Eating healthy will give you some health benefits, but you won't achieve the full benefits possible unless you exercise. Exercising doesn't have to be hard, and you don't even have to break a sweat. Just going for a short 30 minute walk four times a week will greatly improve your health.
If you consume more calories than your body needs each day, your body will store the excess energy as fat. In today's society, that excess body fat is unnecessary. We are no longer hunter/gatherers. Your next meal is as close as your local grocery store and we don't need extra energy stores to hold us over till the next meal.
Use extra virgin olive oil when cooking. It's purer, and is better for your heart than other kinds of olive oil. The darker the better. Furthermore, "light" olive oil has as many Calories as extra virgin olive oil -- the "light" refers to the colour and flavour intensity. Unfortunately, though, using extra virgin olive oil when cooking at higher temperatures ruins the flavours that make it "extra virgin". But olive oil isn't necessarily the most healthy oil, canola oil may be better.
Consider eating leafy greens like Kale, Collard Greens, Mustard Greens and Swiss Chard. They are packed with nutrients and will fill you up very quickly. A simple saute with olive oil, garlic, a little salt and pepper and you have a surprisingly tasty meal that is very nutritious.
This takes patience. You won't see a drastic drop in your cholesterol level or weight or increase in your energy level immediately. You need to give the changes in diet some time to kick in.
Check out spices like Turmeric, Cardamom, Cumin and Cayenne. Studies say these have great antioxidant properties (especially in the liver) and the heat will get your heart rate up and metabolism going.
Have a positive and upbeat attitude. If you start your new diet thinking "This is something I have to do," instead of "This is something I want to do," then you've already failed before you started.
Adding whole, unrefined grains to the diet can add valuable vitamins and minerals that would otherwise be lost, however it can completely upset our digestion as well. Many animals that eat grains have 4 stomachs they use to digest them adequately, and ferment them so they can uptake nutrients. Humans have only one stomach, and if you introduce grains without first fermenting or sprouting them you may experience digestive upsets. There are various anti nutrients in grains (like phytic acid) and enzyme inhibitors that will prevent mineral absorption and lead to deficiencies and digestive problems. To remedy this, take oatmeal and soak it the night before in a little bit of yogurt. This will make it taste slightly sour, but make it more digestible. Sourdough bread is also another good example.
Lettuce is a great choice of natural fiber, and can taste great with the proper healthy dressings. You can make a great salad with nuts, raisins, and whole wheat croutons. Mix it in a bowl so it's evenly distributed and place it on top of a salad. Use a sugar free and low carb balsamic dressing; it has less than 1 gram of carbohydrates and 0 Calories. The head of lettuce is 21 Calories, plus the nuts and raisins and whole wheat croutons which could range depending on size but for this example we will estimate 100 Calories, bringing you a very low calorie and filling meal for only ~120 Calories.