It’s important to be conscious of what you put into your body not only for health reasons, but also because it affects your energy levels, mood and how you feel about yourself. Here are a few ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle and a happier you.

1. First and foremost, always remember, this isn’t an overnight process. It takes time. So set yourself up for success by taking small steps and sticking to a plan that includes healthy eating choices and daily exercise.

2. Set realistic goals for yourself to meet over time. And when you meet these goals, reward yourself!

3. Always eat breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day and helps get your metabolism going.

4. Drink. drink. drink. WATER. Drink water all day long. It’s recommended you have 6-8 12-oz glasses of water a day. Get a fun water bottle and constantly refill it throughout the day. It will become your best friend.

5.  Portion control is an important part of every healthy diet. Eating several smaller meals throughout the day helps boost your metabolism and keeps your energy high. It also helps curb temptations as your body constantly feels full.

6. Add lots of color to your diet through fruits and vegetables. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

7. Choose good grains and carbs – it’s easier to do than you think! Whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa and barley are all healthy carbs you can use to create a delicious meal. Avoid refined sugars, white bread and white rice.

8. Mix up the types of protein that you eat.  Tofu, nuts, beans and soy  products are great sources of protein. Also be conscious of the types and quality of meat you consume.

9. Everything in moderation. Don’t completely cut out any food. If you want a sweet treat, then don’t deny yourself that. Another way to reward yourself is to allow a cheat day, where you can indulge in a piece of cake or a slice of pizza. Life’s too short not to enjoy the good things.