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The Biggest Mistake People Make When They Resolve to Eat a Healthy Diet

Have you ever wondered why it seems to be darn near impossible to stick to a healthy diet? Would you like to know how to get out of this frustrating conundrum? The answer is to get real. Rein in your enthusiasm and make a realistic plan to fit your aspirations for a healthy diet into your current lifestyle.
04/04/2016 12:26pm ET | Updated April 5, 2017
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We'd all like to eat a healthy diet. But for many of us, our good intentions are overridden by the constant juggling act of stressful jobs compounded by overscheduled personal lives. Our eating habits devolve into raiding the office kitchen for snacks and grabbing the nearest take-out when hunger forces us to interrupt our busy day. Rather than taking the time to savor our food, we scarf it down while our attention is elsewhere.

We pay for our poor food choices with self-flagellation, guilt and shame. These feelings ignite a temporary resolve to clean up our eating habits so we can fit back into our smaller-sized clothes. We're disgusted with ourselves. Dressing like Johnny Cash gets boring. Spanx are uncomfortable and the prospect of a button popping off in the middle of your big presentation is downright scary.

Full of new-found commitment to embrace a healthy diet, we drive to Sprouts or Ralphs and make a beeline for the organic produce. The more ambitious among us download healthy diet recipes containing kale, the latest Whole Foods "perfect food." We're bound and determined to ditch that yummy burger and fries and start eating healthy foods.

But then life intrudes. Monday doesn't go so well. We end up working late, too tired to even think about making dinner. With a few clicks we order a Domino's pizza from our phone app. On Tuesday, as luck would have it, there's a retirement party catered by Lucille's Bar-B-Que. So much for the healthy lunch we lugged to work. Only a monk could resist the baby back ribs and chocolate fudge brownies and you're definitely not saint quality. In an effort to save the day, you skip dinner, only to end up finishing an entire bag of chips. After that major detour from your healthy diet plans, why not just fling open the freezer and indulge in Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy? After all, you can always start your diet tomorrow.

You get the idea. Somehow real life intercedes, exhausts our good intentions and undermines our best efforts to stem the tide of junk food and adopt a healthy diet. Back on the home front, it's now Friday and those overpriced pesticide free salad makings have gone limp and gummy. We unceremoniously dump them in the garbage, feeling defeated and trying not to think about the wasted food and money.

Have you ever wondered why it seems to be darn near impossible to stick to a healthy diet? Would you like to know how to get out of this frustrating conundrum? The answer is to get real. Reign in your enthusiasm and make a realistic plan to fit your aspirations for a healthy diet into your current lifestyle.

Here's how to plan for a healthy diet:

• Start with your current diet and make minuscule weekly tweaks
• Eat real food including complex carbs, lean protein and lots of fruits and vegetables
• Aim to lose no more than 1 or 2 pounds per week
• Do the arithmetic: Find a way to consume 500 fewer calories per day
• Experiment with small changes and only keep those that you can do forever
• Create accountability by logging your food in MyFitnessPal
• Weigh yourself at least once a week
• Schedule non-food rewards to commemorate milestones

With this practical weight loss program your eating habits will change and before you know it you'll be eating a healthy diet and feeling better about yourself. Start today!