Making a diet plan is hard enough, but committing to a diet plan is even more difficult. You may have been on a diet for several months, or only a few weeks, and are having a hard time staying focused and staying motivated. If you want to stay committed to your diet, you'll need to find ways to stick around, avoid temptation, and make a fun diet plan. If you want to know how to commit to a diet, just follow these easy steps.
Part 1 of 3: Maintaining Motivation
Step 1. Create a strategy and commit yourself to it
Motivation can be maintained by setting goals and maintaining them during the diet. If the goal is simply to “lose weight”, motivation will be less sustained than if there are specific goals and plans to achieve them. Here's what you should do:
- First, calculate how much weight you want to lose, and how fast it will take to get there. Be sure to set realistic targets. You may not be able to lose 25 kg in one month, but you can lose 2.5 kg each month if you commit to a diet plan. Diet time limits can be adjusted to special occasions such as weddings, barbecues with friends at the beach, or the start of a new school year.
- Set a strategy for each week. How much weight do you want to lose per week? Choose one day a week to weigh yourself. Don't weigh every day as this will make you obsessed with your weight.
- Set an exercise routine for each week. Even if you can't plan for months ahead, at the start of each week, incorporate some exercise into your routine.
- Keep a commitment to your diet plan by keeping a log of what you eat, how often you exercise, and how much weight you want to lose each week. These notes can be very helpful, but make sure you don't obsess over every food you eat.
- Keep a diary containing chart diet plans and examine what works best and what doesn't. This will help you to interact with yourself.
Step 2. Stay mentally strong
Whenever you start to stray, remind yourself of why you are dieting. Do you want to get in shape to enjoy a bikini, or are you losing weight for health benefits? Do you just want to get rid of those irritating 10 pounds you've built up since college? Whatever the reason, tell yourself that you are determined to stick to your diet plan commitments in order to reach your goals. Here are some ways to stay committed when you feel like giving up:
- Imagine in your mind what you want to change about yourself, for example imaginary photos before and after going on a diet. If you even think about being lazy to exercise, or want to buy a lot of ice cream, just rethink your goal of dieting.
- Save a motivational quote on your computer or stick it on your desk. This will remind you to stay focused on the reasons for dieting.
- If you want to restore your previous weight, keep a photo of you when you were that weight in a place that is always visible.
- Keep an index card listing your reasons for dieting in your purse or wallet, so you can read it whenever you forget your main reason for dieting.
Step 3. Reward yourself for doing good habits
It takes a lot of mental strength to keep a commitment to a diet, and you're "obligated" to remind yourself if you've achieved a good achievement every now and then. By rewarding yourself for good habits that work, you will be more motivated to stay strong in the process of losing weight. Here's how to do it:
- Reward yourself every time you manage to lose 2.5-5 kg of weight. Depending on how much weight you want to lose, create a reward system each time you reach a new weight goal. You can reward yourself with an ice cream sundae or favorite treat, and you'll feel better about it.
- If you manage to live a healthy life right during the week, give yourself a treat on the weekends. You can't keep eating "clean" all your life.
- Don't forget to say how amazing you are every time you lose kg. Rewards for weight loss don't always have to be food related. This can be done by buying a new pair of shoes after enduring the diet for a month, for example.
Step 4. Don't go on a diet alone
Having a diet buddy or someone else to share the ups and downs of dieting will make you more motivated. This will make going on a diet easier, because there will be someone beside you to cheer you on. Here are ways to ensure that you don't go on a diet alone:
- Find a dieting friend. Working to get in shape with someone you know allows you to share tips, work out together, and motivate each other. Choosing an exercise schedule together or planning a weekly healthy meal with the person can help you focus on your diet.
- Join a weight loss community (for example in the US, "Weight Watchers"). Visit the community meeting or just take advantage of the information from the internet. Knowing there are many people in the same situation will increase your motivation to diet.
