eat-547511_640We would all love to consistently have a perfectly healthy diet, but life often seems to get in the way and we are quick to forget our commitment to improving our diet.

Maybe you’ve set ambitious healthy eating goals in the past and you know how overwhelming it can be. But eating healthy is certainly not about being perfect. Most people tend to get much better results when they start small and make incremental changes to their current diet.

Here are five ways you can start eating healthier even when you’ve failed before.

1. Start with the drinks

Sodas and processed fruit juices are loaded with sugar, and numerous studies have shown that they promote weight gain. Lattes and other comforting beverages also contain sugar and are often high in calories. So, the first step is to stop drinking all those calories that your body doesn’t need.

2. Decide that you deserve to eat real food

In our busy lives, we often sacrifice our health to convenience. There can be an underlying belief that taking time to cook and eat real food, and thus caring for our health, comes at the expense of being a good parent, getting more work done, or having social activities.

3. Eat a nutritious breakfast

Taking the time to cook and eat a healthy breakfast can be challenging in our fast paced world. And about 31 million Americans do skip breakfast every day. Yet a study conducted among preschool children found that eating breakfast consistently contributes to a healthy body weight.

4. Take 30 minutes to plan your meals for the week

Thirty minutes a week might be all it takes to finally enjoy healthy meals. It’s as simple as sitting down with a pen and paper and making a list of your favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.

If those meals already feature vegetables, protein, and healthy fats, go ahead and add them to your weekly meal plan. If they don’t, make a list of ten different vegetables you like and put them on the menu.

5. Make the right choices when you’re eating out

Let’s face it, we can’t all be cooking healthy meals every single day. But when it’s time to order at the restaurant, we often end up sabotaging our efforts despite our best intentions.

In fact, it can be easier to eat healthy at the restaurant because there are always healthy options on the menu, and you’re not the one who has to prepare the dishes.

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