Anyone who has started (and failed) at a diet will insist that they quit because they just couldn’t stick to it or found it was too difficult to keep up. Have you given a thought to why some might give up on a diet? What makes it so ‘difficult’? Well, we have and we’re going to tell you just how to plan a healthy diet and stick to it.

What’s a healthy weight loss diet all about?

A healthy diet is NOT about size zeros and surviving on fresh air and water to lose weight. Neither is it about giving up on foods you love and eating boring, tasteless food. It’s about planning ahead, making the right choices, creating nutritious and delicious meal options and FEELING great.

How do you approach a diet?

Start slow. Make small, manageable changes to your current meals, rather than taking one, big step and changing everything. Add a salad or a soup to your meals. Eat a small snack (even if you don’t feel like it) around noon and once again sometime early in the evening to curb any urge to binge. If you make a sudden change, chances are you’ll end up cheating on your diet or give up after a week or two entirely.

Remember- it’s not about all or nothing

People tend to cringe away from diets because they consider them to be ‘too restricting’. But it’s important to remember that NO healthy weight loss program will encourage starvation. It will, in fact, encourage you to develop an eating pattern that you can maintain for life and not just till you reach your goal weight. A balanced weight loss program will include the right balance of protein, fiber, minerals, essential carbohydrates, fat and vitamins to sustain a healthy mind and body.

The golden rule about a healthy diet…

ALWAYS eat breakfast. You might think you have no time to eat or that by skipping your breakfast, you could save some calories. You’d be wrong. Studies have indicated that a healthy breakfast can kick-start your metabolism and eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can keep your energy levels up and your metabolism fired.

What you should fill up on

Any foundation of a healthy weight loss diet should include foods rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber. Here are some of the foods you should try to include to your daily diet:Fruits: Apples, strawberries, Goji berries, rhubarb, melon, raspberries, watermelon, Kiwi fruits, peaches, pears, nectarines and mangoes.

Vegetables: Aubergine, beetroot, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chicory, courgette, cucumber, French beans, leek, collards, turnip greens, Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, kale, Romaine lettuce, mushrooms, onions, palm hearts, peppers, pumpkin, radish, tomatoes and asparagus.

Meat and seafood: Chicken, turkey, eggs, quail, bass, cod, halibut, monkfish, haddock, salmon, mackerel, monkfish, tuna, swordfish, trout, tuna, grey mullet, squid, crab, crawfish, shrimp, oysters, scallops, herring and lean red meat.

Milk and dairy products: Low-fat cottage cheese, skimmed milk and fat free Greek yoghurt.

Whole grains: Whole grains are rich sources of fiber and give you a feeling of fullness. Include whole wheat, oat bran, brown rice, millet, quinoa and barley.

The 2 absolutes of every healthy diet:

Exercise: People scowl at the prospect of exercise because it’s usually associated with monotonous workout routines at the gym that might not appeal to everyone. But it doesn’t have to be dull. Find something you could enjoy such as swimming, spinning, boxing, Pilates, running or even enroll in a dance class if it appeals to you! Studies have shown that the benefits of exercise extend to boosting your metabolism, better circulation, good heart health, and promotes a healthier, happier frame of mind.

Water: It has been indicated that not drinking enough water leads to headaches, fatigue and feeling generally low on energy and so it is important to stay hydrated and drink a lot of water.

Always remember that a healthy diet is about not just looking good, but FEELING good as well and with just a little bit of planning, you too can have yourself a nutritious, well-balanced diet.

Author's Bio: 

Sydney is a successful nutritionist who lives in Illinois. As a nutritionist, she has provided weight loss coaching to many of her clients. She loves to share her experience and knowledge on benefits of healthy weight loss through her writings and is a great believer in structured weight loss programs.

In addition to being an accomplished nutritionist and a passionate writer, 40-year-old Sydney is a fabulous cook and plans to start a food blog soon.