Currently, obesity rates worldwide are higher than ever before. This stems from the ease of access to unhealthy food, the prevalence of distractions and devices that promote a sedentary lifestyle, and work lifestyles that encourage constant connectivity; and an always-on attentiveness that is extraordinarily fatiguing. It can be very tempting to ignore the long-term benefits to happiness and physical health that exercising and good eating offer, and to feel you deserve a night off constantly after a draining day. We however, are in charge of our own destiny and we can turn things around. If you’re looking to improve your health and well-being, a simple improvement in your eating habits will do wonders. Here’s a look at five key things to remember when attempting to improve your eating habits.

Real life is not a social media profile – Browse social media and you’ll see countless nutritionists, personal trainers, and exercise enthusiasts posting about how hard they worked in the gym, and how they’ve just eaten an organic 5 part meal that they are getting paid to advertise. This is obviously very healthy, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t other more affordable, less complex, options for you to choose. Sometimes, healthy eating could be something as basic as a pre-made salad with a can of mackerel from the cupboard, and that’s perfectly fine. Focus on what works for you, and look inward for your answers.

Healthy eating is not simply about weight loss – As mentioned, obesity levels worldwide are out of control, and this is largely down to poor dietary choices. However, healthy eating is not purely about losing weight. Of course if you eat right and become more active you will lose weight, but we should eat healthily for health reasons, rather than aesthetic reasons. When you clean up your diet and eat right, please do not be discouraged if you aren’t losing weight, or losing as much as you may have hoped. Remember, healthy eating is a way of life and is a way of prolonging your life, not simply of making the numbers on the scales go down every week. Focus on how you feel, and how much more steady and clear-headed you are when you take care of yourself.

You can still enjoy “unhealthy” foods – Remember, we’re in it for the long haul when it comes to healthy eating, so don’t worry that you can eat unhealthy foods you previously enjoyed, because you can. You see, the keyword here is ‘moderation’. If you’ve had a great week of healthy eating, and you’ve exercised, drank plenty of water, and got enough sleep, you may wish to reward yourself on Saturday night with a treat meal. If you crave pizza, go ahead and order pizza, just be sure to get back to eating right the following day. One meal will not undo days, weeks, even months, of hard work. You can still enjoy unhealthy foods in moderation, just be sure to get right back on plan as soon as you can.

You should include plenty of variety in your diet – When eating healthily, variety is the spice of life, so be sure to include plenty of variety in your diet. Even though you may have your favourite healthy meal, don’t eat the same thing day in and day out, even if it is healthy. The reason for this is that you will soon get sick of it, making your healthy eating journey a great deal harder. Instead, purchase plenty of fresh vegetables and healthy ingredients, and look up fun and interesting recipes for you to try on different days of the week.

Water is hugely important – Finally, as well as eating healthily, you should also drink healthily as well and you don’t get much healthier than water. The human body is roughly 80% water, and we need water for virtually every physiological process imaginable. Try not to drink your calories and PLEASE don’t drink soda very often.