Have you ever struggled when starting a new diet change for your health, or fat loss? I will tell you from many years of experience, both personal and with coaching clients, that getting started is the hardest thing you can do. In fact, many people who start (and stop) diet plans—don’t know where to begin and may get completely overwhelmed. Given all of the information being jammed at you constantly in every media, its not surprising that everyone isn’t confused.
This is why, today, I am going to share with you the insider secrets to starting—and successfully sticking—with your diet. It’s not just what personal trainers and coaches use, it’s what people have used to collectively lose thousands of pounds over the years. And really the basis of the healthy lifestyle formula. If you’re starting out on a diet, here are 7 things you need to remember: (keep in mind the word ‘diet’ means the foods you eat. It’s not just about weight loss)
1. Follow a Healthy Eating Plan
Fad diets come and go and most follow the same protocols as diets from decades before. This is why it is so important to follow an overall balanced healthy eating plan—including the foods that you like–in order to stay successful. Eliminating complete food groups or skipping out on foods you love may make the diet unbearable and lead to failure. Try including healthier food options like more fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, fiber-rich foods, and lean proteins, and you may be more successful (very likely and almost a guarantee).
2. Small Steps = BIG Wins
One reason why most people don’t last on a diet is not the diet itself—it’s making drastic lifestyle changes all at once. But taking baby steps or making small changes to your diet each week, could be a better approach than changing completely all at once. Switching out higher calorie food options (like cakes and desserts) for lower-calorie options will result in noticeable changes in your body. Eating your last meal earlier so you have a few hours before bedtime will help your overall health and may result in helping weight loss.
3. Be Realistic
Set realistic goals for yourself—and don’t change them when it gets hard. You’re not going to lose 50 pounds in one month, but you may lose 10 pounds. So set a goal you know you can achieve and keep it. Overcoming obstacles builds character and strength. Setting smaller, more attainable goals, and working on even smaller steps each week, will set you up for long-term success, mentally and physically.
4. Always Reward Yourself (not with food)
If you want to be successful, you need to set up a small reward system. If you reach a particular goal you set for yourself, then it’s time to celebrate. It could be a new pair of pants, or getting your nails done, whatever makes you focus and keeps you pushing forward with relentless pursuit. Building a reward system can keep you motivated—because new things keep people going.
5. The “Buddy” System
Holding yourself accountable can be hard. This is why you should hire or find a workout buddy (or a coach) —so you can have the motivation, encouragement, and inspiration to keep going. Buddies and coaches can keep you accountable while pushing you to stay the course—no matter how hard it gets. The added support could be the best motivator for success.
6. Track Everything
Those who are successful at weight loss and healthy eating changes always track their meals. Tracking meals allows you to know exactly what you’re eating or drinking and where you could make changes to get better. Tracking also allows you to see areas of weakness so you can make the right changes to get you back on track.
Keep this simple. Too many people skip this because they thinks it’s too complicated. You only need to write down the foods you ate and what time you ate them. If you want to get more detailed you can, but start with step one as noted above.
Although not diet related, the most successful people include plenty of exercise (seems obvious but needs to be noted). Exercise expends additional calories! Therefore, enabling you to adjust your calories to lose, or maintain, your weight. Exercise may also build tissue (muscle) that increases your metabolism (If you train with us this will happen for sure.)–therefore you can and will burn more calories throughout the day. Remember from a recent post, muscle burns fat! Not big muscles, but toned and conditioned muscles.
Summary for today; Although not ground-breaking, these 7 tips are important when you’re starting a new diet. Most people who have had lots of success—and who have lost a lot of weight—follow these 7 things each time they start a diet. Eventually, they become routine and you don’t need to remember them. If you’re just starting out with a new diet, incorporate these 7 tips to increase your success rate.