Every day, thousands of people make the decision to start eating healthy. Maybe they finally came to the realization that it’s time to take care of themselves. Or maybe the doctor told them they needed to lose weight. Whatever the reason is, sticking to a healthy diet is a great step to a longer, healthier life.

Here are some tips to get you started on a healthy lifestyle

Take one small step at a time

People who try to make big changes all at once typically end up failing. You don’t need to change your diet overnight in order to eat healthy. You want to incorporate slow, subtle changes to your diet instead.

I like to coach clients to make one small change each week or each month. The first thing that’s gotta go is soda. Soda is loaded with artificial sweeteners, which will stimulate your appetite. Your general health and your diet will benefit enormously from cutting back on soda. Next week, find one more small change to make, perhaps add in one vegetable with each meal.

Clear your home of unhealthy snacks

Out of sight and out of mind. This is the single best way to eat healthy. If you don’t have unhealthy things to eat then you won’t eat them. Some people like to keep some chips and candies around the house because their kids love them. But knowing you have junk foods in the house makes it even more challenging to stick to your diet.

Encourage your kids to eat the same foods you are eating (they’ll benefit too!) but if you have to keep some snacks around the house for your family, try to pick something that you don’t enjoy.  I buy salt & vinegar chips for my husband. I HATE salt & vinegar chips so I never feel tempted to sneak a few.

Don’t starve yourself

When you’re starving, your blood sugar levels drop too low. You’ll feel sluggish and low on energy and you may find yourself craving sugary foods. This is the best way to sabotage your diet.

Eat small meals or snacks throughout the day loaded with protein and vegetables. This will not only help maintain your energy, it also keeps you from getting hungry. As a result, you won’t be tempted to eat a huge amount of unhealthy food for lunch or dinner.

Choose foods you love

When we talk about a healthy diet, a lot of people conjure up images of skinny women chewing on celery or some kind of fad diet. There are a lot of healthy foods out there. You just have to find the foods you love and include them in your diet.

Walnuts, salmon, tofu, cottage cheese and yogurt are great tasting foods, and are also very healthy. Eat foods because you love them, not just because they’re healthy. This will make it easier for you to stick to a healthy diet.