If you have tried to diet at some point in your life, you’ll know that the struggles to stay committed to it is real. It takes a little more than motivation to remain committed to your goals. Halfway through it, your determination seems to dwindle, and before you know it, you begin to question the self-imposed rules you had put in place to keep yourself on track. If this is a cycle you find yourself stuck in ever so often, maybe it’s time for you to re-examine and re-evaluate the process altogether. In this article, we bring 10 simple strategies that will help you stay on track with a healthy diet.
Tips To Help You Stick To Healthy Diet
The primary reason why most people find it difficult to stick to healthy eating or their weight loss journey is the belief that in order to do so they need to put themselves on a strict diet. They are somehow led to believe that unless and until they do not embark on an organic diet with strict rules that tells them what they can or can’t eat, they won’t be able to lose weight. Maybe for some people this process works, but we cannot deny that a majority of people struggle to operate under such a strict framework.
That is why it is almost imperative for you to first and foremost address your eating habits and the relationship you share with food, before getting onto any particular diet. It is only once you’ve done that - identified and addressed all your problematic eating habits such as binge eating, stress eating, or emotional eating - you can find a more balanced diet plan that suits your eating habits and body in the long run. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started with the easy ways to stay on track with a healthy diet.
Decide On A Diet To Follow - Preferably An Organic Diet!
Simply put, an organic diet is a diet that primarily consists of fresh fruits and vegetables and products that are organically produced. A diet that boosts metabolism and fastens the weight loss process consists of foods rich in dietary fiber. To know which diet best suits you, check out our article, “4 Types Of Healthy Diet You Must Know About!”. That should help you decide! You can also custom-make your own diet plan, based on your nutritional needs and weight loss goals.
Maintain a Food Journal
To stay committed to something long term such as your healthy diet, you need a system that will help you plan it or even evaluate it on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It is almost naive to think that you will be able to stick to a diet for the long haul without going back to it from time to time. So the best way to do it is by maintaining a food diary or a journal. It acts as a tool to help you make your diet plan more balanced over a while as you will be able to identify what works best for you and what doesn’t, what you need to consume more, and what you need to get rid of to meet the nutritional requirements of your body. Journalling is a wonderful way to stay committed to your long-term goals.
Closely Monitor Your Successes
In your food journal, maintain a track record of your weight so that you can see your progress. Don’t check your weight everyday as it can be very demotivating. Come up with a system and a time frame - for instance, weight loss of a kg a week- that should help you stay on track. So, dedicate one day a week to track your weight and maintain a record of it in your diary/journal. Additionally, take time to notice the improvements a healthy diet can bring to your life, such as higher energy levels, clothes that fit better, sleep that’s sound, and the like.
Differentiate Between Short-term & Long-term Goals
Before you embark on your weight loss journey, set up your short-term and long-term goals. It is very important to differentiate between them so that you don’t confuse yourself and stay motivated every time you meet your short-term goals. For instance, your long-term goal could be to lose 10 or 20 kgs. However, in order to achieve that over a period of time, you need to stay motivated. Keeping small goals will help you stay on track. Keeping a 1 percent fat loss as a weekly (short-term) goal is a perfect example of the same. Accordingly, you’ll decide what foods to eat and how much to exercise to reach the goal. A cumulative achievement of short term goals will inch you towards the long-term one.
Say No To Eating Out
On the days you feel extremely tired to cook a healthy homemade meal, you may find yourself toying with the idea of eating out or calling in for a takeout. You may try to reason with yourself saying that as long as it fits within the calorie count, you’re good to go. However, it is best to be avoided. You are not aware of the ingredients that go into making the food you are about to eat. Moreover, it breaks the flow of your conscious eating, which can make it harder for you to get back on track.
Get A Friend To Join You
Sticking to a diet and exercise plan can be tough especially if you are doing it alone. So how about devising a system that will help you stay on track? Having a diet or exercise buddy may be of great help. A 2015 research published in JAMA Internal Medicine elucidates this point by examining data from over 3000 couples. It concludes that when one person made a positive lifestyle change, such as upping his physical activity, the other partner was more likely to follow suit.
Avoid an “All or Nothing Approach” At All Cost
Most people tend to operate in extremes, which is that they either abstain from all unhealthy foods or completely let loose and overindulge. This is an absolute black-and-white approach that does more harm than good. Sure, you may have had a few extra starters at a party, but don’t let the guilt push you to ditch the diet plan altogether. Instead of thinking that your diet is ruined, treat it as a minor setback and continue to make healthy food choices. Avoid eating unprocessed, fried foods for the remainder of the evening. One or two lapses in your diet don’t matter when you put the larger picture in focus. Balance it out with healthy food choices rather than simply giving it all up.
Try The Portion Control Technique
It is not just what you eat that’s important. Sometimes it is also ‘how much you eat’ that needs to be taken into account. By simply controlling your portion size, you’ll be able to eat what you want without feeling guilty. Additionally, you will be able to divide your major meals into small portions throughout the day, which will not only keep you satiated for long but also fasten up your metabolism. The portion control technique will help you control your calorie intake and stay on track.
Both diet and exercise go hand in hand to achieve maximum results. They both compliment each other and are a healthier approach to losing weight. Moreover, when you exercise, a little bit of indulgence here and there won’t put you off-track. Exercising also releases endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which boosts your mood and helps you stay motivated to your routine, including your diet plan.
The best way to stay motivated and stick to your diet plan is to reward yourself every time you achieve small milestones along the way. This reward can be in the form of a cheat meal, or something you want like a new dress or a spa treatment. Figure out how you want to reward yourself and use this technique to push harder, particularly when the going gets tough.
Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are many diet plans out there but the important thing is to stay committed to the one you choose. An ideal diet plan must comprise fresh fruits, vegetables and whole foods that are rich in dietary fibre. You can also use supplements to help you meet your dietary requirements, such as Well Being Nutrition’s Daily Greens. While your diet plan may be foolproof, you need a little more than just that to stay committed to achieving your goals, whether that is to lose weight or get healthier. We hope the aforementioned tips help you stay on track with your health and wellness goals in a safe and sustainable way.
- The Effect of a Mindful Restaurant Eating Intervention on Weight Management in Women, Gayle M. Timmerman and Adama Brown, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, 2012, doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.03.143, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3259454/)
- The influence of partner's behavior on health behavior change: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, Sarah E Jackson, Andrew Steptoe, Jane Wardle, JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015, doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7554, (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25599511/)
- The Effect of Adherence to Dietary Tracking on Weight Loss: Using HLM to Model Weight Loss over Time, John Spencer Ingels, Ranjita Misra, Jonathan Stewart, Brandon Lucke-Wold, and Samantha Shawley-Brzoska, Journal of Diabetes Research, 2017, doi: 10.1155/2017/6951495, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5568610/)