A few weeks back, we got the weight loss ball rolling with a how-to-lose-weight post that focused on making your weight loss plan a part of your lifestyle. Studies show the most effective weight loss programs are ones that include both diet and exercise. The American Council on Exercise confirms this, revealing that 89 percent of the members of the National Weight Control Registry owe their weight loss success stories to using both strategies.
There are loads of common excuses for not sticking to a diet, but most of them boil down to not having enough willpower. “I’m stressed,” “I’m addicted to soda,” “I slipped up earlier, so why not make today a total loss?” can all be said another way: “I don’t want to try.” You shouldn’t let the lack of willpower be yet another excuse not to stick to your diet, though. A study conducted by the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition found that starting a diet and sticking to it was more about how complicated the dieters perceived their diet plans to be than it was about having the will or desire to see it through. So let’s make that the first on our list of diet tips.
No, not the rockin’ glam-metal band. We’re talking about the acronym: Keep It Simple Sweetie. (There are no stupid dieters, just stupid excuses.) When a diet requires you count each and every calorie that goes into your mouth; when you start carrying a digital scale wherever you go to ensure you don’t eat one fraction of an ounce more than diet guidelines allow; when you hang your food journal from a chain around your neck for quick access each time you pop a handful of nuts or sip from a glass of juice, your diet is too complicated. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be aware of caloric intake or portion sizes, but when it takes over your life, you’ll be less likely to stick with the weight loss plan.
Importance of Mindset
We covered it in the previous post, but changing your mindset is so vital for successful weight loss that it bears mentioning again. How about this: don’t ever go on a diet. The word has developed a negative association to the point of being equivalent with curse words. (“‘Diet’ is a four letter word!”) Instead of calling it a diet, rename it your healthy eating plan. While the word “diet” may make you feel deprived, an “eating plan” has a positive, pro-active tone. It’s also important to make a commitment to a lifestyle change. Healthy weight loss that lasts requires making healthy choices every day for the rest of your life.
Don’t Demand Perfection
Most people know what foods are considered healthy. You may have been introduced to the food pyramid in health class, but these days nutritional experts advocate the Healthy Eating Plate. For the most part, your daily diet should be comprised of the healthy, nutritious foods outlined on the Healthy Eating Plate. However, you shouldn’t entirely deny yourself the occasional treat, and don’t beat yourself up over slip-ups when they occur. A helpful way to keep from feeling deprived is to allow yourself a “cheat” day on which to eat small to moderate amounts of the foods you feel you can’t live without. Plan what you’ll eat on your cheat day, even write out a menu. Just don’t go overboard. Pigging out on fat and calories even one day a week can undo an entire week’s worth of healthy eating benefits.
A Few More Tips
The TargitFit Never Fail Extreme Weight Loss Diet includes loads of tips for accelerating your results by sticking with an eating plan, and it’s free — just fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page. It explains how you can estimate portion sizes, how to figure out how much water you should be drinking and it gives options for protein, vegetable, and carbohydrate choices. On top of that, here are some other valuable diet tips:
- avoid eating after 6 p.m.
- switch to skim milk
- ditch the soda and fruit juice in favor of more water
- never skip breakfast, but plan it so you get at least 12 hours between your first meal of the day and your last meal of the previous day
- eat your meals slowly to give your brain time to recognize when your stomach is full