I'm not going to tell you to put the doughnut down, cut carbs, or join a gym. The biggest problem with a diet that says stop eating ____ is that all you want is ______. And in most cases, blank is real sugary and a 100 percent delicious.
Getting healthy is not like quitting smoking; you can take small steps to get healthy. Sadly, there is no patch that will turn you off from cookies (I would know about it if there was).
Selling small changes over time, which leads to significant changes, is not sexy, but it's incredibly easy to implement -- so easy that many people decide not to do it. Here are a few suggestions:
Add one more vegetable
Maybe it's as easy as bringing slices of cucumber with your lunch; I added red peppers with my morning eggs for two months. I also recently switched to a portabella mushroom with my breakfast. To make it easier, on Sunday I season the mushrooms and put them in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then toss them in the skillet when I cook my eggs.
Take a movement break while watching/streaming television
If you are a reader, even better, but still, take a break. I know most of us are tired and need some downtime, I get it. If it's easier, then do it during the day. Stand up, pick one exercise, like a plank, and do it for 30 seconds. When it gets easy either add time or make it harder. I do a routine to help my posture every day. It takes about 2-3 minutes. I start off with several neck stretches at my desk and add in a few on the floor with soft balls like the one here.
Try a new food
Once a week, cook or order a different healthy food, like brown rice, quinoa, farro, teff, millet, amaranth, bulgur, kamut… I recently tried sardines. I wish I captured the look of disgust on my son's face, because I felt the same way. Awful, but I'll try something new this week.
Add one more glass of water to your day
That's it, one more. Maybe start your day with a glass, or right when you drop off kids/get to office have one glass. In my opinion this is the easiest thing you can do. I have some clients that have scheduled water breaks on their phones, so they get up, move a little and get hydrated.
Track your habits
Writing out your food is something I have recommended a lot. It really helps to figure out where you slip up with your eating. I know my snack-y time is right before dinner. I'm eating some of the kids' raisins, sneaking a few chips while I cook dinner… since I know that, I grab a handful of nuts or almonds before I start cooking and on the train home I eat celery. I feel slightly bad for crunching in the quiet car…
Getting healthy does not have to be a test of willpower and physical prowess. Start with a few simple healthy habits and as they get easier, add more. If you are under doctor/nutritionist care for any health issue, check with them before making any changes.