18 September 2016

How To Stick To A Diet: 31 Quick Tips

So what do you think is the hardest part of dieting? That's right, sticking to it - motivating yourself to keep eating those healthy food options when tasty but fattening alternatives are readily available.

It's certainly not easy to keep yourself motivated - week 1 might be a dodle, week 2 probably a bit harder, but we want to make real long term changes right? So how do you stick to your diet well into month 3, 4, 5:?

Here are 31 bite sized tips to keep you motivated:

1 habit at a time

I mentioned in my previous post (healthy weight loss) that we humans are not good at forming more than one habit at a time. Trying to change every aspect of how you eat all at once is a recipe for disaster, some http://trulyrawgourmet.com/slimgenics-reviews.html. Just change one thing at a time and change your lifestyle gradually.

Stay full

Thanks to a clever bit of evolution our brains are hard wired to crave high calorie foods whenever we are hungry. The hungrier you get, the more you want a high fat, high carb pizza, or piece of cake. Avoid this evolutionary betrayal by never letting yourself go hungry.

Cook more

We have a habit of wanting food right now, and we are not good at waiting any more. Cooking is actually quite relaxing and helps you to appreciate your food. Get into the habit of cooking more and not only will your meals be healthier, you will curb that impatience and learn to savor your food.

Get a hobby

How often do you eat because you don't have a lot else to do? Be honest: My favorite pass time when I'm at a lose end is to go out for a meal. Get a hobby and you will have an alternative to eating next time you get bored.

Protein

Carbs (especially sugar) turn into fat, fat already is fat, protein on the other hand does not naturally lend itself to becoming fat cells. Protein is also often considered to satiate your hunger more effectively than carbs or fat. So up your protein intake and lower your fat and you should be able to stave off the hunger more easily.

Fibre

Fibre doesn't count as calories because it isn't digested - it helps to move food through your body, which keeps you healthy. The practical upshot is that a bowl of bran flakes or any other meal with lots of fibre (veg for instance) tends to be very low calorie but pretty filling.

Food diary

Keeping a food diary, where you write down everything you eat is a great way to track your progress. You would be amazed at how selective your memory is when it wants to be. Write down everything and then at the end of the week you can asses how much you really deserve that chocolate cake.

Take photos of food

Unfortunately even writing stuff down isn't fool proof and you can't always describe every meal and drink perfectly. So instead, take a photo of every meal, upload them all each day and sort into folders and you have a very visual comparison of how you eat eat day.

Take photos of you

Take a photo of yourself each month, compare them side by side and hopefully you will see some progress. Even small changes in your appearance can motivate you, and regularly reviewing these photos will remind you what you are trying to achieve.

Motivate yourself

Figuring out how to stick to a diet is as simple as figuring out why you want to. Figure out what your motivation is and find a way to remind yourself of that motivation every day. If you can't envision yourself being successful you never will be.

Be accountable

Tell people that you are dieting, tell everyone in fact and don't be afraid to tell them how much you want to achieve it and what lengths you will go to. The more people who know the better - this will put the pressure on you to succeed, if only not to face having to admit to everyone you know that you failed. Go up the stakes right now so that there is no going back.

Support networks

Whilst you are telling everyone about your goals, ask your closest friends and family to help you stick to your diet. You might be surprised how much support is available to you if you just ask.

Exercise

Trimming a few extra calories will help, but further more, exercise makes you feel good about yourself and more energetic in general. Those things alone will keep your spirits up and make you want to stick to your healthy lifestyle.

Drink more

There are plenty of reasons why drinking plenty is good for you, but when you're really hungry, having a big swig of water will fill your tummy just for a few minutes and help you make a more sensible meal decision without your judgement being clouded by your hunger.

Eat soup

Studies suggest that soup takes longer to digest and fills your stomach more completely compared to eating the equivalent meal with a glass of water. Staying full longer is obviously a good thing, so eat soup!

Treat yourself

You can't stick rigidly to your diet every minute of every day - the prospect of never again eating a chocolate bar will eventually break you. Allow yourself a small treat once a week, but only if you deserve it (check your food diary).

Do what works

A 5 bean diet might be great on paper, but if you can't stand beans you will never stick to it. Try to focus on finding healthy foods that you actually like. You don't have to pick the very healthiest option, just a reasonably healthy option that you can also enjoy.

Don't crash

Crash diets are bad, you can't lose large amounts of weight consistently and trying to deprive yourself too much is a sure way to break your will power. Instead take it slowly, just aim to lose weight gradually and set realistic goals.

Maintain blood sugar

Learn to understand how food affects your blood sugar and try to eat 'slow carbs' in order to stabilize your energy levels throughout the day. Avoid food comas and you will feel more energetic and active whilst being less inclined to over eat.

Graze

Eating, no matter how carefully you do so causes your energy levels to rise and fall and these spikes are what cause us to over eat and/or to get hungry. Eating little bits throughout the day, as long as you are careful to watch your total calorie intake is a great way to level out such spikes.

Drink warm water

I'm honestly not sure about the science behind this, but try drinking a mug of hot water (not too hot), instead of cold. I find it makes me feel fuller and can often make me eat less at meals. I also think it tastes nice! Try it and see:

Small plate

It's a psychological thing, having a slightly smaller plate makes a smaller meal look more substantial - it also stops you from taking too much food, so it works in two ways.

Small fork

Once you start eating it actually takes a while for the message of fullness to travel from your stomach to your brain, which means that if you eat too fast you might well have eaten too much before you even feel full. Try eating with a smaller fork, or otherwise slow yourself down and you will be less likely to overeat. You might find you enjoy your food more too.

Routine

Make healthy eat part of your routine so you don't even need to think about it. A simple habit to form is the practice of preparing your lunch for work as soon as you finish your breakfast each morning. Make it a habit and you won't need to go buy an unhealthy lunch from the canteen - this saves you money too.

Don't expect miracles

If you don't feel like you are getting anywhere you won't be motivated to keep going - unfortunately we often tend to have unrealistic expectations of what we can achieve. Set yourself realistic expectations so that when you only lose half a pound you don't feel like you're not doing well.

Stop standing on the scales

You stand more chance of sticking to a diet if you don't make it all about how much you weigh. Weight fluctuates and is actually a pretty poor way to track your progress, your ultimate goal after all is probably to look slimmer. Banish the scales and avoid that depressing ritual.

Distraction

Learn to distract yourself whenever you feel peckish but know you shouldn't be eating. Great ways to do this involve simple exercise routines, going for a walk, reading a book, or any other quick and enjoyable task you can immerse yourself in for a minute.

Eat first

If you are going out with friends, eat a little healthy something before you go, this will stop you overeating whilst you are out and reduce your need to buy a massive tub of popcorn or a chocolate bar.

Don't buy it

You can easily stop yourself from eating naughty snacks by simply not buying them in the first place. If you don't have them in your cupboard you won't be tempted by them. You will stick to your diet because that's the only available option.

Eat high water foods

In tests it has been shown that high water content foods such as cucumber are more filling per calorie than other drier foods. In short, they fill you up, but they don't fatten you up.

Test yourself

Make a habit of testing your will power as a way to build it up. Try to make saying no a game, focus your mind and challenge yourself to decline desert when everyone else is having one and then reward yourself by feeling good about it afterwards.