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How to Stick to a Diet

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You never thought that dieting sounded so easy! It took you so fast to figure out how much daily calories you needed to consume to lose a pound of weight. Aside from that, you took such great care in calculating those calories from fat, carbs, and protein. Your diet plan looked perfect! And then you tried it. Aarrgghh! Accept it. Dieting is one challenging lifestyle change. It is a total overhaul of the eating habits you had been accustomed to for as long as you can remember.                                                             

So what helps you get through the difficult times of temptation, stress, and de-conditioning your body’s food expectations? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Choose the diet that fits you best. It maybe Weight Watcher’s, South Beach or Dr. Atkin’s, or even your own simple version of just eating balanced and nutritious meals but cutting the portions to half or maybe counting calories. It may be low fat, low carb, low protein, high fiber or whatever. But be sure that you would enjoy it enough to make it into an everyday eating habit that you would enjoy. An enjoyable diet gives you more benefits that a diet that is forced on you.                                                                
  • Visualize, visualize, visualize. Take some time a day to visualize what you would want to look like within a month of dieting, after two months, after a year and maybe for always. How you would like to use those trendy slim-fitting jeans, and those tank tops revealing nicely toned slim arms. Visualizing your office garb finally fit so nicely instead of bundling up at your waist whenever you sit down will truly help. Visualize especially when you are in the brink of temptation and desperation.
  • Start a diet journal which can also double as your exercise journal. Make it simple so writing in it wouldn’t take much time. Mark three columns. The first for the date and your weight, the second column for your food intake of the day and the amount of calories, and the third column for your comments or remarks (if you ate the recommended amount or type of food, or not). Here, you can also write congratulations if you stuck to your recommended diet, or indicate “I need improvement” if you are indulging in foods to avoid. Go over this journal daily. You can write your reactions on dieting. Add good comments as well as comments about some attitudes that you’d like to improve.                                                                                
  • The best way not to get bored is to make your meals varied. Make your plate colorful, like eating different colored veggies and fruits. Vary your sources of proteins and carbohydrates. Substitute high fat sauces and gravies to low fat and low salt substitutes. A little research on the web could help you out in this area.
  • Make your own menu so you can incorporate the foods that you love. If you do the purchasing, that would be even better. If not, make the list and give strict reminders to your housekeeper or to the person who will be doing the grocery work.
  • Remove all traces of temptations from your bag, drawers, desks, bedroom or even closets or wherever you kept your stashes of chocolates, candy bars, cookies and other sweet treats. Throw them all away. It would be a snap to pop them in your mouth anytime, thus ruining your diet plans.
  • Join a friend who is also on a diet. You can motivate each other, exchange diet experiences, and share other tips on how to stick to your diet, especially if that friend and you go out eating most times or attend a party together. If you have a friend in the office, that would even be better. Or join a real or online community where you can share your progress and gain some support.
  • Subscribe to newsletters from websites that discuss dieting and exercise. Some sites have experts on nutrition. Read these newsletters first thing in the morning when you download your e-mails. Their excellent tips and new trends on diet and exercise will surely motivate you further to adapt healthy eating habits and exercise. These applications are sometimes offered free. Some excellent sites are Never Say Diet.com, About.com  today, WebMD and others.
  • Post reminders in the most likely places where you can see them such as the fridge door, bedroom and especially your kitchen and living room where most times you are a couch potato. Reminders may be quotes you have searched in the web. Look for the funniest quotes. Even jokes can help you stick to your diet. How about a wacky quote or funny picture telling you to lose some weight as your screensaver or wallpaper?
  • Avoid areas where you are likely to eat unmindfully such as the living room to watch TV. Instead of sitting down, you can do some exercises while watching TV.            
  • Seek your family’s support. Make an announcement to everyone that you’re on a diet and that from now on you are adapting a healthy lifestyle. This would motivate everyone to lend you moral support.
  • Cook your own food and prepare it to mimic fastfood if you habitually snack on fastfoods, since this habit is particularly difficult to change. The difference would be in the recipe and the way how it was cooked. It should have a much lower fat, sodium (salt) and carbohydrate content.
  • Consciously change your reactions to bad events. Sometimes, when we are in a bad mood, are stressed out or have some problems bothering us, we unconsciously reach for that triple decked ice cream or that greasy burger. Instead of demolishing that chocolate fudge ice cream, maybe going for a walk is better. If you are stressed out, take a nap; or if you are so worried, talk it over with someone.
  • Change bad-mood-foods into healthier foods. When feeding your bad day mood, opt for healthier and fiber rich foods. Instead of a greasy burger, a stack of potato fries, a plateful of fried chicken or a banana split, go instead for whole fiber bread, a yummy green salad with low fat dressing, just one piece of chicken or chopped bananas drizzled with some cream and nuts for dessert. Be conscious of your bad mood so that your choice of comfort food will be healthy. Otherwise, it will ruin a diet and those calories will accumulate once again.
  • Be good to yourself. If you slip once in a while, console yourself that you can do better next time. If you had a healthy meal, congratulate yourself. Do this consistently.
  • While you are sticking to your diet, stick to your exercise plan as well. Diet and exercise complement each other. They are the best ways to lose those ugly blobs of fat
  • If you had saved money from buying healthy foods, now is the time to reward yourself by planning what to do with it. Maybe a nice vacation in a tropical island will do, and of course buy yourself that skimpy swimsuit to wear. Imagine yourself sipping a piña colada under the coconut trees while the breeze is warm and heady.  Why not?

Hopefully, following these helpful tips will make you stick to your healthy diet. Within a month you will be noticing a decrease in your weight. Continue with it until you are eating healthily out of habit. By then you wouldn’t be thinking of it as dieting. Good luck and happy dieting!

 


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