THE FOOD THAT you eat will be the No.1 obstacle when trying to achieve your fitness goals. Whatever your diet plan—Paleoveganlow-carbhigh-protein—consistency will be the hardest challenge. (After all, there’s a reason they call it the cheat day.)

Diets are often overly complicated and make it unrealistic for most people to follow them. It’s actually not that hard to see results from a diet—but it is hard to stick with a particular diet and maintain the results.

That’s why we’ve created this guide. Stick with these realistic steps and you can expect a healthier metabolism, more energy, more muscle, less fat, increased testosterone, and—most important—a different mentality when it comes to eating.

Before you read any further, ask yourself: What are the last three “bad” things that you ate? When was the last time you tried a “diet”? Why did it fall apart? These problems will come up again if you don’t fix them; most hurdles in fitness are behavioral problems that need to be altered. Your last diet most likely fell apart at one of three stages of eating: buying the groceries, preparing your meals, and eating your meals. Here’s how to fix those habits and start with good ones:

How to prioritize grocery shopping for healthy eating

This is where it all starts. If you’re the person buying the food for your kitchen, then try these strategies.

Go to the supermarket after the gym
You’ll feel motivated to keep up with all the hard work you just put in by buying the best options for your body. Just try to get some food in your system, because…

You shouldn’t shop on an empty stomach
This will shut up that voice inside your head that tells you to buy those amazing-looking Oreos. Shopping when you’re hungry triggers your cravings for fast, satisfying food—and that can spell the end to an otherwise careful diet plan.

Make a list
Stick to basics and add or rotate one new snack/meal a week to switch things up. Don’t know what to get? Start with the nine foods that should be in every diet.