At the start of a diet, when motivation is usually at its strongest, people find themselves able to stick to a diet easily. However, after a few days on the diet, morale can begin to fade as cravings and temptations start to distract you from your end goal.
This is particularly true for "all or nothing" dieters, who often end up resenting the healthy foods that they are forcing themselves to eat, which can make wholesome food seem like the enemy.
Thankfully, there are several ways to break this harmful habit, allowing you to enjoy food while maintaining a consistent and sustainable diet! We always recommend exercising whilst following a healthy diet in order to maximize weight loss results, but be sure to increase your physical activity gradually and in moderation.
In this blog post, we have listed 14 simple yet effective ways to stick to your next diet! Whether you want to reach a goal weight or you are hoping to practice better self-control within your diet, these tips and tricks will work for you.
Simple Tips on How to Stick To a Diet
Stricter rules lead to rebellion, even when it comes to food. As a result of this, having a good relationship with food is vital for achieving better health and practicing mindful eating.
Understanding how food affects your body is also fundamental for providing long-term motivation for consuming healthy food. Eating fast and sugary foods will make you feel sluggish, whereas fruits and vegetables will give you energy and offer you a more positive state of mind.
This is why strict eating habits like intense dieting can lead to binge eating and feelings of guilt, as you are using the wrong type of motivation to fuel your weight loss journey. This can lead to resentment towards healthy diets, as you start to associate healthy eating with restriction and hunger.
Additionally, these unhealthy mechanisms can make it harder for people to switch and stick to a healthy diet. This can cause dieters to get stuck in a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting, as they cannot sustain their healthy eating habits.
In turn, this often leads to infrequent bouts of weight loss and weight gain, as people go back and forth between a restricting healthy diet and an unhealthy no-control diet. Therefore, it is essential that non-restricting yet nutritiously dense diets are being followed instead!
Dieting can be non-restrictive but still mindfully controlled; listening to what your body wants and needs to help decide what type of food you need to eat. Whilst eating healthily is the main goal, if you do want to experience weight loss, an occasional cut-back over a period of time may be necessary to achieve a calorie deficit.
Be Realistic, Set Clear Smart Goals
Setting clear goals will help you understand what you want the diet to help you with. You will want this goal to be specific and personal to you, one that can be achieved but is not easy. This means establishing a goal that requires a long-term commitment - if the goal is too easy, you will simply complete it straight away and consequently, lack the motivation to continue.
For example, is there a specific weight you’re trying to achieve? Or, do you want to stick to a diet plan that works with a specific food budget? Maybe you simply want to increase your level of self-control when it comes to unhealthy foods and set restrictions on how many times you consume unhealthy foods.
Whatever your goal is, note it down and refer back to it consistently!
Consistency is Key, Don't Lose Hope!
Be consistent by preventing temptation from building roots! You can do this by writing shopping lists, not going food shopping when you are hungry, and planning your weekly meals. Another great practice is eating your meals on schedule to avoid letting hunger cravings ruin your dieting progress.
Prepping your meals on a weekly basis means that you have a quick and easy food option even when you feel tired and just don't want to cook.
Alternatively, if healthy cooking is your downfall, then try looking into healthy food subscription services, such as Proper Good! Proper Good provides ready-to-eat meals in 90 seconds that have options for keto, low-carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, and made from clean ingredients. They require no preparation and provide brilliant nutrition so are perfect for dieters!
Find Your Motivation
Once you have established your diet goal, use this as your main source of motivation. Make sure that you make a note of your ongoing goals in order to stay motivated. If you are the type of person that requires some immediate gratification to keep motivated, try setting smaller goals to help mark significant progress within the journey towards your end goal.
Have a Game Plan
Part of using your goals as your main source of motivation is sorting out a game plan that will guarantee your success should you stick to it. Write down what you want to achieve each week, such as 30 minutes of exercise per day or trying 5 new pieces of fruit. Having this visual cue will help to break down your long-term goals and make them seem more accessible.
