How can I lose weight? How can I lower my blood pressure? How can I lose belly fat? These are the top suggestions whenever you type “how can I” into Google. Clearly, a good number of people are concerned with their health and body image, but are unsure of where — or even how — to begin their health and fitness journeys.

If you have found yourself in this group, let me assure you that it is possible to improve your diet and overall health — however, you have to be ready to commit to these changes long-term.

If you’re ready to take this plunge, here is some advice on how to improve your diet in a lasting way:

Reflect on your personal eating habits

Determine your good and bad dietary habits, as well as how frequently you eat. Are there any specific events that make you desire food, such as stress, sadness, anger, or even excitement? Although it may be difficult to come to terms with these trends, identifying and committing to changing your relationship with food will be the first and most important step to improving your health.

Readjust your portions

Before you serve up your next delicious meal, consider the size of the plate you’re using. Multiple studies have concluded that as plates have increased in size and diameter, so have our portions. By switching to smaller plates, bowls, and glasses, you will retrain yourself to take smaller portions and, eventually, eat less per meal.

Keep your serving dishes in the kitchen

Although it’s more convenient to bring your serving dishes into the dining room (or wherever you may be eating), it’s recommended that you plate up food in the kitchen and leave the rest behind. This tactic actually decreases your desire to get seconds, since you would have to travel “all the way” back to the kitchen in order to do so.

Aim for improved health, not weight loss

In an age of fad diets and rapid weight loss gimmicks, it’s easy to change your diet for all the wrong reasons. In order to combat this dangerous mindset, it’s important to steer clear of all diet programs, books, and pills. You know what is and isn’t good for you, as well as what you should and shouldn’t be eating regularly, so you should be able to adapt your diet accordingly. Not only will you see results from this change in lifestyle, but you will also ensure your diet is successful in the long-run.