Whether you lead a busy lifestyle or are simply lacking in motivation to be healthy, you may have fallen into bad eating habits.

After a long day, it's easy to just return home and tuck into whatever's in sight, or pick up the phone and call the nearest takeaway – but this is far from a good idea. While you may enjoy your food at the time, the after-effects will leave you feeling lethargic and bloated.

Not just this, but consuming a diet of foods high in sugar and fat can lead to long-term health conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.

So to get back on the right track and break out of bad eating habits, follow these suggestions:

Meal plan

Rather than coming home each evening to an empty fridge and no idea what to have for dinner, plan your meals in advance.

Each weekend, sit down and compile a list of meals that you're going to make in the week. Look through recipe books for ideas and inspiration, then make a note of all the ingredients you need to buy.

This way, you can stock up your fridge and cupboards ready for the week ahead and knowing exactly what you're going to cook each evening.

You may also wish to cook meals in a big batch and freeze any leftovers. This will save plenty of time on those days where you might get home late or simply have no energy to start preparing food.

Swap alcohol for fruit juice

If you enjoy a glass of wine or two throughout the week, swap them for fruity alternatives.

Red grape or fresh orange and mango juice are highly refreshing, as well as tasty and healthy. What's more, you'll wake up the next day feeling revitalised, rather than with a bad headache.

You could even make non-alcoholic cocktails by mixing a combination of your favourite fruit juices together.

If you're going to a party and would like an alcoholic drink though, clear spirits like gin and vodka contain far less calories than wine. Mix them with tonic or soda water and a dash of fresh lime. Just remember to drink responsibly and not overdo it.

Treat yourself differently

If you've had a day or two of eating healthily, it can be tempting to treat yourself to something indulgent, like a slice of cake or bar of chocolate.

This will only give you short-term gratification though, and it's likely you'll be left feeling guilty after all the hard work you've put in to eating well.

So rather than treating yourself to sugary foods, reward your hard work in a different way, like going for a massage or getting your nails done in a beauty salon. You'll feel a lot better about yourself afterwards.

Don't eat while you cook

If you're hungry, it can be tempting to pick at food while you cook your meal. This leads to you consuming unnecessary calories, since you'll be tucking into your main dish once it's cooked anyway.

Rather than snacking, have a glass of water or fruit juice to curb your appetite. If you really can't resist though, opt for a snack such as carrot, celery or cucumber sticks.

Wait ten minutes

After you've finished a meal, you might think you're still hungry and so reach for a second helping or sweet dessert. In some instances though, you might not actually be as hungry as you think, so wait for ten minutes before eating anything else.

During this time, the desire to consume something will typically pass and you can leave your meal to digest peacefully.