Most of us find it easy to start something. Whether it is a new project, a new life, or a new diet, the novelty of it all helps us to cope with our new ventures and daily missions. But how do we make sure we stay on track when the high expectation and good intentions are no longer new and start to seem boring and unachievable?
Here’s a few tips that might help us all with this:
- Buy healthy snacks: when you do your food shopping, make sure you are full. This will help you buy snacks that are good for you and, in turn, keep the weight off. When we get home from work we are likely to be too lazy to go back out and buy a fatty snack. Therefore, make what you have in the fridge and counters what you should eat, and before you know it you’ll get used to and will want healthy snacks. Be creative with it and make sure you always have something ready for when you feel hungry. Carrots, beans, salad and fruit (in moderation) are all amazing snacks.
- Keep active when you need it most: when you have had the odd heavy lunch or dinner with family or friends, remember to go for an extra jog or a swim that evening or the next day. That way your body gets used to burning calories at those times and (hopefully) you learn to make those special occasions even rarer.
- Pay attention to why you are eating: sometimes we eat because we are stressed, depressed or just bored. Pay attention to what you eat. If you forget, put a sticky note in your fridge to remind you to ask yourself “why are you eating?”. If it is not because you are genuinely hungry and you just “feel like something”, then think again. Drink water or have a carrot instead.
- Watch out when eating out: eating out is really tough if you are on a diet. However, there are ways to prevent you from feeling uber-guilty after eating a 3 course meal. You can try to have two sides/appetisers rather than a main, order a kid’s meal or simply share the meal (or part of the meal) with someone. If you have a favourite restaurant that you go to, make sure you know their menu very well and find in there that really good main/salad or other veggie-based meal that you really like, just in case you do want a main course.
- Keep testing yourself against your skinny clothes: once in a while, when at home…try those skinny jeans that make you feel so good. If you can’t fit in them, don’t worry. If you try them on occasionally (once or twice a week), then your mind will think about fitting in them and you eventually will!
- Motivate yourself: Long-term dieting and keeping track of your weight is hard. We somehow assume it should be easy but it is not. If we start thinking and appreciating the efforts we are doing, it will be easier to feel good about ourselves and stick to the diet. Also, congratulate yourself and celebrate your successes by going out salsa-dancing, by going for a walk with a friend or to the cinema.
- Drink Plenty of Water: water’s importance can be underestimated. Especially with the summer heat, it is essential to drink plenty to keep our bodies hydrated. Water drank during a meal can make you full faster as well.
- Track it: finally, if you want to stay on track, make a track! Have a food journal, a workout schedule and keep on crossing on your calendar the days when you stick to your diet and they will become an extra boost of motivation
For more tips on long-term healthy dieting, visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/keep-weight-off.aspx