Starting a diet or starting a healthy lifestyle is not as difficult as keeping yourself motivated in the long run. Cravings, mood swings, hormonal imbalance, stress and fatigue can make it difficult for you to stay consistent with your diet.

Some tips to stay consistent with a diet in the long term:

  1. Know your body: try to understand how it works, learn to differentiate between hunger, appetite, thirst, fatigue and boredom.
  2. Respect your body: aversions, dislikes and food appreciations are common to all of us; we are lucky to have so many food options. Eat what you like, but choose healthy. You do not have to eat a particular food that you hate.
  3. Moderation is the key: a balanced diet is a combination of all the healthy food groups in your diet throughout the day. During the day, you should consume: protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
  4. Know your plate: analyze what you have on your plate and try to have a variety of foods: green vegetables, protein (eg meat or fish), complex carbohydrates (eg brown rice or buckwheat).
  5. Read the labels: focus on quality and nutrients. Choose foods in their natural state, unprocessed, give up the ‘empty calories’ (juices, soft drinks, fast food, sweets, pastries). Learn to study food labels and avoid eating any food that has a long list of ingredients.
  6. Eat five colors a day: Eat a combination of fruits and vegetables. Aim for five colors a day. It is an effective way to meet the nutritional requirements of the body.
  7. Choose seasonal foods: Don’t look for those fancy vegetables and fruits that were once labeled healthy by a friend. Be practical, eat fruits and vegetables available in the season you are in. Avoid cold stored vegetables. Our body also adapts as environmental conditions change. Nature has already been kind enough to produce the right harvest in the right season. So eat what is available in the season on the market.
  8. Hydration: Hydration is the most important factor that is often ignored during the day’s chores. Make sure you have a bottle of water with you wherever you go. You can add mint leaves or cucumbers to the water container. It can make you feel refreshed.
  9. Avoid artificial supplements and medications unless prescribed by a specialist: Remember the last time you had a case of reflux, it could be the result of that protein shake you were addicted to instead of a real meal. If you have problems with constipation, you probably do not consume enough fiber and vegetables during the day.
  10. Make a shopping list: do not buy unhealthy foods and therefore you will not eat unhealthy. Let go of the temptation to buy that chocolate or those high-calorie juices; if they are not available in your home, you will not consume them.
  11. Be realistic with yourself: Do not set too high goals and do not start a very strict diet, then quit everything after 2 weeks. It’s okay to crave for something from time to time, as long as you stick to the plan the rest of the time and have good long-term results.
  12. Try to move in a way that you like: the change of mind game is directly related to the healthy body and the healthy soul. Exercise and start with simple things, such as walking, cycling, swimming, and so on. You don’t have to start with a 6-month gym membership.
  13. Don’t be embarrassed to ask the specialist for help if you feel you can’t cope: Sometimes you need someone objective to set you up, to make you aware of your mistakes and to hold you accountable.