Diving head-first into a weight loss plan can be difficult to maintain long-term if you don't plan to create a lifestyle of healthy habits.

Some people try to lose weight through intermittent fasting or simply swearing off junk foods. Others try to make major changes to their diet but quickly begin missing their favorite snack foods. Before they know it, they revert to their old habits and wind up gaining back the pounds they lost (and more).

Take It Day by Day

Consider these five daily habits that you can make to your diet to help stay on-target with your personal goals for managing or losing weight.

Drink water. Staying hydrated facilitates digestion. Quench your thirst with plain water and tea instead of beverages loaded with calories. 

Focus on whole foods. Cutting back on packaged items will eliminate most empty calories. Make vegetables, fruits, and other natural foods the core of your diet.

Eat breakfast. Start your day with something hearty and nutritious. Refueling in the morning helps to prevent excessive eating later in the day.

Boost your protein. Include some protein in each meal and snack. Foods rich in protein fill you up and recharge your metabolism. Plus, your body has to burn more calories to digest them compared to carbohydrates and fats. 

Increase fiber intake. Fiber is an important nutrient that's often overlooked. Eating more foods rich in fiber, especially soluble or "viscous" fiber, can be a useful tool to support weight loss.