There are lots of diets and fads out there for sure. Try this, do that, achieve this. Most of these diets and fads though are not sustainable long-term, and therefore people start, stop and then often go back to whatever they were doing before. This post is all about how to eat healthy to stay healthy for the long-term, with the emphasis being on the long-term. That’s what matters right – being healthy to live a long, vibrant life?! So, let’s dive right in!

5 tips to eat healthy to stay healthy

This isn’t a post about what specifically to eat to eat healthy. It’s not about one particular diet or way of eating. Instead, this post is about how to make a lifestyle change that supports healthy eating. Eating healthy to stay healthy for the long-term is way bigger than just trying a diet for 30 days. We’re talking about making changes that will last the rest of your life, that you will carry forward as an example to your kids, grandkids, family and friends. This is the big stuff. Are you ready!?

1. Determine your why

You made it here for a reason. What really drives this need to eat healthy that you’re feeling? Write it down, put it into words and make sure you know exactly why this is important to you. Maybe it’s to help manage a chronic illness or autoimmune disease, maybe it’s to help build confidence or maybe it’s to be able to watch your kids or grandkids grow up. Whatever it is, define it now! Make it strong and undeniable, so it tugs at your heartstrings and gets you fired up every time you think about it. Having a strong why is a great starting point.

2. Focus on fueling your body

While having goals to lose weight are fine, we find that it’s the goals around feeling healthier, needing to combat a chronic disease, wanting to feel more vibrant and alive are what really get people behind long-term lifestyle changes. Fueling your body for performance and to live better is a way to help you frame your thinking for the long-run. Regardless of where you stand on which way of eating is the best, a focus on nutrient density is always a good idea. You need nutrients, minerals, vitamins, etc. to fuel your body so it performs optimally for you. I always think of the sayings, “Garbage in, Garbage out” and “You are what you eat”.

So, what are you putting in your body that might not be serving you well? Or what could you be putting in your body that would serve you better? The answer is REAL FOOD. To read more about how real food changed our lives and why it’s so important to us, check out this post.

3. Think about habits you have or could develop to make small changes

For just a moment, take inventory of the habits you have that either support your healthy eating or derail it. Knowing where you stand is a great starting point, and a great way to actively decide to change course to eat healthy to stay healthy. Now, that you know what supports you and what sends you off course, leverage your good habits and commit to developing new, healthier habits.

Lifestyle changes are all about small changes – nothing drastic overnight. Small changes made day in and day out over time really build momentum and lasting results. And when you make small changes successfully, it gives you confidence to make other small changes. All these small changes build on one another and grow you into your best self.

Here’s an example: One person decides to cut out processed foods for 30 days. That’s great, but they feel deprived for 30 days, longing for the 30 days to be over with no real intent to stick it out beyond 30 days. At the end of the 30 days they go right back to eating how they did before. So…for 30 days they did great, but for the rest of their life they did not so great.

Compare this to another person who cuts out just refined sugar, but for the long-term. Now this person maybe has a slower start because they’re just cutting out one thing, but along the way they learn about all the foods that contain refined sugars, things you wouldn’t even expect – like marinara sauce and non-dairy milk alternatives. This person starts to feel better, have a clearer mind, more stable energy, etc. They carry this new, healthy habit forward for the large part of the next 30 years. Well, this person is clearly WAY better off than the first example. Start small, but play big!

4. Get Support

Everything is easier when you feel well supported, and eating healthy to stay healthy is no exception. Like all new things, it will be exciting at first and easier to maintain. But we’re going for the long-run here, which means that you will inevitably find yourself challenged down the road. You will find your willpower weakened at times. Having support is crucial to keep you accountable and also to feel like you have at least one person in your corner. This post is all about how to gain support when you transition to healthy eating. Share your why with your support so they can help remind you when things get tough.

Image of Justin and Erica Winn on a couch chatting over coffee.

5. Reassess and Adjust

Nothing is static when it comes to health. Things are ever changing, and being flexible and open to these changes is crucial for long-term success. This is the part that has, at times, been most frustrating for me personally. There have been periods of time where I felt like I’ve “figured it out” and then something changes, and I’m left trying to figure it out again. When I changed my mindset to being more learning focused, I found that I was able to relax a little and take things in stride.

So, I’m often checking in with myself to reassess and adjust as needed. Sometimes, my check-ins are like, “yeah, this is all going great – stay the course.” Other times, I’m like, “man, something is off and I need to listen to my body more, learn more or seek outside help.” All of these check-ins are fine. I understand that the fact that I’m actually taking the time and space to check in and make adjustments as needed is a pretty good sign I’m on the right track.

Don’t get discouraged if finding what works best for you takes time and feels like more of a windy road. It’s all part of the process and the more you fall in love with the process, the more the results will follow.

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Your turn to eat healthy to stay healthy

So, what’s it going to be? What steps are you going to take to eat healthy to stay healthy for the long-term? Leave a comment below, and let us know! Also, take pictures of your healthy eating and share on Instagram. Tag us @reasimplegood and #TheRSGLife so we can see! Make sure to give us a follow if you don’t already – let’s stay connected!

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Image of Justin and Erica Winn in the kitchen with a casserole at the counter.