What should I do to have a healthy diet?

In terms of what foods you should and should not eat, remember that calories matter more than specific foods. Adequate macro- and micro-nutrition are indeed part of a healthy diet, but appropriate caloric intake is by far the most important rule regardless of the source and whether or not the food is “natural”, “whole”, “clean”, or “dirty”. Repeated studies have shown that having excess body fat, type 2 diabetes and weight gain are resultant from eating and storing more calories than one burns. Eating too many of any form of calories, whether from whole foods or not, will cause these problems. A Newcastle University team has recently discovered(2011) that Type 2 diabetes can actually be reversed by an extreme low calorie diet alone. In terms of the hormonal response to a single meal, a fast-food meal has been shown to elicit a similar response to an equivalent organic one.

Coach Dan John also has some “tough love” about eating and diet in this article that should be read and taken to heart by everyone interested in eating better or changing their diet:

Someone recently asked me about “the secret to nutrition.” Seriously, you don’t know what to do about food? Here’s an idea: eat like an adult.

Stop eating fast food, stop eating kid’s cereal, knock it off with all the sweets and comfort foods, and ease up on the snacking. And don’t act like you don’t know this: eat more vegetables and fruits.

Really, how difficult is this? Stop with the whining. Stop with the excuses. Act like an adult and stop eating like a television commercial. Grow up.

It reminds me of what they tell students at top universities: “Look to your right. Now, look to your left. Every person around you was a straight-A student in high school, class president, and valedictorian. Get over it.”

Every success in your life doesn’t call for several extra rounds of beer, a salutary doughnut, and high fives from everyone. You’re an adult now; you don’t need a cookie every time you do something special.

Great athletes score a touchdown, goal, or point and just keep moving along. It’s your job, so get over it. So, if you want to look good in the future, you have to start looking at food like, well, food and not a reward.

Step one to the kingly approach to eating is to have a long-term focus. We all know that vegetables, lean protein, and fresh water are probably the best choices meal-in and meal-out the rest of your life. If you hover around those choices for the bulk of your meals, you’ll be fine. You know this. Do this.

For further reading from Reddit users themselves, you can find some great advice on diet related topics in our Community Campfire threads archive.