How to Stick to a Diet | Stay on Track with These Effective Tricks

“Weight loss doesn't begin in the gym with a dumbbell; it starts in your head with a decision "-Toni Sorenson

How to stick to a diet

Are you constantly stressing about how to lose belly fat every time you look into the mirror and see your muffin top? Have you tried exercising and changing your eating habits only to come back to square one after a few days of trying? Well, now is the time to make a change in both. Your weight, as well your perception of dieting as a flop idea to get in shape.

A study carried out across 30 countries showed, that 45% of people around the globe are trying to lose weight. Everyone tries to practice dieting for different reasons, such as wanting to make healthy lifestyle changes, combating health issues with dietary changes, or simply looking fit and beautiful for a wedding this season.

11 Methods To Boost Willpower and Achieve Your Fitness Goals

You give up on dieting because you try to cut down your calories solely through willpower and emotions. Well, you need more than that and we have got your back!

Here are a number of changes that you should make in order to stick to your diet plan and achieve your health and fitness goals.

1Give ‘Diet’ A New Meaning

Dieting has become a scary word, sounding more like a punishment that you have to endure because you have gained some weight. This restrictive approach makes it difficult to carry on dieting for a long and effective time period.

Instead, consider dieting to be a form of self-love and a habit of making healthy choices for your body. This positive mindset will make it easier for you to say no to cravings and temptations because then it won’t feel like deprivation from your favorite ice cream, but rather self-care from extra sugar that your body doesn’t need.

2Set Realistic Goals And Don’t Fall Prey To Extreme Dieting Methods

When you decide to lose 5kg in three weeks you are setting yourself up for failure. These drastic weight changes necessitate extremely strict dietary plans such as a crash diet or keto diet. Most of these diets fail because they aren’t sustainable in the long run. You may lose weight quickly at first but you will gain it again. Whereas the goal is to lose weight and keep it off, not to constantly fluctuate between gain and loss of weight.

Instead of weeks, plan your diet over months and allow your body to lose weight in a permanent and healthy manner.

Remember what Kerri Walsch Jennings said:

“It is going to be a journey. Its not a sprint to get in shape”

Kerri Walsch Jennings

3Plan Your Meals Ahead

Being hungry makes us impatient and alters our decision-making capacity. As a result, we choose smaller rewards that may arrive soon over larger rewards later. That is why it is better to plan your meal before you begin to get hungry.

Similarly, if you have to go out with a friend who always makes you cheat on your diet, make sure to have a bowl of oats before you leave. Because who likes to have a burger when they just had a bowl of oats an hour ago?

4Prepare Your Meals With Extra Effort And Love

If you don’t put your heart into cooking something, you will most probably not enjoy eating it. It’s just not me; even science agrees that food made with love tastes better.

Look for a recipe you’d like to try, keep your pantry stocked with ingredients for your meals, try not to cook in a hurry, and pay attention to the presentation of food on the plate.

These small efforts will make your diet meal more enjoyable and satisfying for you.

5Plan Your Cheat Meals Wisely

Science says that it’s a good idea to have cheat meals now and then because they help you stick longer to your diet plan. However, instead of having a full day cheat meal, split it into two meals per week. This way you can burn off the extra calories from each meal with activity throughout the remaining day and you won’t have to wait another long week to enjoy a cheat meal.

6Keep A Variety Of Everything In Your Diet

One of the main reasons we give up on dieting is that we get bored eating the same meals over and over.

There is a false concept of totally removing some foods from your plate in the name of dieting. A portion of food shouldn’t be completely banned until or unless there is a medical reason for it or it has been labeled toxic for the body.

In a healthy dieting plan, almost half of your plate should be filled with salads, vegetables, or low fructose fruits and with that, you can take good quality proteins and a portion of complex carbohydrates. This way you will have almost everything on regular basis. It will nourish your body, satisfy your taste buds and provide all of the essential amino acids.

7Make Healthy Alterations In Your Favourite Foods To Enjoy Them Often

A little bit of variation in the food may not change the taste so much and you can continue to enjoy your special foods. If you like tacos, try making them with quinoa and kale, or if you are craving tomato sauce pasta, go for whole-grain pasta instead of white pasta. These simple adaptations will help you stick longer to your diet.

Eel Sauce Recipe
Relish the Low Carb Pasta with these Traditional and Tasty Recipes

8Make Changes Gradually Rather Than All At Once

As appealing as it may be to see the results of your dieting as soon as possible, making drastic changes to your diet is not a good idea. If you eat five meals a day and then decide to have only one, this plan will last only two days. Not only does your mind require time to adjust to the changes, but so does your digestive system. Make gradual changes to your diet and set milestones of days and weeks to introduce the following dietary change.

9Avoid Going Without Food For Extended Periods Of Time

When it comes to dieting we like to think that if we don’t eat for long periods of time, we are doing well. However, reality may be different because if you skip your breakfast you will have to work on an empty stomach and you will be famished by lunchtime and will end up eating a lot more than you want to. This type of eating pattern will make you dull; you will feel tired first from not eating at all and then from an overloaded stomach. This cycle will make it difficult for you to stick to your diet.

Instead, try to schedule your meals at regular intervals and at the same time each day. This will also keep you from succumbing to hunger pangs, which are the main reason you end up satisfying your sugary cravings.

10Track Your Weight Loss Progress

Keep a track of what you eat, how you feel about it, and what changes it brings to your life. This simple act will help you understand which foods help you better with your goals and it will also provide you with motivation to continue with your diet plans. Whether you prefer to keep a journal, use diet monitoring applications like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt!, or take photos of yourself every week, preferably in the same shirt, light, and location, to make it easier to compare any weight changes that occur over time, the goal here is to let yourself know that the effort you’re putting in is gradually manifesting itself into the change you want to see in yourself

11Reward Yourself From Time To Time

The concept of reward as positive reinforcement is not novel, however, the reward doesn’t always have to be food. Instead, you can buy yourself those pair of shoes that piqued your interest the last time you were in a shopping mall, or you can get yourself a relaxing massage. This kind of positive reinforcement will associate dieting with a happy outcome, convincing your mind to stick to your diet regime.

Final Words

Instead of setting a weight goal with the intention to quit dieting one day, make dieting a part of yourself, that you will always need to stay fit and healthy. After all the goal is to create a healthy lifestyle and not just change numbers on the weight scale!

Also Read: How To Stay Happy: A Charming Gesture Sure to Enhance Your Lifestyle!

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Dr Asma Talha is a doctor by profession and a writer at heart. She is curious about human psyche and all that it has to offer. She is currently preparing to pursue her medical career in Germany.