The key to an effective weight loss plan lies within a healthy, clean diet. There are so many calories that you can burn running on the treadmill or pumping weights in the gym. You need to couple your exercise regime with a good diet in order to achieve the weight loss that you are aiming for.
The problem is that when it comes to diet, even the best of us can make common dieting mistakes, like giving in to emotional eating, following fad diets, losing motivation midway, etc. These mistakes can derail your weight loss efforts and set you back a few pounds or more. So, how do you stay consistent and motivated with your diet for weight loss? Here are a few tips on how you can stay 100% on track with your diet:
1) Understand the True Meaning of Diet
An associate diet with eating healthy food, rather than eating less food and you’ll notice a positive shift in your mentality towards the term. Dieting is not about eating less or avoiding foods, but including the right, nutrient-rich foods in your diet. Yes, you do need to create a calorie deficit in order to shed those pounds, but that certainly doesn’t mean that you need to starve yourself.
Stay away from fad diets since these will only leave you feeling weak and stressed. You don’t have to eliminate carbs from your diet, eat just 500 calories per day, or survive solely on salads in order to lose weight. In fact, your body needs a balanced diet consisting of carbs, proteins, and fats in order to thrive. Fad diets are unsustainable and chasing after these diets will only drain you physically as well as mentally. Instead, you should come up with a plan that allows you to create a safe calorie deficit every day, through a combination of workout and diet.
2) Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
We all have our cravings, foods that we just can’t resist. But if you’re planning to lose weight, then you might have to hold yourself back from indulging in these temptations on a whim. That being said, you also don’t need to have an overly strict attitude towards your cravings. Give yourself permission to eat the foods you love and crave from time to time, in small portions of course. In fact, this can help you maintain your diet successfully for a long time.
If you have a strict no-no attitude towards your favorite foods all the time, you might find yourself caught up in uncontrollable cravings for these very foods. Sometimes you may be able to resist these cravings, but other times you might give into them, end up binge eating and pile on the very calories that you’ve been trying to cut back on. Eating in portions lets you enjoy all kinds of food in moderation, while also ensuring that you never go overboard with the calories.
3) Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
You’ve probably heard about the importance of meal planning a hundred times before, but it’s worth reinforcing the point again. When you know exactly what you are going to eat for your breakfast,
lunch, and dinner there are lesser chances for you to stray from the diet and eat unhealthy foods. Meal planning is especially necessary if you spend better part of your day working. Depending on how your day looks like, you should plan and prepare your meals of the day, keeping your health and fitness requirements in mind. The last thing you want is to grab calorie-dense, unhealthy foods for a quick fix instead of having real, nutritious meals.
In addition to the three main meals, you should also be mindful of what you are eating in between /these meals. Junk foods loaded with sugar and salt are bad snack options. Instead, choose snacks rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, which keep you satiated and energized between the meals.
4) Share Your Journey with Someone
Sustaining a diet requires a lot of motivation. While for some of us are intrinsically motivated, some of us may do better when we receive motivation from the people in our life. Whether it’s a friend, a colleague, or a family member, find someone to confide in about your diet plan. Make sure you choose someone whose words and actions will support you during your successes as well as failures.
Let them know about every milestone you achieve along the way. Reach out to them every time you feel your enthusiasm dipping. Keeping a loved one in the loop about your efforts is a great way to stay accountable and encouraged. Another great way of sharing your journey with someone is by finding yourself a diet buddy, someone who’s just like you trying to live a healthier lifestyle through a healthier diet. Although your individual goals and experiences might differ, you both would still have plenty of empathy and appreciation for each other and the journey that you’re on together.
5) Keep Your Meals Diverse and Interesting
If you’re planning on eating the same meals continuously for weeks and months to come, then you’re very likely to get bored at some point. A healthy diet certainly doesn’t have to be boring and monotonous. Be open to experimenting with your diet, from trying out new options to changing up the old ones. Including a variety of foods in your diet will help keep things interesting and enjoyable.
While nutrition should definitely be your top consideration, don’t ignore flavor and fun quotient altogether. After all, mundane meals are not likely to hold your interest for long. Whether it’s something as simple as trying out a new seasoning or a little more challenging as trying your hand at a new recipe, find different ways to make your meals not just nourishing but also tasty. You could even try out a healthier spin on your favorite junk foods once a while. Who knows you might end up liking these healthier versions even better!