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5 ways to stick to a healthy diet and improve your nutrition

Healthy diet
Photo: 5 ways to stick to a healthy diet and improve your nutrition
While everyone understands the practical benefits of eating a healthy diet and getting the right balance of nutrients, not everyone has the time to do it.

When you live in a society surrounded by junk food advertising and convenient takeaway options, it’s easy to lose sight of the benefits of proper nutrition and take the easy way out.

If you are confident that you want to adopt a healthier diet and enjoy the nutritional benefits it brings, then the biggest challenge you need to overcome is your own willpower. The following will take a look at 5 ways you can stick with an improved diet.

1. Take baby steps towards realistic goals
If you are trying to learn to swim, then diving in the deep end isn’t going to end well. If you’ve eaten an unhealthy diet for most of your life, then jumping straight into an overnight overhaul is going to make sticking to the new diet a torturous ordeal right from the start.

While it’s tempting to make an overnight switch to get quick results, this route rarely works and you’re more likely to crash and fall back into bad habits. It’s much better to take gradual steps towards a healthier diet rather than unwinding all your progress in a heartbeat when your crash diet gets too much to handle.

2. Don’t view it as a chore

One of the biggest misconceptions about eating healthier is that you won’t get to enjoy food as much. This is simply untrue, as there are so many nutritious and enjoyable meals that you can make at home that will show you that eating healthy does not mean sacrificing your enjoyment of food.

Make an effort to explore new healthy recipes that you can cook and involve others in the process. Rather than ordering takeaway or going to a restaurant with your friends and/or family, have a home-cooked meal and spend the time socialising while you cook.

3. Avoid having an absolutist mentality about your diet

There’s no doubt that you are your own worst enemy when you struggle to stick with a diet, and it’s very easy to trick yourself with flimsy rationalisations. For example, you might have given into a temptation early in the day and then use that as an excuse to make unhealthy food choices for the rest of the day, promising yourself that you’ll do better tomorrow.

This kind of thinking is irrational and will cause your willpower to degrade further and further. Don’t use one poor food choice as an excuse to make more poor food choices.

4. Keep some healthy snacks with you

As with any kind of self-improvement plan, the early weeks are always the hardest. This is especially true when you find yourself outside of home and surrounded by poor food choices that constantly tempt you.

Having some healthy snacks on hand will help you satisfy those mid-afternoon cravings and avoid making poor food choices before dinnertime arrives. A piece of fruit or some nuts like cashews make a perfect healthy snack to stave off cravings until you get home.

5. Team up with someone

As they say – teamwork makes the dream work. Teaming up with a friend or family member on your quest to eat healthier can make it much easier to stick to your goals. You can make sure that you keep each other away from temptations and help each other with cooking healthy meals.

When you’re trying to adopt healthy eating habits by yourself, it’s easier to give up since you will be only disappointing yourself. When you partner up with someone, giving up on your diet will partly make you responsible if they give up on theirs too.

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