Are you finding it difficult to stick to a diet?
Body fat loss isn’t fast, isn’t easy, and doesn’t happen by magic. It’s a process – physically and emotionally – of consistent hard work and commitment. Many lose motivation or give up when they don’t see results today. But just think about it: it didn’t take just a few weeks of poor eating to gain the fat, so why would it take just a few weeks to lose it? Body fat loss is roughly 70% diet quality, and 30% exercise quality. I often see people who work really really hard in the gym, but they struggle to stick to a diet. And they don’t see the results they are hoping for… If you are struggling to stick to a diet / meal plan, these solutions may help.
Dilemma: “I don’t have all day to cook.”
The good news is, cooking all day isn’t a requirement of staying on plan! Plan ahead and cook in bulk. Set aside a couple of hours twice a week to make several pounds of grilled/baked/crock pot chicken, beef, pork, or fish. At the same time, bake several sweet potatoes on one oven rack, and on the other rack a large pan of roasted veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, yams, brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppers, carrots, parsnips, beets…) Just reheat in a toaster oven (never a microwave) or eat cold. You’ll have meals for days!
Dilemma: “I feel hungry.”
Adjustments to a new routine can be tough at first. Ask yourself if the plan is sustainable, and reasonable. I recommend gradually cutting portion sizes down (if portion control is an issue). It’s likely that if you are trimming calories or carbs down, you will feel somewhat hungry during an adjustment period. Trust me – you’re not starving. You have to just do it. And, you CAN do it! To get through those tough moments, fill up on veggies (try hummus or salsa for great flavor satisfaction) or have 1/2 serving of nuts which are filling. Make sure you’re filling up on protein, veggies, and healthy fats during meal times to avoid hunger in the 1st place. I recommend starting with 5 cups of veggies per day and working your way up to 10+. High fiber will help you stick to a diet. And don’t forget to drink LOTS of water! (100 oz/day or more!)
Dilemma: “I’m good during the week, but fail with temptations on weekends.”
If your plan is reasonable, it will allow for some wiggle room on the weekends. Some, as in a serving of ice cream, a couple of beers, or a slice of your favorite pizza. This moderate flexibility will not derail progress, however of course we know what happens when it turns into a binge from Friday night through Sunday. Don’t bomb half the week! When tempted, remind yourself your goals are far more important than a short-lived junk food high. How AWESOME will it feel on Monday when you’ve stuck to plan, while others are doing a grueling workout out of guilt? Remember, YOU CAN’T OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET.
Dilemma: “I feel socially left out.”
If you’re even thinking that, you need an attitude and mind set adjustment. Remember these are your goals and choices, nobody else’s. How would that make you left out? If you truly have your mind made up, you will not feel left out at all. You’ll feel amazing and free as a bird – this is your choice! Sure, there are moments when saying no will be hard, but that’s nothing compared to the feeling of long term success! The truth is you can always join the party, just stick to the foods and beverages on your plan. For suggestions, check out eat this not that delicious substitutions.
Dilemma: Unintentional over-exercising/lack of enough rest and sleep
Over training, lack of rest days, and lack of quality sleep will absolutely make temptations even harder to resist because of the negative hormonal shift these cause. Hormones are always the boss. If you want to make it easier to stick to a diet, take 1-3 rest days per week, don’t over exercise (especially cardio), and get 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
You can do this. Surround yourself with people who support your goals and go after it!