- If you can't find a diet or exercise buddy, find someone to share your heart with, such as a friend or other close friend. This person can help you stay focused and listen to your voice when you're having trouble sticking to a diet program.
Part 2 of 3: Avoid Temptation
Step 1. Make sure that you eat three times a day
Skipping meals makes you feel tired, lethargic, and hungry, which will result in a loss of motivation. Choose foods like oatmeal for breakfast, which keep you full for a long time and prevent cravings for an unhealthy snack before lunch. Immediately eat dinner after work or school, so that later you don't overeat.
- Remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you skip it, you'll feel much hungrier and eat more at lunch and dinner.
- Don't skip meals just because you feel guilty about having eaten too much the night before. This will make the diet even more chaotic.
- Try making plans in advance to eat three meals a day even if you have a busy schedule. This will help you avoid tempting foods, which you may encounter when you skip a meal.
Step 2. Get rid of various kinds of unhealthy foods from the house
While it's not necessary to throw all unhealthy foods out of the refrigerator or kitchen, by reducing them, you are less likely to eat them. Go through all the unhealthy foods you have at home and decide whether to throw them away, give them to family members, or take them to the office and share them with coworkers.
- Some foods that are considered unhealthy will be bad only if eaten in excess. For example, eating a full packet of peanut butter will be bad for your weight, but it's okay to just eat a spoonful of peanut butter mixed with celery leaves.
- Get rid of unhealthy foods from home by making a grocery list that contains only the healthy foods you want. When shopping, decide to only buy foods that are on your grocery list so you don't buy other unhealthy foods.
- Replace unhealthy foods with healthy foods. Get rid of the ice cream and replace it with yogurt. Keep some snack options at home.
Step 3. Organize food when you go out
The trick is not to think, "Oh, I'm going out tonight, then I'm going to completely break the diet plan and start again tomorrow". While there will be more temptation when you go to a party or dinner with friends, you don't have to give up completely on a one-night diet. Here are ways to stay on a consistent diet when you go outside:
- Eat first before going to the party. If you're going to a party where there's bound to be lots of delicious snacks, eat a heavy meal beforehand so you don't feel hungry later and grab a lot of snacks. You can even eat a little more than usual, because any food at home is definitely healthier than the one at a party.
- Take snacks with you wherever you go. If you're in a place where there are few healthy food options, such as a movie theater, bring a bag of almonds, grapes, and a mix of dried fruit and nuts to avoid the buttery popcorn snack.
- Choose the healthiest dinner menu. When going out for dinner, choose healthier foods, such as grilled chicken, brown rice, or lettuce, rather than very oily or fatty choices. Eating outside the home can still be healthy.
- Choose healthy snacks, not unhealthy ones. When you're at a party with lots of snacks, eat on a tray of vegetables or pita chips instead of a plate of brownies or nachos.
Step 4. Eat as much as you can at home
Eating at home is the easiest way to ensure that you avoid temptation. When cooking at home, all the ingredients that will be used can be arranged. When you eat out, even if you can choose healthier foods, you won't be able to control what you eat at home. Here's how to cook most meals at home:
- Be an expert chef. You'll be more motivated to cook and excited to discover new, healthy recipes if you like the results.
- Invite friends to eat at your house rather than out. After developing your cooking skills, if a friend invites you out for dinner, offer to eat at home and say you'll cook. This option is not only more economical, but also allows you and your friends to eat healthy in a more intimate setting.
- Try lunch at home or bring as much lunch as you want. Buying fast food is certainly easier, especially in the middle of a busy workday, but bringing a simple sandwich or lettuce in the morning reduces the chances of eating unhealthy foods.
Part 3 of 3: Don't Punish Yourself
Step 1. Love your food
There is no point in starting a diet with a strategy of eating foods you don't like just because it will make you skinny. Try different recipes, and do small things to change your fat intake. Running a diet program doesn't mean having to eat foods you hate, but rather finding new and healthy recipes that can help you lose a few pounds. Here are the ways to do it:
- Visit the fresh ingredients market or the produce section of a grocery store. Make it a goal to pick a new type of fruit and vegetable each week, and learn how to cook it into a delicious meal.
