tips to make meal planning a success.

Advance Planning

Dedicate some time each week to plan your meals. Decide what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for each day. This is a great way to help you stay on tracking and organized. It also helps to reduce the changes of you reverting back to unhealthy options.

Make a Shopping List Before Shopping

Once you’re happy with the meals you’ve planned, write a shopping list of what you’ll need. Stick to this list while grocery shopping to avoid impulse buys of unhealthy foods.

Batch Cooking

Consider preparing meals in bulk. Cooking larger portions and storing them in the fridge or freezer means you’ll always have healthy meals ready to go, which is especially useful for busy days.

Diverse Recipes

To keep things interesting, include a variety of recipes in your meal plan. This prevents boredom and ensures you get a range of nutrients. Explore different cuisines and cooking methods to keep your meals exciting.

What Goes Into Healthier Meals?

When starting and sticking to a healthier diet, it’s important to understand what makes a meal healthy.

Understanding Macronutrients

Ensure each meal contains a balanced mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. This balance keeps you full longer and provides sustained energy throughout the day.


Include lean proteins like chicken, fish, beans, tofu, and legumes. Proteins help with muscle repair and growth while keeping you more full and satisfied.


Don’t shy away from healthy fats. Include sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These healthy fats help with brain function and hormone production.


Reach for more complex carbs such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. These provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, helping you feel full and satisfied.

Snacking Tips

It’s okay to snack if you’re snacking the right way. Remember these tips when it comes to snacking:

  • Portion Control: Pre-portion snacks into small containers or bags to avoid overeating.
  • Accessibility: Keep healthy snacks in easy-to-reach places, so you’re more likely to choose them over unhealthy options.

Take Baby Steps

Making drastic changes overnight can be daunting and unsustainable. Instead, take small, manageable steps. For example, start by replacing sugary drinks with water or adding more vegetables to your meals. 

Remember, when you make more gradual changes you’re more likely to stick with them, and for them to become permanent habits.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable goals is crucial in maintaining a healthy diet. Don’t immediately aim for losing a significant amount of weight quickly. Instead, focus on small, incremental goals like losing 1-2 pounds per week. Celebrate these small victories to keep your motivation high.

Examples of Realistic Goals:

  • Include your favorite fruit or vegetable with every meal.
  • Limit fast food to once a week.
  • Cook at home at least five times a week.

Monitor Your Progress

Keeping track of what you eat and how you feel can provide valuable insights into your eating habits. Track what you’re eating with a mobile app or a food journal. Self-monitoring can help you identify patterns, adjust, and stay accountable.

Surround Yourself with Healthy Foods

Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy options to make good choices easier. While shopping, try to stay on the outskirts of the grocery store and avoid snacks that have a lot of sugars and fats. 

Instead, opt for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Plan for Challenges

Life is full of unexpected events that can derail your healthy eating plan. Whether it’s a holiday, a busy workday, or social gatherings, having a plan can help you stay on track.

Maintaining a healthy diet requires consistent effort, especially when faced with social gatherings, busy schedules, and everyday temptations. Here are some strategies to help you stay on track.

Check Restaurant Menus in Advance

Before heading out to eat, look up the restaurant’s menu online. Many restaurants now provide nutritional information, making it easier to choose healthier options.

Identify Healthy Choices

Choose meals that have more vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid dishes that are fried or come with heavy sauces and dressings.

Plan Your Order

Decide what you will order ahead of time to avoid impulsive choices influenced by hunger or peer pressure. Consider asking for modifications, such as dressing on the side, grilled instead of fried, or extra vegetables instead of fries.

Portion Control

Restaurant portions are often larger than necessary. You can manage this by sharing a dish with a friend, asking for a half portion, or immediately boxing up half of your meal to take home.

Bring a Healthy Dish to Potlucks or Parties

Be prepared when attending a potluck or party. You can control what you bring, so make it a healthy dish that you know is nutritious. This ensures there is at least one healthy option available.

Be sure to choose recipes that are both delicious and nutritious, such as salads, vegetable platters with hummus, quinoa dishes, or fruit salads. By preparing your own dish, you control the ingredients and can avoid excess sugars, fats, and sodium often found in pre-made party foods.

Bringing a healthy dish not only ensures you have something to eat but also encourages others to make healthier choices.

Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

Always have healthy snacks available at home, at work, and when you’re on the go. This helps prevent hunger from leading to unhealthy choices. Stock up on snacks that are easy to prepare and carry, such as fresh fruits, raw nuts, whole grain crackers, yogurt, and cut vegetables.

Pre-pack snacks in portion-controlled containers or bags to make them easy to grab when you need a quick bite. Keep unhealthy snacks out of the house or out of sight. If you don’t have them readily available, you’re less likely to reach for them.

Get Support

Having a support system can significantly impact your success. Find and share your plans with friends and family, or find an online community of like-minded individuals. Support can come in the form of encouragement, sharing recipes, or even joining you in physical activities.

Incorporate Exercise

As a personal trianing gym, we can’t stress how important it is incorporate exercise into your daily routine enough. Combining a healthy diet with regular exercise amplifies the benefits of both. Start with activities you enjoy, whether it’s walking, cycling, or yoga.

Try to achieve 150 minutes of reasonable aerobic activity each week. You can also go for 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.

Be Patient and Kind to Yourself

Changing your diet and lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s normal to have setbacks but don’t let them discourage you. Practice self-compassion and remind yourself that perfection isn’t the goal—progress is.

Now You Know How To Start A Healthy Diet and Stick With It

Now that you know how to start a healthy diet and stick with it, it’s time to get started today! Remember, starting and sticking to a healthier lifestyle involves planning, setting realistic goals, monitoring progress, and having a support system.

Take small steps, surround yourself with healthy foods, and exercise regularly to enhance your efforts. By understanding your motivation and being patient with yourself, you’ll be well on your way to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a support system while incorporating exercise into your health journey, consider training with us here at Peak Physique! We’ve helped countless people live a healthier lifestyle, and we want to help you, too. Reach out to schedule your consultation and get your first workout free.

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