Starting a diet and actually sticking to it are two completely different things. Anybody can declare that they are dieting. That really doesn’t mean a whole lot. Being able to maintain your diet is the tricky part. There’s no simple solution for this. However there are some valuable steps you can take to improve your chances of maintaining a healthy diet and successfully losing weight.
1. Choose the Right Diet
The first problem a lot of people run into is choosing the wrong diet. This is surprisingly overlooked when people consider why their weight loss plan failed. Choosing the right diet in itself can determine whether you succeed or fail. So how do you choose the right diet? Well, the first thing you need to do is avoid information overload.
There are thousands of diets to choose from. This may seem like a good thing, but it’s actually not. Too much information can force you to spend more time reading about diets and less time actually dieting. Nobody ever lost weight reading a diet book. Don’t waste too much time trying to find the perfect diet. Truth be told, there is no such thing. Everyone’s body will react differently to different diets. The only way to find out if it works is to take action.
So instead of sifting through all of the diets out there, just ask a dietician or a doctor for some advice. In general any diet that includes a healthy serving of fruit and vegetables, and forces you to eat in moderation is going to work. Smart weight loss programs will always include exercise, so you won’t need to rely too heavily on your diet. You’re really just looking for a diet that keeps you healthy and doesn’t put on excess weight. Your exercise plan will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to shedding the unwanted pounds.
2. Focus on Long-term Results
Although we are all looking for quick weight loss results, we are also hoping for long-term results. Nobody ever says they want to get in great shape for the summer and then gain lots of weight for the winter. Sadly that is often the pattern most dieters follow though. This problem stems from the need to achieve immediate results. This is often done at the sacrifice of long-term weight loss.
Quick weight loss often comes from extreme dieting and exercise. Many of the fad diets out there rely heavily on this. As expected, most people are unable to stick with extreme weight loss plans for more than a month or so. It’s just too much work. Therefore you lose a lot of weight for a short period of time, and then you gain back a lot more. This is a very unhealthy way to diet. Not to mention the damage it can do to your confidence and self-esteem.
Choose a diet plan that is neither harsh nor indulgent. A simple diet that is full of healthy food and relies heavily on moderation will be your best option. And only choose a weight loss program that you know you will be able to maintain for the long haul.
3. Track Your Diet
One of the most underrated methods of dieting is keeping track of your meals and calories. This should really be the cornerstone of all diets. The simple task of recording what you are eating and how many calories can double the success rate of any diet. It may seem rigid, but this actually allows more flexibility in your diet and allows you to make adjustments throughout the day.
Nowadays there are plenty of high-tech ways to track your diet, but I prefer a good old-fashioned food journal. If you are more comfortable using an online food journal or some kind of diet tracking software, then by all means use them. I’m sure there are plenty of diet apps out there as well. The important thing is that you know what you are eating each day.
Most people don’t give up on their diet immediately. They slowly gravitate away from it. It starts with something small like an extra helping at dinner or an unplanned snack before bed. Eventually it becomes total abandonment of their diet and weight loss goals. Don’t let that happen. If you have a well-laid out diet plan and you keep track of it, then you are much more likely to stick to it.