- Avoid hated foods. If you can't stand the taste of tofu or really hate brown rice, don't torture yourself by eating it.
- Find ways to make your favorite healthy food. If you like spaghetti and meat balls, try whole grain pasta with vegetable meat balls.
Step 2. Find a sport you like
Try a dance class, or a different type of exercise, such as tennis or swimming. Once you find a sport that you like, it will be easier for you to do it regularly. For example, running would be a great way to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful scenery. Here are the ways to do it:
- Don't do anything that feels torturous. If you hate running, you don't have to. Instead, try to set a goal to walk for twenty minutes per day if you like.
- Try doing an exercise you've never tried before. Take a dance, yoga, or pilates class and see if you find a new hobby.
- Mix these forms of exercise. If you're okay with running but don't have time to do it three times a week, run one day, do yoga another, and swim on day three. This will keep your body and mind active and won't let you get tired of exercising.
- Don't overdo it. You don't have to exercise every day, or even five to six times a week, to get the best results. Let the body rest if you feel tired to enjoy the next days of exercise.
Step 3. Don't let yourself starve
You won't be on a consistent diet if you're so hungry that everything looks delicious. When you're hungry, you'll have a hard time making reasonable decisions about what to eat. In general, hunger will also make the body feel shaky, weak, and tired, and negative. Here are ways to avoid hunger:
- Make sure that you eat or snack every few hours. Do not let the body move for five to six hours without food.
- Always carry healthy snacks with you wherever you go.
- If you know you're going to be late for lunch or dinner, eat a snack beforehand so you don't feel very hungry when the food arrives.
- Don't intentionally starve your body. Hunger for women means eating less than 1,200 calories per day, and for men it means eating less than 1,500 calories per day. This will not only make the body weak and the head dizzy, but also dangerous and difficult to do in the long run.
Step 4. Pamper yourself once in a while
Take a little break from your diet and indulge every once in a while so you don't feel trapped in a new routine, while still rewarding yourself for successfully dieting. As long as self-gratification doesn't cause eating habits to change, it will only make you feel better every now and then.
- If all your friends go out for an unhealthy meal, don't skip it just because it will ruin your diet. If you really want to catch up with friends, try healthier food options, or just enjoy the food and hit the gym.
- Satisfy your food cravings once in a while. It's better to eat one chocolate chip cookie, if you really crave it, than to eat everything in your cupboard.
- Eat “free food” once in a while. Tell yourself that every five to ten hours of eating a healthy meal, you can eat whatever you want. This will help you to stay focused and healthy.
- Small changes make big differences. Use a smaller plate, as this will make the portion of the food look bigger and therefore feel more filling. Eat slowly, this will make you full faster because it gives the brain time to realize that the stomach is full, then you will eat less with minimal effort.
- Keep unhealthy foods out of sight if you can't get rid of them all at once. This will reduce the temptation to eat the food when you see it.
- Don't forget to indulge once in a while. Taking a break from time to time will motivate you to stay consistent with your diet program, as you will feel under intense pressure to stay healthy.
- Having a diet or exercise buddy is a great way to motivate yourself to stick to a diet program.
- Drink a glass of water before eating. This makes your stomach less hungry, so you won't eat as much.
- Never shop on an empty stomach. This will tempt you to buy food you don't need.
- Having a healthy diet program is important, but being so obsessed with eating habits that it drains almost all of your mind is a big problem. Seek immediate help if you think you have an eating disorder.
- Dieting is a great way to lose weight, but you shouldn't starve yourself to reach your goal. If a woman eats less than 1,200 calories a day or a man eats less than 1,500 calories a day, the body is not getting enough nutrients to function properly.