Coach | Nutritionist
Coach | Nutritionist
12 Tips to Successfully Diet
There are always periods over the year that you may struggle with weight gain. Holidays tend to be the main one, whether it’s taking a trip, or coming off the back of a seasonal holiday such as Christmas.
There’s the initial panic that you’ve gained some unwanted weight and feel sluggish and crap.
This often leads to a panic decision involving dieting and training.
Going from haven’t trained in a long time–or ever in your life, to 3-5 times a week.
Then making drastic cuts in your diet. Adopting the “less is better” mentality.
The great news is that you don’t need to do either of these things ever again.
Here are some tips that I’ve picked up over the years. These have helped many people move in and out of holiday periods with zero guilt, all the while seamlessly picking their diet goals back up.
1 – SET SMALL ACTIONABLE GOALS
A common issue with failure is that there are no clear goals, or that the goals are unrealistic at that time.
To make sure that you start off on the right foot–and stay there. Set yourself 3-5 small goals that you can easily achieve on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
From a training point of view, this can be something such as going to the gym three times a week while walking more on a daily basis.
From a diet point of view, this can be something such as increasing your protein and veg intake. Helping this along by increasing your water intake too.
The more that you’re able to meet these goals, then the more instant and long term results will come your way.
2 – TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
How can you know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’ve been?
If you’re looking to lose some fat then you should have some way of measuring this other than the scales. Take body measurements and photos. These are used on social media as proof for a reason. They work.
Not only that, you can also keep track on your sleeping and stress patterns. Take notes with the aim to improve them.
If you’re struggling to lose fat, then all it may require is a small adjustment as opposed to a drastic diet overhaul.
3 – GIVE IT TIME
We live in an instant result society now. Whether it’s closing the Facebook app because it’s not loading the drunk guy failing at life video fast enough, or waiting 35 minutes for the oven to cook your meal like the instructions told you to.
Too often you may start program hopping after 3-4 weeks because you’ve not lost the 2 stone that you so desperately want to. Which just prolongs the process since you’re starting again every single time.
Give it at least 10-12 weeks. Look back at the changes and how they’ve affected you. If you’re hitting targets, then great. If not, then look to make some bigger adjustments.
4 – NEVER DENY YOURSELF OR CUT OUT FOOD GROUPS
The first thing that often happens is large food groups –such as carbs– are eliminated. These will include foods that you really enjoy. Which brings me to ask the question, do you think by punishing yourself with food means that you’ll stick to the diet more?
The answer will most likely be no. The average time that people can do this is around 2-4 weeks. This will never sound like a short or long term successful diet.
To succeed at dieting you much enjoy it. This means that you should include food groups and food choices that you actually like.
I’m a big fan of flexible dieting for this reason. By keeping space in your daily diet for choices that you enjoy means you’re more likely to stick to it. Moderation, as they say.
5 – HAVE A CLEAR PURPOSE
What is your reason for wanting to lose 8 pounds?
What would it mean to you?
Why is it important that do?
What will it mean to you once you do so?
These are simple questions that are not thought of but help paint the bigger picture.
You may be making a diet choice for a completely wrong reason, meaning that you’ll not stick to it. If you can’t stick to it, then you’ll punish yourself for failing.
If you can answer these questions then it’ll set you up to succeed. It gives you more motivation. It creates a clear vision.
6 – LEARN ABOUT BASIC NUTRITION
You may successfully reach your goal weight, but still know nothing about the basics. This can often lead to falling back into poor choices. Gaining the weight over time and picking back up another “diet”.
If you’re able to learn more about calories and macronutrients, training and exercise, and stress and recovery, then you’ll develop more awareness. You’ll be more confident in your choices on a daily basis. You’ll remove more emotional decision making.
7 – AVOID EXTREME QUICK FIXES
There’s a reason that quick fix fad diets are popular. They sell the idea of handing you the magic pill so that everything will fix itself. The results are met within a matter of days and weeks with little effort. Sometimes results can be achieved, but they’re very much short lived.
You’ve now been cast aside as you’re money has been taken. Your before and after photos are on social media. They’re got what they needed from you.
What do you do once the weight starts gaining within a matter of weeks? Past the point of where it was at before. Hop onto another quick fix with the lure of shiny bells and whistles?
Quicker results are possible. They can set you up for longer term success if done correctly.
Quick fixes are also possible, but they leave you adrift at sea wondering how you got there and how to get back.
8 – MAKE IT ENJOYABLE
If someone handed you a shit sandwich, telling you that for you to reach your goal weight you had to eat these every day. Would you do it?
I really hope not, but you never know with people these days.
Removing choices that you enjoy –whether it’s in your training or diet– will always decrease your chances of long-term success. Sure, sometimes you might have to test boundaries and go places you’re not keen on, but you can still keep hold of things that are for you.
It’s ok, you can put down the fat free rice cake while doing 500 reps of burpees. There are other choices in life.
9 – PEOPLE WILL TRY TO DISCOURAGE YOU
Seriously, some people are dicks. When you’re trying to make positive changes to your life while they’re sat there in their pit of bitterness and despair, they’ll fire at you. They’ll hit hard.
They’ll question every piece of food that you’re eating. Tell you that you’re wasting your time going to the gym. While others encourage you by giving compliments, they’ll tell you that you look worse.
It can hurt. It can make you doubt what you’re doing, but don’t let it. People like this are in a place that you don’t want to be. They’re most likely sad about their own body and lifestyle, but don’t know what to do about it. By seeing you succeed, it highlights even more that they haven’t been able to, so they’ll try to bring you down.
Keep going. You’re doing awesome.
10 – CREATE A REWARD
You’ve done great, so why not reward yourself for it.
As humans, we take part with the lure of a trophy of some sort. By creating a potential reward for you to work towards, you can have something else to look forward to other than your fitness goal. It doesn’t need to be the end goal, but more a milestone. Once it’s been reached you can then create another one to keep the momentum going.
It can be a new pair of jeans, a dress, or weekend away to somewhere that you’ve always wanted to visit.
11 – BE ACCOUNTABLE
Accountability is huge. It keeps you going in those moments when you begin to procrastinate, feel tired, or doubt yourself.
A simple three-step procedure to do this is…
One, tell people. Create a group of trusted people that will help keep you on track. They’re there to make sure you succeed. You can go to them in the moments that you do begin to falter. I like to create a WhatsApp group for things such as this.
Two, make it public. You don’t have to create a special Instagram account for it, but just let people know what you’re doing. You’d be surprised at the amount of support you’ll get. That way, there’s no going back.
Three, don’t lie. You can lie to yourself and others, but where’s the gain in that. If you’re failing to meet a marker then let someone know. Get the help you need to keep going.
12 – HIRE A COACH
Every successful person has had a coach at some point in their lives. Sometimes they’re had two or three at a time.
Despite the ego telling you that you can do it by yourself, you can always get there a hell of a lot quicker by hiring a quality coach or trainer.
You’ll be educated. You’ll skip all the bullshit. You’ll get results a lot faster and better than if you didn’t hire one.
As a matter of fact, I just happen to know a decent coach.
You don’t have to apply all of these steps at once. Instead, try adding in 2-3 of them each week until they become natural habits in your life.
Remember and have fun with it too. They’re the best times.
Don’t be afraid to mix things around at times. These aren’t set in stone. You can manage and manipulate them to suit your goals at any given time.
Remember, people who seek only success rarely find it, because success is not an end in itself, but a consequence.
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