Tips on Dieting Right and Maintaining Your Willpower
Don’t yo-yo diet
It's the new year. Everyone seems to be starting out on a new diet, and heading to the gym. But by March, most of the gyms will be empty, with diets long forgotten. Don't let that be you. Learning how to diet right and maintain your weight, is one of the hardest things to learn. Keeping your willpower can be tough, so our experts share their tips on how to prepare for a diet, and setting clear and defined major and minor goals.
Larger goals can be overwhelming, so taking baby steps with smaller goals along the way can be key for many people.
Changing your mindset is key to losing weight. “Most of the time we don’t realize the reason we don’t succeed is because we are running a pattern in the way we think. To change that, we need to interrupt the old patterns and incorporate new ones to set ourselves up for success,” said Dina Proctor, founder of MadlyChasingPeace.
Board-certified nutritional therapist and health coach Darshi Shah, author of the upcoming book R.I.G.H.T. Diet for Autoimmunity, said, “I empower my clients with strategies and tips so they can meet their individual health goals. At times these goals involve a diet transition."
Shah's successful tips for maintaining diets while resisting temptations are as follows:
Pantry setup: Take time to understand what ingredients need to be stocked so you may prepare meals fairly quickly. Source those items before officially starting your diet. it is important to have variety so you can sustain yourself with different flavors and dishes.
Kitchen setup: Learn the new cooking methods you will be using for your diet (steaming, poaching, wok-saute, etc.) and any special equipment that will enable faster cooking or preparation. Source what you can with your budget. The faster the meals can be made, the more successful you may be.
Learn how to cook: Learn how to make at least 10 different diet friendly options you like that are fairly quick to make. Once you know how to produce 10 different meals, you are ready to officially commit to your desired diet.
Mindful eating: Learn to slow down and purposely enjoy the sensual activity of eating. Hear your food sizzling, Smell the food as you see the beautiful colors and presentations, taste the bold flavors as you strive to chew 30 times per mouthful. Slow down and savor.
Gratitude: Write a note to gift yourself when you are successful at six weeks of the diet. Seal it in an envelope for later. Write about what you will have gained by maintaining your diet. Envision yourself being successful, and write about how that makes you feel.
During the Diet
Labels: Read labels of all foods you buy to make sure the nutrition is what you think it is, and enforce your decision on what you wish to consume. If not, seek out acceptable alternatives.
Access: While at home keep great diet-friendly options at eye level in the fridge and pantry. Ensure you also have convenient take-aways for when you are on the go.
Weekly shopping menu: keep to a menu of meals for the week. It saves you time as you can source items weekly (instead of whenever you want), and cook when you are at home doing other tasks. This little framework of structure is key to your commitment. Try to adhere to what is planned.
Eat often: Eat 5-6 small meals/snacks. Don't allow yourself to be starving. It is the biggest no-no because in the end the temptation will be so strong you may not even have any memory of forbidden foods eaten that are now missing. Since there are so many daily serving of vegetables that should be eaten, focus on real food snacks (baby carrots and hummous, apples and peanut butter, rice cakes & almond butter, etc.)
Volume: Enjoy daily smoothies, soups, stews, curries. Volume fills you up, and these foods can be purchased or made with great ingredients.
Ban contraband: Don't bring home any foods not allowed on diet. Make it difficult for you to break the diet.
Incentive: Set up a goal for when you complete a target goal. Make it fun, bold, and something you would not normally treat yourself to: a massage, facial, photo shoot, hair treatment, skin treatment, lingerie. Post a picture of it on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself each morning what is waiting for you.
Exercise discipline: If/when you are tempted; write down three reasons why you should break the diet. Allow yourself to cheat when your three reasons are worth it, but wait 20 minutes to ensure your hunger is real.
Exercise: Increase your movement each day. Time spent working your body eliminates eating from boredom. It may also reduce cravings.
Project: Start a new project that engages your mind and energy.
Brainwave entrainment: Take 12 minutes a day to focus on yourself and listen to brain wave entrainment: monaural, binaural, or isochronic tones. 12 minutes a day is sufficient for you to be in tune with yourself and get the brain benefits to allow you to succeed in your diet.
Reward: Gift yourself the driving incentive and the thank you written pre-diet. Savor the rewards. Understand what you are capable of, and take time to respect the journey.
Mentor: Help another person down the journey you just made
Monthly check-in: Take a few minutes each month to check up on yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually to make sure you are where you want to be.