by: Remie Longbrake | published: May 22, 2019
It's well known, fad diets are everywhere. It's also known that dieting is very difficult and many do not get the results they want. Everyone who starts a diet will feel the need to cheat from time to time. Dieting can be tough, but there are ways to make it easier.
We often stack the deck against ourselves and don’t even realize it. Since sticking to a diet can be so challenging, it only makes sense to give yourself every possible advantage by removing, or planning for, the most likely obstacles.
Using these tips to stick to your diet can get you the success you want.
1. Make up a grocery list and stick to it.
Before going to the store, prepare a list of meals that you will want to have over the next few days or the week. Consider the ingredients you will need to make these meals. Typically your list should include fresh vegetables, lean meat, fruits, grains and dairy products.
2. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.
For the most part, the fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy are all on the perimeter of the store. Sticking to the edge of the store can help with your weight loss success. If you do have to venture down the aisle try to contain yourself to buying only what is on the list.
3. Keep foods out of the house that don’t fit your diet plans.
You can’t eat it if it’s not in front of you or in the house. Get the bad foods out before it creates a challenge. Go through your refrigerator and pantry and identify all the foods you shouldn’t eat. If living with family, get them involved so they will help you meet your weight loss goals.
4. Drink a sufficient amount of water.
The old rule is 8 oz of water per day. Although that is not always true, many nutritionist and doctors advise to drink when you are thirsty instead. Your climate and activities can effect how much water you need as well. Water is filling if you drink enough of it. Those initial hunger pains you get actually could be indicating you are thirsty instead. If you start with having a glass of cold water first that will help control your appetite. There is water in most fruit as well so this can be used as a good snack that will help with your water intake.
5. Wait out hunger.
When you have the urge to eat something you know you shouldn’t, don’t give in right away. Try to keep busy or drink some water first. Wait it out a few minutes. You’ll often find that the urge will go away. It's important however that when you do eat, you don't sabotage your diet with foods that don't serve your body well.
6. Focus on your health.
Eating something that’s unhealthy feels good in the short-term, especially with sugary treats. The body craves sugar and it can be very difficult to stop feeding this habit. One way to give yourself long-term focus is to make your health a priority. You’ll be less likely to sabotage yourself if you’re thinking long-term. Exercising and getting enough sleep is crucial in your dieting regiment right along with eating right.
7. Avoid cutting back too far.
Those unwanted pounds likely took years to accumulate. Give yourself some time to get rid of them. There’s evidence that losing weight quickly is a poor long-term strategy as many times you will gain the weight right back. To often if we lose weight too quick the results will not be sustainable because we shocked the body. If you do not continue those weight loss habits it will be easier to go back to your prior eating habits because the body is still familiar with the old habits.
8. Weigh or measure food.
Food scales are generally inexpensive as are measuring cups and spoons. Ensure that you understand how much you’re actually eating. You might be surprised how far off you are once you start measuring. You should measure according to what your calorie intake should be for that meal. The key is allowing yourself some extra time to do the measuring. Often we get in a hurry and grab something of convenience. It's in those times especially that we can get ourselves in trouble.
9. Avoid over analyzing mistakes.
A diet doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective. A mistake is just a temporary setback. In the beginning a diet will be hard. Don't be afraid of allowing some cheats. As time progresses however, those cheats should slowly be weened down from once per day to perhaps once per week. So if you shake it off and accept that mistakes happen from time to time you will be more inclined to be successful.
10. Make fiber your friend.
Fiber is healthy and filling. Most people don’t get enough fiber. You can make it a point to eat foods high in fiber or take a fiber supplement. A high-fiber meal is very satiating, and the feeling generally lasts for quite a while. Some foods high in fiber include, apples, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, avocados, chick peas, kidney beans, broccoli, quinoa and oats.
11. Avoid eating out.
Many restaurants don’t have a good selection of healthy options. Restaurants can be a healthy dining option, but it’s very easy to make a significant mistake. Even a salad with the wrong dressing can sabotage your diet. Many menu's these days to have calorie counts included. Be sure to use that information to make a healthy meal decision. Also consider that many restaurants prepare meals that include a lot of salt. This is done to enhance flavor and it's hard to know how much salt is in the meal. Additionally, if your meal is a lot of food, save some for another meal as you do not have to eat it all at one time. Also drink water as the meal is being prepared as this can help curb you appetite and prevent you from eating too much. Although it's best to keep eating out very limited. If you must eat out, consider your options first.
12. Get some exercise.
Exercise is very useful. It decreases your appetite. It also is extremely helpful to burn off some calories. When you know how much effort it took to do the exercise it generally makes it more painful to cheat on your diet. Knowing that you worked hard to burn 300 or more calories on the exercise bike will make you less likely to undo all that hard work by eating poorly. How much exercise you need depends, ideally every day. It can be a simple as a nice walk but do try to do more strenous activities as possible. Doing that will burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. The important thing is to make it a habit and to try to make it fun and enjoyable.
13. Be accountable.
Write down your weight loss goals and be realistic. Often one to two pounds per week is a good goal to achieve for many. Break down those goals as often as you would like. Weekly, monthly and yearly will keep you on point. It will take time so be patient. Getting a friend involved will also help. Motivate each other and stick to your weight loss goals. A lot of losing weight is being consistent and persistent. Visualizing yourself in the body you want can help keep you on track. Also if the budget allows reward yourself for meeting your goals. Go do something fun, buy a set of new clothes, anything that will help motivate you for success!
The conclusion is to stop sabotaging yourself! You really are your own worst enemy. Dieting is a challenging endeavor, but most of us make it much harder than it needs to be. Use these tips to stack the odds in your favor. You can be a successful dieter!
Please use these tips as a reference only. The list is not inclusive and should not be considered as a replacement for doctors advice in your weight loss journey or your specific health obligations.