People often say that nothing tastes as great as being in shape feels, but those people obviously have never eaten pizza or donuts. Yes, junk food is decidedly tasty and enjoyable, yet at the same time, it is also incredibly bad for us, and if we want to have a lean, aesthetically pleasing physique, we need to resign ourselves to the fact that, for the most part at least, junk food should only be consumed as a treat on special occasions. If you’re dieting down, you’re doing so for a reason, and that reason is probably so that you look and feel better, both inside and out. Dieting however, is not the most enjoyable experience in the world, and truthfully, that may be the understatement of the year, and could be like saying that walking over Lego bricks barefoot is slight uncomfortable, when in reality, it hurts more than life itself! Anyways, if you’re dieting and are struggling, rest assured that you aren’t alone, as there are hundreds of thousands of people in the same boat as you all over the globe. To ensure you don’t undo all of your hard work however, here’s a look at a few tips to ensure you stick to your diet.
Remind yourself why you started
When dieting, there will be times when you’re tired, you’re stressed, you’re hungry, and you are seriously considering calling it quits, and gorging yourself on your entire bodyweight in cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and other junk that caused you to need to diet in the first place. On days like that however, take a few moments to stop and remind yourself why you started in the first place. You obviously dieted because you didn’t like something about yourself, or about your life, so you opted to make a change. Remind yourself how low you felt when you looked at pictures of yourself, or at yourself in the mirror, and didn’t like what you saw, and ask yourself if that junk food, that will provide a few minutes of enjoyment, is really worth setting yourself back several days, or even weeks.
Never go hungry
Dieting is not enjoyable at the best of times, but if you allow yourself to go hungry, dieting can be like pure hell itself. When we’re hungry, we don’t think straight, our judgement becomes clouded, and we make poor decisions, such as eating an entire case of donuts at 11 o clock at night perhaps. However, if you prevent yourself from going hungry in the first place, losing the weight and eating healthily will be made much, much easier. Truthfully, if you feel hungry, you will find it tougher to lose weight anyways, as hunger is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and that it needs food. Without food, you have no energy, and without energy you can’t exercise or function. To ensure your metabolism is firing on all cylinders, make sure you are eating small, healthy, and balanced meals every few hours, and if you do feel hungry, grab a healthy snack and drink some water.
Remove yourself from temptation
Unless you are the strongest minded individual in town, if you surround yourself with unhealthy food and drink that you normally would enjoy, but know you cannot have, eventually the cracks will begin to show, and you will begin to buckle under the pressure. To get around this, remove yourself from temptation whenever possible, or even better, remove temptation from you. If you have a junk food cupboard in your home, clear it out and get rid of it before you begin dieting, as that will make life so much easier. If you know the junk is there, when you do get the hunger pains and cravings late at night, you may snap and tell yourself you are just going to have one biscuit, yet before you know it, you’re two packets of double choc chip cookies down, and have been reduced to a quivering mess in the corner of your kitchen. If you know the food isn’t there however, cheating on your diet isn’t an option. In terms of eating out, by all means have fun with friends and family every so often, but if eating out was a near daily occurrence beforehand, unless you are confident you can make healthy choices when dining out, the best advice would be to avoid it altogether.
Hold yourself accountable
When dieting, it can be easy to tell ourselves that we’ll start our diet the next day, after we’ve enjoyed an XL stuffed crust four cheese pizza and chocolate brownie. The next day, again we come up with another excuse for ourselves, and binge once again. Before you know it, it’s the weekend, you tell yourself that you can’t possibly start a diet during the weekend, so you plan on starting on Monday instead. If you were held accountable however, you would be far less likely to cheat on your diet because you would feel ashamed and embarrassed. Weigh yourself weekly, log your food and drink, and report to a friend or family member on a daily basis to let them know how you are getting on. You can even use an online fitness app for your smart phone where you can log your food, drink, and activity levels for the day, for others to see.
Don’t beat yourself up if you do slip up
Finally, the last thing to remember is that we are all humans, and we all make mistakes one way or another. If you have had a bad day, and feel that the only thing that will cheer you up is your favourite cheat meal then you go right ahead and treat yourself, and don’t beat yourself up about it. If you cheat on your diet, what’s done is done, so the only thing you can do is go to bed, wake up the next day, get right back on track, and perhaps work yourself that little bit harder in the gym to make up for your transgressions the night before.