Practicing mindfulness means listening to what your body needs, rather than what your taste buds want! Mindful eating caters your eating plan around when your body actually feels hungry, rather than when you feel like you should be eating. Several practices are key within mindful eating, and these include:
- Being present when you eat (not being distracted by your television or phone)
- Focusing on when you feel hungry
- Not associating time with eating (midday does not have to equate to lunchtime if you are not hungry)
- Drinking water when you first feel hungry (sometimes dehydration is masked as initial pangs of hunger)
- Eat slowly to savor and digest the food
- Make healthy choices when planning your meals
Don't Go All or Nothing, Take Gradual Steps
Going too strict on a diet will make it tricky to stick to! Instead, it is best to take gradual steps within your diet journey to not limit anything too quickly. If you take away your favorite foods straight away, you may face increased food cravings due to calorie restrictions and sugar limitations.
You may want to think about doing a weekly cycle of 5 days on the diet and 2 days off, or just simply cutting out certain foods as you progress within your diet.
Keep Healthy Snacks in Hand
In order to eat healthy consistently, it is important that you are prepared with healthy snacks so that you do not give in to unhealthy food temptations. This tip is essential for weight loss, as snacks are fundamental for curbing sugar lows, which can lead to tiredness. Feeling tired can reduce your motivation, so choosing healthy snack options and having them easily accessible to you is crucial!
Mixed nuts, pieces of fruit, chopped-up vegetables with dip, granola bars, and dark chocolate are all great healthy snack ideas to keep you going.
Never Skip Breakfast!
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day for fuelling your body. A good breakfast will provide you with all the energy you need to make it through to lunchtime without craving unhealthy snacks and sugar. In turn, eating a fulfilling and healthy breakfast will ensure that you consume fewer calories during the day, helping you to lose weight.
Incorporate Filling Food Into Diet
In order to avoid unhealthy snacking and food cravings, you will need to stay satisfied and full throughout the day. This can be done by eating meals filled with protein and complex carbohydrates, as these foods move slowly through your digestive system, causing them to keep you feeling full for longer.
As mentioned earlier, prepping your meals on a weekly basis will provide healthy, filling meals on days where your motivation is lacking. This will prevent you from choosing a fast food option, as you have a quick and ready-made healthy meal already available to you!
Consider meal prepping with Proper Good. Proper Good also offers delicious and nutritious meals that can be enjoyed as part of a weekly meal plan. These meals are perfect for those living busy lifestyles, as they require no prep and can be ready in just 90 seconds! All you need to do is pop your pouch in the microwave or over the stove, warm, and then serve!
Celebrate Small Victories
Keeping your morale high will help your motivation to last longer. The best way to do this is by celebrating any small wins and victories, from choosing a healthy meal over a tempting takeout to meeting a monthly weight loss goal!
Celebrate these small victories in line with your ongoing set of goals; ticking them off once you reach them will almost feel like you are counting down to your end (and ultimate) goal.
Having a visual reference will allow you to see your progress more clearly, increasing your motivation to stick to a healthy diet.
Replace Junk Food with Healthier Tasty Substitutes
Dieting does not mean that you can't still eat delicious foods! There are plenty of healthy recipes that you can find online for classic meals which simply swap out the unhealthy ingredients for cleaner alternatives. From healthy rice substitutions to adapting your favorite meals to suit your diet, you can still enjoy the food you love without feeling guilty afterward.
If you are following a keto diet, check out our keto-friendly Mexican meals blog post for some delicious inspiration!
Clean Your House of Unhealthy Foods
A great way to get rid of unhealthy food cravings once and for all is by getting rid of all the sugary and high-calorie foods in your home first. By consistently filling your kitchen with healthy foods, fruits, and vegetables, you will help to prevent yourself from snacking on bad foods. Instead, you are forced to work with what you have, meaning that you can eat foods essential to your diet!
As a result, your diet will be more controlled, enabling you to have a better idea of your nutrition and food intake, as all your meals will contain foods that are in line with your healthy eating plan.
Find What Works For You
Ultimately, everyone is different, and finding the tips that best align with your end goal will create a personalized plan catered to your healthy eating journey.
In summary, sticking to a diet can become a lot easier by understanding what you want to achieve, and noting down exactly how you will achieve this. Motivation is key for maintaining consistency, so make sure you have a strong reason to commit to the diet.
If you want to eat healthier or lose weight, Proper Good offers easy, delicious, and nutritious meals that are ready to eat in just 90 seconds! Proper Good has meals that are gluten-free, dairy-free, keto-friendly, and plant-based, whilst all being made from clean ingredients.