Earlier this year, the New York Times published an article regarding weight loss—specifically, the best way to lose weight. One conclusion: The best diet is the one you can stick to.

I have written and spoken frequently about the way I eat. I don’t push a particular diet and I don’t focus on weight loss. When I have written about weight loss, I keep it simple: eat less and exercise more. But, simple isn’t easy.

The closest I come to pushing a particular diet is what I have called the “Be Healthy” diet, named after the sixth of my Six Simple Rules. As I wrote about in that chapter of my book, there are many aspects to being and staying healthy. The two I primarily write about are eating well and exercising.

I gave many suggestions in my book and have given many more in blog posts. I know what I write won’t work for everyone. I know people who have gotten healthier (weight loss or not) in a variety of ways. That’s why the conclusion to the Times article resonates with me: find a way of eating that works for you.

I googled the definition of a diet. The first definition is what people mean when they say they are on a diet: “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.”

The second definition is what I am referring to when I talk about my diet: “the kinds of food that a person habitually eats.” My diet, what I habitually eat, is all about being healthy. That doesn’t mean I only eat healthy food. It means, overall, I am a healthy eater. The way I eat works for me. Find what works for you. Here are some of the ways I eat:

  • I do not eat red meat. I feel strongly red meat should be consumed sparingly. It’s easier for me to simply not eat it at all. Again that’s what works for me. I eat a lot of fish, especially canned sardines and herring, and broiled or grilled salmon.
  • I eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • I eat whole grains. I don’t exclusively eat whole grains, but it’s rare that I eat other-than-whole grains.
  • I eat a couple of ounces of nuts each day—particularly walnuts with my breakfast and almonds as a snack. I also eat peanuts, cashews, and other nuts.
  • I minimize my intake of added sugars.
  • My main drink is water. I rarely drink anything else.

The other thing about how I eat: all these pieces didn’t come at the same time. It wasn’t a revolution. It was an evolution. In most cases, it was one small piece at a time.

Remember that second definition of a diet. It’s what you habitually eat—your eating habits. And, as I have written countless times: the key to making changes that stick is to break down those changes into tiny pieces, and to focus on one a day for the 21 days it take to create a habit.

Once it becomes a habit, add another, and so on. Those small changes will add up to the big changes you want to make.

What are the elements of your diet (how you habitually eat)? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,