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How do you start a diet?

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Quick Answer

Making the decision to begin a healthy diet can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. While there are many ways to begin a new eating plan, WebMD recommends a sensible approach: make a realistic goal, slowly incorporate healthy foods, and write down what you eat. Adopting these habits will make adhering to your new eating plan much easier.

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How do you start a diet?
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Full Answer

  1. Set realistic goals

    It is tempting to set an ambitious goal when beginning a new weight loss plan, but keep in mind that experts agree a steady, slow rate of about 1 to 2 pounds per week is considered healthier, safer and easier to maintain. Studies show that losing as little as 5 percent of your body weight can improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels while giving you more energy. Based on this, decide on a goal that works for you and write it down.

  2. Follow a healthy eating plan

    Steer clear of fad diets or strict plans that require drastic changes or eliminating entire food groups. Adopt a balanced eating plan that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, beans, nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy. These foods are more nutritious and satisfying than highly processed or junk foods. Over time, slowly eliminate high-fat and high-sugar foods from your diet and replace them with healthier, less calorie-dense options.

  3. Track your meals

    Studies show that dieters who write down what they eat are more successful at keeping weight off than those who don't. Use a calorie tracker website or phone application, or simply write down what you eat in a journal or notebook. The simple act of writing down your food intake helps you stay focused on your new healthy habits.

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