9:42 AM EST, February 9, 2013
Becoming a healthy eater is no small task. In the end, what is more important than having a slavish devotion to a particular diet regimen is consistent effort to eat well every day. Here are some tips to stay consistent and become a health eater:
1. Make one healthy change per week. Lifelong health is a marathon, not a sprint. You don't have to overhaul your entire life overnight, but it is wise to take steps every week to get better. Every week you should make at least one healthy change to your eating habits.
2. Shopping. Make sure you make a list of foods you want to eat, and stick to it when you go grocery shopping. You will be less likely to eat unhealthful foods if they aren't in your kitchen. One way to ensure that is to simply not buy them.
3. Planning and cooking. At the beginning of every week, you should plan out your meals. This way, you will know what to buy at the grocery store and be less tempted to slip into bad habits. It is much easier to skip out on fast food if you know what's on the menu on any given day. I recommend writing down these meals and keeping it somewhere you can see every day (such as on the fridge).
4. Water, water everywhere. Make sure you have plenty of water. Do you take long car trips? Try bringing a water bottle along for the ride to stay hydrated. You should drink water consistently throughout the day. Perhaps the healthiest tip I can offer would be to try substituting water anytime you have a craving for a soft drink.
5. Write it down. Keeping a food log will keep you on track and accountable. Without one, it is easy to forget about the deviations from healthy eating you make each day. If you keep a written record of what you eat, you can more accurately assess your habits and come up with ways to eat better.
If consistency isn't present in your fitness effort, you can expect mediocre results at best. Develop your system, follow it without fail, and constantly seek ways to improve it.
That's how you can guarantee success time after time.
Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer and co-owner of Home Team Fitness LLC. Go to www.hometeamfitness.net for more information.
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