We’ve all been through a couple diets that have either failed miserably a couple weeks in, or were filled with potholes of cheat meals and days that eventually led to meager or no results.
Have you wondered why it was so difficult to kick habits and keep up the weight loss or keep the weight off? Certainly, if you were eating healthy and exercising more than you did during your non-diet days, you should have lost weight!
Well, perhaps it’s not because you haven’t been dieting right or dieting hard enough. Maybe you pushed too hard, and you just want to get to the finish line so you can let go and look back on your progress in contentment, eating all the yummy food you’ve been keeping at bay.
But does that really help you maintain the weight you really want for yourself?
To effortlessly maintain a healthy weight, your diet must become part of your lifestyle. There is no finish line or goal to reach – simply eat in moderation and enjoy your food!
Does that sound too easy?
Well, if you keep in mind the five tips I have for maintaining a sustainable diet, it should be easy and enjoyable every day!
1. Be aware of your calorie intake
I can’t stress how important this is. When you first start dieting, you will likely have no idea how many calories you are ingesting in a day. The amount I was eating shocked me! It was no wonder I couldn’t drop the weight. Even now, some of the snacks surprise me with the number of calories they come with. Some food just aren’t worth eating, and without calorie counting it’s almost impossible to know!
After two or three months, you will have a pretty good idea of the caloric values of most food bases and be able to estimate your meals without needing to consciously count it anyway.
2. Use a calendar to keep track of which days you have high calories
These are usually the days where you will have a high calorie count. The average meal will have higher calories when eating out, compared to the same dish when it’s made at home. But we still want to enjoy the meals we have out right? So just have them in your planner days ahead and be ready to adjust your calorie intake for that day, to accommodate for the treat.
3. Burn calories ahead of planned large meals
If you go out to eat regularly (3 or more times a week), this will also keep you motivated – can you look forward to a 1000cal meal (and therefore probably 2000cal daily intake), if you don’t workout beforehand and burn off as much of the extra calories as you can? Yeah, that’s right. You want to burn it off. It’s much easier to work out hard if you know you’re going to be eating all those calories in just a mere few hours!
4. Work out in the morning before any work if possible
It may seem REALLY difficult at first, but not only is it good for your body to rest early, you will also be awake for the day if you work out in the morning. Plus, it’s much easier to give your workout 110% if it’s in the morning and your body is freshly energized for the day ahead! Plus, doesn’t it feel great to wake up and see the sunrise regularly?
5. Enjoy ALL your food – there is no need to have ‘cheat’ meals or days!
To have a sustainable diet, your eating habits need to be a lifestyle – not a chore. Don’t plan cheat days or cheat meals and actively think about all the things you’re going to enjoy. If you feel like you’re craving a specific food, then just adjust your calorie intake for the day around that. If it’s still way too high to be eaten, then just work out harder that day to make up for it as much as you can. Let yourself enjoy your food, and find low calorie foods you can fit into days when you are craving a high calorie meal to maintain a balanced diet.
The important part is actively acknowledging that you are responsible for anything you put in your body and no meal can be written off in the sense that a cheat meal usually is.
And that wraps up my top 5 tips for keeping a sustainable diet! I hope these help you see dieting in a new perspective and make it an enjoyable experience!