How to nail your diet like a pro
1. Set an event goal.
Nothing can help remind you of your diet better than that dress you plan to wear to an upcoming event. Be it a wedding, a Christmas party, a meet-the-parents or a hundredth date night. As for me, I grew tired of complaining about how awkward I feel each time I’m on a dress. Until I’ve been invited to a formal party. I then aimed to at least loose a few pounds so I can fit in a regular sized dress without the discomfort. The idea of having to meet new people and dressing myself up helped me big time in setting up my mind that in a span of a week (for others, a month or more) I must fit (and look good) in that dress.
2. Decide whether you are really on diet or not
This is for consistency and strength in refusing bad calories. Sometimes, it’s easy to tell yourself (and everyone) that you are on diet. But when party time comes, you tend to lose yourself more than you lose the pounds (haha). A true person who is decided to lose weight knows that his diet must mean having to consistently cut down on the bad ingredients in meals like carbs, sodium and sugar – every day, until he reaches his goal. So “cheating” on diets won’t really help you at all. When you are not fully decided that you are on diet, you tend to think that eating that piece of chocolate or having that bag of chips would be ok. But in reality, these seemingly small decisions would hurt your weight loss process. Some people are surprised that they didn’t lose much weight after their target duration, despite feeling hungry or deprived all the time. They failed to consider that they haven’t been consistent in their goal of eliminating the bad stuff. Cheating on diets slow down weight loss.
3. Cook your own meals
Nothing can help you stay committed to your diet (especially when you have come as far as the middle of your targeted duration) more that cooking your own meals. The idea is simple. I am a working person so I have to get to my office by 8:30 in the morning. But I know that some of the food that is readily bought around the office contains heaps of sugar and oil. So I commit myself to going to the grocery to pick my own choice of vegetables and ingredients – all for a variety of good reasons. First, I get to measure how much oil (about a tbsp. of olive oil for me) I get to put into my food. This also goes for the salt, pepper and other spices. Next, I tend to wake up as early as 4:00 AM to prepare my own meals for the day. By doing this, I feel committed to my diet not just mentally but physically as well. The saying “fake it till you make it” also applies. Even in some days you feel like giving up on the diet, setting your alarm to as early as 4:00 AM reminds you of how far you have come to reach your goal. It would be difficult to simply give up on the goal because you are reminded of the many sacrifices like doing grocery and cooking meals. You’d strongly feel that if you give up now, you only wasted your effort and time early on. Dieting is a mental and physical exercise. You have to commit to it mentally and physically. Only when you are truly decided that you are on diet can you strongly say no to bad calories – even when people around tempt you to take just one bite.
4. Drink lots of water
I tried a diet that involved only eating fruits and vegetables in some days. Because of the lack of protein, I was forced to drink 4 liters of water per day. Something I don’t normally do in days I don’t diet. But the good thing about this is that it truly helped me feel much fuller. Drinking water helped me feel hydrated and strong – enough to help me get through the plant-based diet. Water also helps give you the strength in continuing the diet. It also helps digest your food faster so you don’t get bloated.
5. Share your progress to at least one friend who understands
The diet I was on was a unique one because it was meant for only 7 days. Its promise, like most fad diets, was to lose as much as 10 lbs. in that short time. It is very strict because it asks you to eat only specific food choices per day. No one else understood it except one person from the office who tried it herself. And every day, each time I had questions or I felt like giving up, I would seek her advice and motivation. Until the day I finally lost 10lbs. no one else understood my happiness better than her.
6. Don’t go hungry
Each time you feel hungry and deprived during diets, you are not doing the right thing. Some say that hunger only makes your body hold on tighter to fats. Whether it’s true or not, dieting must always make you feel better about yourself. Hunger only makes you feel angry towards others. The idea is to simply eat healthier food alternatives each time you feel like you’re about to go hungry. Instead of allowing your tummy to complain, pre-empt the hunger by filling yourself up with your home cooked vegetable soup and/or fruits! Yum!
7. Relax and enjoy that dress
Go shopping. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work and flaunt the fitter, 10lbs. lighter you. ☺
P.S. Exercise like jogging or going to the gym will help boost your diet. However, it would still depend on what diet you have. If you are on a plan-based diet you might feel weaker and dizzy so exercise may be postponed.
Remember, if being fit and wearing pretty clothes make you more confident and happy, then go for it.
Images not mine. Sourced from the internet.