Ultimate Guide to Maintaining Your Diet
Sticking to a long-term diet can be difficult. You’re not alone -- plenty of people take breaks or succumb to their old eating habits. What is essential, however, is that you get back on the wagon if you fall off.
We put together this guide to help you stay motivated when it comes to weight loss. Improving your health is a day by day process, so do not give up if it starts to get harder before it gets easier.
These are all of our tips for sticking with a healthy diet. We made sure to list everything that you would need to know, so let’s dive in!
What You Need to Realize
First, you need to realize that you might not be eating only when you’re hungry. If you are bored or stressed, you’ll probably find yourself reaching for unhealthy snacks more often. However, doing so can quickly slow your progress.
Next time you reach for something, be sure to ask yourself if you’re actually hungry or if you’re seeking comfort food. That way, you can start to address the issues that may be negatively impacting your diet plan.
Weight loss is not a straight path for everyone. You will often lose weight one week, stay the same, and then start to lose weight again after a plateau. Many people even have periods where they regain a bit before they begin to go down again.
Plus, not all calories are equal. One hundred calories from high fructose corn syrup affects your body differently than one hundred calories of vegetables. To maintain weight loss, you need to eat more filling foods that are less calorie-dense but still nutritious.
For example, chips and candy will not keep you full as long as veggies and hummus, plus, they have way more empty calories in them.
How to Reduce Stress Eating
If you find yourself using food as a comfort when you are stressed, what can you do? Finding an alternative to snacking is going to be your best route.
Yoga, a warm bath, taking a walk, or lying down for a power nap are all great ways to improve your mood and reduce your chances of eating when you are not hungry.
Change It Up
If you find yourself growing bored with your meal plans or exercise routine, it is alright to switch it up. Often, people worry about making changes when they find a diet that works for them. However, that diet is not going to work if you drop it because it was too repetitive.
Add More Fiber and Probiotics
Gut health is essential when it comes to losing weight. If you are not eating enough fiber or probiotic-rich foods, you will want to add in gut-focused supplements.
Next time you make adjustments to your meals, make sure you consider how much fiber you are getting. Eating at least 30 grams of fiber a day can positively impact your health in many different ways while making it a bit easier to lose weight.
Probiotics, especially Lactobacillus strains, can help you lose fat where it tends to be most stubborn. These good types of bacteria make digestion more comfortable and can make you feel fuller for longer. One common place to find them is in fermented dairy foods, such as yogurt.
Learn to Stay Motivated
We understand that it can be challenging to stay motivated. Keeping weight off permanently requires changes to your everyday life. It is hard to change bad habits, especially if you have been stuck in these habits for years. Here are our tips for staying motivated.
Having people to support you on your weight loss journey makes it easier. When you post your progress online or share it with a friend, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable. So, do not hesitate to seek out a strong support system.
Finding like-minded people on the internet is effortless these days. There are plenty of groups for you to join on social media, or you could create a weight loss blog or YouTube channel.
Set Plenty of Short Term Goals
People lose the motivation to follow their diet because their goals were too hard to reach in the timeframe they set. While you want your goals to challenge you, they should still be realistic and achievable.
For example, setting your goal to losing 5 pounds a week is difficult and not likely to be achieved. A much better plan would be losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. Slower weight loss makes it easier to keep the pounds off later as well.
Take Back Control of Your Food
We all go through phases where we hate cooking. It’s way too convenient to order out, but you lose control of the portion sizes and ingredients when you do. Restaurants will hardly give you a single serving in their meals.
Start by cooking your food at home as often as possible. Doing so may involve meal prepping if you want to eat your lunch at work. When you cook for yourself, you are in charge of the ingredients and the portion sizes you eat.
Meal prepping helps you stay on a schedule and avoid snacking when you are not hungry. Buying fewer snacks or buying more health-conscious snacks also really helps.
Doing an occasional cleanse or adding a detox supplement to your diet is helpful. When your gut is healthy, it is easier to eat more nutritious foods and actually reap the nutrients from your efforts.
It’s no secret that additional exercise makes it easier to lose weight. If you cannot safely lower your calorie intake more than you have, exercise is essential for burning extra calories. Exercise has also been shown to improve your mood, which makes it easier to avoid stress snacking.
If you are not fit yet, that is alright. You will want to start slowly and work your way up to more physical activity. For example, start by walking before you move up to jogging, before you move to running.
To stay motivated, you will want to find something that you enjoy doing. Walking your pet, attending a spin or dance class with your best friend, or playing a sport are all fun ways to increase your daily activity levels.
Weigh in Weekly
Weigh yourself weekly instead of getting on the scale every day. People are often discouraged when they weigh in daily because they notice the weight going up and down. When you check daily, you probably are also only seeing fluctuations in your water weight.
Weekly weigh-ins are better at keeping you motivated in the long-term. They are best done in the mornings before you eat if you want the most accurate measurements.
If you start to feel like you are slipping off of your diet, the most important thing you can do is get back on track as soon as you can. Sometimes this requires altering your goals or building a support system, or any combo of our above suggestions.
It’s also helpful to add in a probiotic supplement that will complement your weight loss efforts while also supporting your overall digestive health. These also help you to absorb the proper nutrients you need, especially if you’re cutting down on calorie intake. It can be a lot harder to lose weight when your body is malnourished.
Good luck, and keep your head up!