1. Going On a Healthy Diet, 1 of 4

1. Drink more water.

Adults should drink 2–3 liters (0.53–0.79 US gal) (or roughly eight 8 oz glasses) of water per day, while children should drink 1–2 liters (0.26–0.53 US gal) (or roughly five 8 oz glasses). That is in addition to other drinks like tea or coffee. Water keeps bodies at the correct temperature and removes toxins.
  • Water also clears your skin, helps your kidneys, helps to control your appetite, and keeps you energized.
  • It also keeps you from drinking unhealthy beverages like soda and juice, which are high in calories. The body barely registers the intake of these unhealthy drinks and yet you still feel thirsty hundreds of calories later.
  • Drinking hot water (aka tea) can help stimulate your digestive system. Hot water also helps your body naturally detoxify itself. Make sure the water is comfortably hot and won’t burn you.

2. Eat breakfast

A light, healthy breakfast is sufficient enough to reap the benefits of eating early. If it’s comprised of lean protein and whole grains, then it will keep you from gorging at lunch. Research shows that breakfast-skippers actually eat more! So, to curb your appetite, don’t skip the first meal of the day.
  • Instead of two chocolate doughnuts and a coffee that’s more cream than anything else, opt for eggs, fruit, and for a beverage like skimmed milk, fresh orange juice, or tea. The healthier and filling your breakfast is, the more energized you’ll feel throughout the day.

3. Eat well throughout the day.

If half of your plate is vegetables and fruit, you’re on the right track.[3] Add in lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. Once a steady eating pattern has been established, your body will feel more comfortable. There may be a period of time when your body is wondering where the sugary foods went, but once you’re over the hump, you’ll feel better than ever.
  • Remember that not all fats are bad for you. Good fats can be found in fish like salmon and tuna, avocados, nuts, and olive oil. These are essential to a well-balanced diet.
  • Make an effort to eat regularly timed meals throughout your day. However, avoid grazing all day.

4. Eat at the right times.

A good time for a healthy, easy-to-digest evening meal is between 17:00 and 20:00 (5:00 pm and 8:00 pm); it’s best to avoid late night snacks because they fill you with unnecessary calories and can disrupt your sleep. If you do need that midnight snack, stick to unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies.
  • Try not to eat 3 to 4 hours before you go to bed if you find that eating at night is causing you trouble sleeping.
  • Snacking isn’t bad for you if you do it right. In fact, eating “constantly” can keep you from feeling deprived and going for that third piece of cheesecake when the cart rolls around. Just make sure it’s all in moderation.

5. Consider going meatless at least a few days a week.

Being vegetarian is a good way to reduce your calorie intake and get loads of vitamins and minerals. It can also improve your cardiovascular health. If you don’t want to go fully vegetarian, you can improve your health by eating less meat. Choose a few days a week to go vegetarian, and switch out red meat for chicken, turkey, and fish.
  • When you eat a vegetarian diet, base your meals around non-starchy vegetables rather than grains like pasta or rice. When you do eat grains, choose whole grains. Eat protein at every meal, such as eggs, low-fat dairy, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, or other meat replacements.
  • For example, you might eat scrambled egg whites with tomatoes and spinach in a whole grain tortilla for breakfast, black bean soup with a small side salad for lunch, Greek yogurt for a snack, and vegetable lasagna for dinner.
  • A high-fiber diet is easily had without meat. Fiber has been shown to lower your cholesterol, control your blood-sugar levels, improve your bowel health, and make you less likely to overeat. The recommended fiber intake is 30g a day for men and 21g for women; after the age of 50, this jumps up to 38g for men and 25g for women. Some good sources of fiber include fruits and vegetables (with the skin), whole grains, and legumes.

6. Limit simple sugars in your diet.

While carbohydrates are an important part of your diet, simple sugar can be harmful to your health. It provides a quick energy spike that then bottoms out, causing you to feel hungry faster. Simple sugars, except for fruit, are also high calorie and lacking in nutrients. It’s best to avoid sweets and added sugar, but you can include them in moderation.
  • Fruits are technically simple sugars but can still be a healthy part of your diet. They’re full of vitamins and nutrients. Whenever possible, eat your fruits with the skin.

7. Read food labels to make the healthiest choices.

Processed foods get a bad rap, and often for good reason. However, you’ve got to choose your battles. That frozen bag of broccoli isn’t nearly as bad as that boxed mac and cheese. In short, avoid processed foods when you can — but if you can’t, read the labels and watch for added bad stuff: salt, sugar, and fat.
  • Food that stays on the shelves often has added sodium, words that end in -ose, and trans and saturated fats in the ingredient list. If you see these on the label (especially if they’re in high amounts), avoid them. You can find a healthier alternative elsewhere. It’s not worth it.
  • Just because it says it has no trans fat doesn’t actually mean it has no trans fat. Negligible amounts can be legally ignored — so if you see hydrogenated vegetable oil on the list, you’ve found one of the masked culprits.

8. Talk to your doctor about incorporating supplements in your diet.

Supplements can make sure you get all of the vitamins and nutrients you need. Take your supplements with a meal to help them absorb better. You might choose to take a multivitamin every day, or you can supplement particular nutrients that may be low for you, such as calcium, vitamin D, or vitamin B12.
  • Don’t start taking any supplements without first talking to your doctor, especially if you’re taking medications.
  • Keep in mind that taking supplements is not a replacement for a healthy diet.

9. Use intermittent fasting to control calories and boost endurance.

Intermittent fasting means going without food for 12-16 hours at a time. You may do this every day or on certain days of the week. This can help you burn your fat as a source of energy and improve your energy endurance. It may also help you manage your calorie intake.
  • For example, you may eat breakfast at 6:00 a.m. and then not eat again until dinner at 6:30 p.m.
  • As another option, you might eat normally on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday but restrict on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • This diet is not right for everyone, especially people who have diabetes or hypoglycemia. Talk to your doctor before starting any new diet plans.