Dieting is such a strong word for many of us and conjures up images of either total hunger or feeding oneself on lettuce all day long. Personally I hate the word when it is used for slimming. However, trying to eat a healthier diet is a completely different story that promotes our well-being and, of course, overall good health, with everything that comes along with that. But, as we all know, that is easier said than done. We have all thrown our healthy diet out of the window every chance we get, like during the weekends or holidays or when going out to eat with friends or when we are invited to a party, and the list goes on and on!
The good news is that there are just as many ways to stick to your healthy diet as there are to stray from it!
Here are some top tips that you might find as handy as I hope to...
Change it in Baby Steps
There is no reason to force yourself to overhaul your diet overnight. You can take it in one step at a time. Start by swapping soda for more water or ditch chips for fruits or a handful of nut sand 9+ seeds. Once you feel comfortable with this small change (it will probably take you a couple of weeks to adjust), make another small change. Continue shifting your eating habits gradually until you are in a much healthier place. You will realise that it is much easier to stick to your healthy diet when you take it slow.
Don't Start with a Drastic Diet
There are so many different cleansing fasts and fad diets that gain huge attention from time to time that are, undeniably, very tempting to try. Please don't. They are super drastic and although they do deliver what they claim, meaning weight loss in a short amount of time, you will find yourself in the exact same spot you were (if not worse) before you started them, as soon as you get off them. Studies have shown that it takes about 3 months to change a habit, including eating unhealthily. So, be patient and persistent. Changes have to be long-lasting. So, better stick to your healthy diet and don't rush things. In the past I have tried many of these fad diets and have always had short lived results. The best way is to eat a healthy diet!
Don't Skip Brunch or Breakfast
Nutritionists and fitness experts advice we eat breakfast and brunch. This is because if we skip breakfast and go straight to brunch at, say, noon, meaning a good 3-4 hours after we have woken up, we will most likely overeat. To prevent that, we can prepare our own foods (that way, we also know how many calories, fat, etc. we are consuming) and have something small to eat (i.e. half-cup of yogurt and some nuts or fruits) at regular intervals (about every 2-3 hours). That should be enough to help not chow down our lunch.
This is perhaps the most important tip to help stick to a healthy diet. If, for example, you have plans for the weekend that could put you off the track in regards your healthy dieting, ponder your plans so that you don't get caught up in the moment. And, don't forget to eat everything slowly and always sitting down. Enjoy every single bite and feel free to treat yourself to something special during the weekend; something you don't usually eat during the week. After all, you deserve a small reward for your good work from Mondays to Fridays, right? I write a weekly meal plan that not only helps me to eat healthily but also saves us money and reduces our food waste!
Learn to Identify your Feelings
Hunger and craving are two totally different things. However, many people confuse their desire to eat as hunger to justify overeating. Could it be that you want to eat because you are bored? Tired? Having a negative emotion? Maybe you see food as a therapy to all the above. You are not the only one. Many people do. However, it is important to teach yourself to identify your feelings and be able to tell the difference between hunger and craving. That way, you can tolerate an urge to binge without eating. And, for the times you feel weak, keep a list of distractions that can turn your focus away from food somewhere handy!
There is NO Perfect Diet
It is important not to go after perfection or you'll burn yourself out. There is no such thing as the perfect diet. There is no way one can combine foods perfectly. This is why you can eat in a healthy way and still have one favourite food every day and remember, everything in moderation!
As already mentioned, it takes time to replace a bad habit with a good one. So, every time matters. Every time you give in to temptation, you make it more likely to repeat that habit. But, if you choose to stick to your healthy diet plan no matter what, you increase your chances to resist next time the bad habit kicks in..and the time after that...and the time after that.
Disclosure: Collaborative guest post