There are thousands of different opinions, theories, and studies on the “healthiest diet.” The interesting thing is that none of them are the same. Don’t worry I’m not going to weigh in on that idea of the healthiest diet, but what I am going to talk about a couple things in order to make your own diet the healthiest it can be.

First and most importantly, understand yourself. Know the way that you interact with food and dieting. Do you love food? Are meals a huge piece of your day? Do you just eat because it’s time to eat? Do you get hangry or lethargic? Is it easy to cook at night or sounds like your worst nightmare? Thinking about some of these questions and others like them will allow you to build habits that are specific to you and what you need. Knowing about yourself that you hate to cook, opens your eyes to the fact that maybe you eat out more than you should. Or knowing that food is a big social piece of your life makes sticking to a diet very difficult. None of that is bad, but not realizing these things makes nutrition difficult to understand. No two people are the same in the way that food effects them, both internally and externally. Also, know what kinds of foods you do and don’t enjoy. If the diet you are trying to hold to is only eat Brussel sprouts (which would be a very poorly thought out diet by the way,) but you don’t like Brussel sprouts, then you are just doing yourself a disservice. Find the balance between healthy and enjoyable, and you will find recipes and foods that are both.

The next idea is focus on portion control. Even a healthy diet can cause weight gain if you are eating too much. Too much of a good thing is still too much. Based on the first point, maybe counting calories doesn’t actually help you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of portion sizes. Maybe you do need to count calories, but if you don’t stick to the portions provided then the calories you are counting are incorrect anyways. A good, healthy diet can be derailed really easily by not paying attention to portions. One great way to take control of that is to meal prep. There are tons of different resources out there to help you meal prep; whether it is how or when, anything.

Don’t worry about the healthiest diet, once someone “discovers” it you’ll know about it. Focus on finding something that you can stick to and make a daily part of your life as opposed to just this season of life. Know yourself and make sure you aren’t ruining your own diet!