Healthy Eating Habits: Tips to Stay on Track

a step toward healthy eating habits
I don’t want to look!

Getting Back on Track

I hate saying “back on track,” yet I say it a lot. It’s my go-to phrase after too many weeks of poor eating and exercise avoidance the likes of a lazy sloth. I allow myself to reach a point of personal disgust when I finally say, enough! Tomorrow I’ll get back on track (it’s always a Sunday, as if starting fresh on a Monday is really going to make a difference).  The thing is, I don’t want to get back on track; I want to stay on track. I want healthy eating to be the norm not the goal that always seems out of reach. Back in January my column, Matters of Life & Beth, I discussed my success with the Dukan Diet.  That was the last time things were going well as far as minor weight loss goes.

The Not-So-Sweet Side of Sugar

Now, here I am again trying to get my eating habits under control. And the truth is, I don’t need a diet, I just need to say no to everyday indulgences and get back to day to day healthy eating. This means eating in moderation, drinking a lot more water than I do and cutting back on processed and sugary foods. My biggest problem when it comes to a healthy diet is sweets – once I start, I can’t stop. Easter really did me in yesterday. Sugar is to me like alcohol is to an alcoholic… bad, bad news. The more sugar I have the more I crave, but it doesn’t end there. The sweet stuff makes me hungrier in general, which then leads to over eating on a bunch of other bad foods.

It’s as if the sugar goes directly to my brain shutting down all sensible thoughts about healthy eating.

I spoke with Samantha McCarthy, MS/RD, a registered dietician at my gym Cedardale Health & Fitness for some guidance, and here’s what she had to say:

“The problem with sugar is that it can be really addictive. Trying to cut sugar out or at least decreasing the amount in your diet can make a humongous impact.”

This includes artificial sweeteners because it’s not just table sugar, but the sugary taste that can lead to cravings. I didn’t realize that…good info.

Healthy Eating Tips to Stay on Track

Sam also suggests being mindful of what you’re eating and planning ahead. This is probably the biggest challenge for me, but if I can make it happen, I know I’ll be glad to get off the roller coaster of good and bad eating habits. Here are her top tips for maintaining your healthy eating habits:

  1. Don’t think of healthy eating as a diet, because if it’s a diet it’s temporary. It has to be part of your lifestyle.
  2. Cut back on the sugar – if you can do that you’ll be cutting out a lot of the junk in your life.
  3. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Plan and prepare ahead of time.

Today, I’m back on track and my fingers are crossed that I stay here. Thank you Sam for the great advice.

Do you have any great diet tips or healthy eating ideas that help when living a healthy lifestyle? I’d love to hear them!

To book your own session with Samantha McCarthy, MS/RD, contact her by phone at 978-373-1596 or online at

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Laure-Anne Pennelli
8 years ago

Great blog! Looking forward to reading more! I totally agree about the water intake. I’ve tried so hard to drink more water and now I am hooked on La Croix. Try it some time! Laure-Anne Pennelli

Sam Sandra Monroe
8 years ago

Lately I have be eating standing up or in the car. With two really full time jobs and two parents in advanced age I am never at a table. Bad stuff but unavoidable at this point. I have noticed tho, that the worse my own memory gets, the trimmer I stay…you see I live on three floors. I don’t need to say more if my reader is over 60.

Tallie Abernathy
8 years ago

I live by the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I am eating healthy & clean, and 20% I leave for the occasional trip to Dairy Queen or a pizza and beer night at Culpeppers (You gotta live, right?). I found that allowing for the “fun stuff” in your life, is much easier to live with, than saying you can’t have this, or that. I also think it’s an important lesson for your kids. You need food to survive, so it drives me crazy when parents say in front of their kids (especially pre-teens/teens), “oh I can’t eat that”, or… Read more »

8 years ago

I’m back “on plan” today. Something that I find helps me be successful is having a friend I can be accountable to. Otherwise, the little devil inside me gives me permission to eat what I want!