Losing weight or starting a diet is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions out there. Not only is it a popular one to make, but for many it becomes a popular one to break. Some people even make this same resolution year in and year out, only to be back to their less healthy eating habits by the end of February. This year you can take advantage of the inspiration that New Year’s resolutions provide and stick to your goal. However you will definitely have to make some changes this year in order to help yourself to accomplish your goal.
Tips for Sticking to a Diet
- Focus on health- The point of your diet might be to lose a precise number of pounds, but realize that better health is not only a more worthwhile focus; it is the best means of losing weight. Many people focus on cutting ten pounds and achieve their goal through diet and exercise, only to regain the weight later by returning to old habits.
- Schedule- Dieting might involve more home cooked meals, and exercise surely requires time out of your day. Even a busy schedule can accommodate both, but you will have to plan in advance. Otherwise when time gets tight your diet and exercise plan will be the first thing crossed off the list. Multi-task if you must–you can watch your favorite show while you are on a treadmill. Otherwise plan for when you will prepare healthy food or exercise.
- Talk to your doctor- Your health is the basis of your diet, so do not put it at risk in the name of losing a few pounds. Lots of diets out there work but have side effects on your health. Take Atkins for example: you might be allowed to eat eggs and bacon for every meal, but your body doesn’t need the cholesterol. Your doctor will help you choose a plan that meets your goals and your health-based needs.
- Don’t tempt yourself- Buying unhealthy food and snacks is a good way to end up off the wagon. Snack cakes, ice cream and candy aren’t in your diet, so don’t buy them when you are grocery shopping. Your family doesn’t need them either. Instead pick up fruits, veggies and other more nutritious snacks to satisfy cravings.
- Do reward yourself- You shouldn’t be buying junk food, but if you are working hard in the gym and sticking to your diet you deserve a reward. Pick something that you really enjoy and keep it in your diet in moderation. A small piece of chocolate or slice of cake is acceptable (as long as it fits within the diet you are on if you chose a specialty diet) if it is eaten in very limited quantities as a reward.
- Watch your portions- Changing over to eating healthier food is a huge step. Once you have done that, really make your new diet effective by watching how much you eat. If a single serving is enough to fill you up, then skip seconds. Try eating and chewing slowly, and really savor each bite. Sometimes we overeat because we have not given our stomachs the chance to tell our brains that we are full.
- Keep count- Tracking your diet, exercise and progress towards your goals will help you stay on track and show your improvement. Keep a food diary to organize what you eat and include your exercise regimen along with your meals. Having everything written down can be really motivating, as it makes you really think about your plan. It also feels great to write down how much weight you have lost.
2011 sounds like a great year to improve your health and lose some weight. With planning and focus you can do it! If you would like to find out more about healthy eating habits visit the American Dietetic Association online. They offer great information about nutrition, food safety and many other related topics.