With the new year fast approaching it’s always a time of year to start a new diet plan or change up the way you are eating for some people. This is one of the most common New Years resolutions or new year goals. The common cycle of a diet or a eating change usually goes something like this. Everyone looks to magazines and the latest internet article, or what their friend is posting about on Facebook that he or she is doing. They get all the information, buy all the food, restrict themselves of so called bad foods, when they go out to eat they just get lettuce and water. Then the inevitable happens, they don’t lose any weight, and they benige eat all the foods that they have restricted themselves of over the past 2 or 3 weeks. Then after they feel terrible they start this whole process over again maybe this time with a different diet,or new information, or a special life changing supplement. This is an all to familiar cycle that people go through to lose weight. The question is what is there to do to stop this process? There are a couple ways we can tackle this question.
- Have a Clear Goal in Mind. This can seems to be an obvious statement but really think about the goal you want to achieve and then have a realistic mindset to get there. If my goal was to look like a bodybuilder on stage in 6 months realistically I would have to make some drastic sacrifices that in real life I wouldn’t be able to make. Same goes for seeing some body goals that you would like to achieve, understanding that it is a process will help with your expectations. Have a goal in mind weather that be weight, or muscle gain or just making healthy choices. Once you have a goal then you will see the path you are going to have to take to get there. You can see how much food you will need, how much of a change you have to make with eating habits, this way you will know the sacrifices to get there and have less of a battle when things get hard.
- Find a Plan that Works for You. This should be a lifestyle change not a way to deprive yourself. Food is a necessity of life, we have to eat everyday if the food that we are eating is not enjoyable it’s a safe bet to say we will not stick with it. To help, understand why eating some foods is beneficial to your health, don’t just eat something because a magazine said it will give you a six pack in a week understand the benefits of good foods for health. The best diet you can be on is that one that works for you. That means if you feel great eating carrots all day and you are losing weight and find it enjoyable then that is the diet for you. You will only stick with it if it works for you.
- Diets and Nutrition Plans are not Made to Be a Cookie Cutter Option for Everyone. We all have unique make up of our own bodies. Some plans work different for other people. You have to experiment with trial and error. This is why I believe that tracking what you eat is important, we can only control what we track. Track your food so you can see over time what you have put in your body, if it’s not working that’s when we can change it up.
- Failing to Prepare is a Death Sentence When Trying to Change Your Eating Habits. If you know you are going to have a busy week or you are going to be going out to eat not doing your research will kill you. Having food prepared for the next day is the safest way to stay on track. If you don’t have food or no time to cook then going out is your fall back when you are tired after a long day and more likely to fall into temptation. Always having a plan and knowing the foods you are eating ahead of time works wonders for staying on track with your plan.
- Be Consistent. If your nutrition plan or diet resembles something like a roller coaster of highs and lows then it’s not going to work over a long period of time. Cutting yourself off of food to eating whatever you want will get you meek results. Having a steady path with maybe a few bumps in the road over time leads to great success. Great things take time. Having want you want can’t come over night. Understand you are in this for the journey not a quick result.
- Keep Portion Control in Mind. Life happens, you will come face to face with making a choice about food everyday. Temptation can get the best of us in our food choices. Learn that it’s ok to have a smaller portion of the foods you love. It’s not going to set you back unless you continually over abuse that food. You can over eat any kind of food, just because bacon is good for you doesn’t mean you should eat the whole bag in the morning, the same goes for sweets. Don’t deprive yourself of food just leave room in your diet that day if you know you are going to be faced with a choice to make or even just have a sweet tooth. It’s not the end of the world just don’t let it define your process.
To sum up what we have talked about to avoid the never ending diet cycle the change needs to start with your mindset. This is a process and it’s a process that everyone goes through. If you can be confident about your journey and prepare yourself for success you can do anything. Start with your goal then, find a plan that works for you, keep track of your food daily, always be prepared for your next meal, be consistent over a long period of time not strict for a day, and finally remember portion control over deprivation when it comes to your favorite foods.