Whether you are dieting to lose weight or take better control of what you eat, it’s undeniable that diets can be challenging to follow. In the US, two out of three adults try to control their weight through dieting each year. However, despite their attempts, research also shows that one to two-thirds of dieters regained more weight than they lost on their diets.
This struggle with dieting is common across the board. As shared in our post on weight loss, people often fail to stick to diets because they struggle to sustain the mental energy and discipline to stay consistent with their habits. Furthermore, people may find it difficult to understand what their body truly needs, leading to weight regain.
Rather than overthinking the process, dieting can start with eating more nutritious foods and taking simple steps to stay motivated with dieting. In this article, we go through some ways to help you stick to your diet:
When you begin dieting, setting high goals like cutting out 500 calories from your meals can be tempting to see faster results. However, these drastic changes are often unsustainable, leading to failure or, even worse, a relapse into unhealthy habits to compensate for the loss. Instead, taking small steps toward changing your eating patterns is better. You can start by planning your meals weekly to better portion what you eat; try out different recipes from cookbooks or online resources to keep things fresh. Who knows? You may even find new dishes you enjoy.
To keep yourself accountable during a diet, take the time to document what and how much you eat. As found in a scientific review on self-monitoring, being able to track both diet and physical activity was significantly helpful in supporting weight loss. Digital tools are particularly effective in health management, allowing participants to record data automatically using wearable technology, where they can receive real-time support. You can make the tracking process more convenient by utilizing mobile applications, increasing accessibility, and setting notifications to remind yourself to log meals.
Rewarding yourself is a great way to stay on track with your diet plans. Whether it is losing your first 10 pounds or being able to get off your cholesterol meds, you can find renewed motivation for meeting your fitness goals by celebrating each milestone. When combined with food tracking, you can easily check your progress over time — leaving you with a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. You can spur yourself further by making these rewards consistent with your goals, such as availing yourself of a delicious monthly meal delivery subscription. With the right rewards, you can further push yourself to pursue more significant objectives that benefit your health and diet.
In the US, a study on processed foods notes that ultra-processed food consumption now consists of 57% of the calories of an average American, with whole foods decreasing from 32.7% to 27.4%. Many of these ultra-processed foods, like fast food and sugar-sweetened juices or sodas, are easy to get, making it equally easy to ruin your diet. You can avoid eating less-than-nutritious foods by limiting your access to them at home. Instead, prepare nutrient-dense food in your fridge and pantry to encourage yourself to eat better.
Learn to forgive yourself
While you can work your way towards eating healthily, there may be times that you go overboard on vacation or let your mood get the best of you. Rather than trying to compensate by skipping the next meal, it’s best to accept that you’ve slipped up and return to your regular diet plan. Nobody is perfect, so just because you didn’t stick to your diet for one day doesn’t mean your routine is completely ruined. It’s better to forgive yourself when you slip up and get back on track immediately after.