Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan

STACK Expert Kait Fortunato offers five tips on how to improve your diet and stick with it.

Diet Changes

A new year calls for dietary changes, but how can you guarantee your improvements will stick? If your family doesn't share your new diet, you might get discouraged, or maybe you won't enjoy the healthier foods you're eating and revert to old habits.

Whether you need to lose weight to perform better at sports or just eat to have more energy, here are five healthy diet tips.

1. Focus on what you can have, not what you can't have.

Rather than thinking about the foods you have to cut out, think about the foods you can add. For example, if you are cutting back on sweets, rather than obsess about the donuts you need to avoid, think about the new fruits you want to try.

2. Plan ahead.

No matter what kind of change you make, it's helpful to have guidelines and a plan. Write out meals for the week and a shopping list so you have everything you need. If you're in school, plan a week's worth of lunches the weekend before.

3. Tell others.

It's better not to do this alone. To keep you accountable and enthusiastic, tell a supportive friend or family member about the changes you are trying to make. Or partner with someone who is trying to make similar changes and check in with each other on a regular basis.

4. Keep a journal of your progress.

Instead of keeping just a food log, try writing a bit more every day to remind yourself why you need or want to make changes. Reflect on why the changes you're making are important for your health and well-being. Write about where you'll be in a month or a year if you stick to your plan.

5. Don't overdo it.

Rather than taking on too much at once and getting discouraged,  try changing small things each week and keep adding more. For example, if you're going vegetarian, start with three vegetarian meals per week and go up from there.

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