Eating healthy can help people lose weight, have more energy, reduce the risk of getting diseases, can improve mood, and so much more! We explain how a diet can transform a person’s health for the better in the Body Reboot book. Even though going on a diet such as the keto diet can lead to weight loss, more energy, and the many other benefits we just mentioned, it can still be challenging. Below are some simple, yet brilliant ways to stick to a diet and see it through.
1. Have realistic expectations
It’s great if you’re excited to go on a diet and want to do well, but it’s still vital to have realistic expectations. Healthline explains why having realistic expectations can help you stick to a diet and follow through.
Eating a nutritious diet has many benefits, including potential weight loss.
However, it's important to set realistic expectations.
For example, if you pressure yourself to lose weight too quickly, your plan to achieve better health may backfire.
Researchers found that obese people who expected to lose a lot of weight were more likely to drop out of a weight loss program within 6–12 months.
Setting a more realistic and achievable goal can keep you from getting discouraged and may even lead to greater weight loss.
2. Have the right support
Having a positive support system, as Women’s Health recommends, can help you reach your goals. Most of the time, it’s a lot easier to follow through with a diet when you have friends and family members regularly checking in with you to see how everything is going.
Sometimes learning how to stick to a diet is a simple matter of support. People need support and accountability in reaching their goals. Whether that's from a nutrition expert, a support group or a friend, locking in regular update sessions will provide vital support and encouragement while keeping you on track. Going it alone>? ‘Have a clear vision of yourself looking fit and healthy', says Kenny. ‘Imagine yourself feeling the way you'd feel and appreciating your healthy body. Do this every time you falter and your willpower will become stronger.'
3. Stop snacking late at night
We all have snack attacks from time to time, but Fitness Magazine says to stick to a diet you should stop snacking late at night. Luckily while you’re on the keto diet, your cravings for sugar and other snacks should lessen, so that should help reduce your need to snack. However, snack attacks can still take place. Here are a few tips on how to stop snacking late at night (minus eating carbs such as bread).
To stop raiding the pantry and start dropping:
Take a crack at eggs. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day; skipping it can create a vicious cycle. “If you don't fuel your body properly, you'll be nibbling on everything in sight by the time 9:00 p.m. rolls around,” Bannan says. A balanced a.m. meal of eggs, whole-grain toast ,and fruit will curb your hunger all day — and night.
Delay dinner. “If you normally have your evening meal at 6:00 p.m., push it back to 8:00 or 9:00,” Bauer suggests. Eat a piece of fruit when you get home, exercise, and then start supper. You shouldn't feel hungry again until the next morning.
Switch your kitch. Put healthy foods front and center in your fridge so that they're the first things you see. Good choices include low-fat Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, berries, baby carrots, and hummus. When you snack, force yourself to eat at the table rather than in front of the TV or computer. “As a rule, every mindless bite you take is 25 calories,” Somer says.
4. Don’t have an ‘all or nothing’ way of thinking
It’s super easy to have an ‘all or nothing’ way of thinking, but Healthline recommends not doing that. There are going to be some days where you will eat too much of your favorite snack or don’t follow your diet perfectly. That’s okay as long as you find a happy medium between making healthy decisions and not wholly going off of your diet.
A major roadblock to achieving a healthy diet and lifestyle is black-and-white thinking.
One common scenario is that you have a few unhealthy appetizers at a party, decide that your diet is ruined for the day, and proceed to overindulge in unhealthy foods.
Instead of considering the day ruined, try putting the past behind you and choosing healthy, unprocessed foods that contain protein for the remainder of the party.
This will help you feel full and satisfied rather than stuffed and frustrated.
A few off-plan choices make very little difference in the long run, as long as you balance them with healthy foods.
5. Develop techniques to overcome being an emotional eater
Emotional eating is more common than you may think, and Fitness Magazine discusses why it’s essential to develop ways to cope with stress as opposed to eating your feelings.
Soothe your inner cranky-pants. Keep a diary to ID your pig-out triggers. “In one column, list what you're eating; in another, write down how you're feeling; and in a third, rate your hunger on a scale from one to five,” suggests Valerie Berkowitz, RD, coauthor of The Stubborn Fat Fix. Once you see which emotions prompt your binges, find new coping strategies, like calling a friend or taking a bike ride.
Use the buddy system. You probably have a pal who handles disappointments without chowing down on cheesecake. Follow her example, Beck suggests. After a breakup or a rough week at work, does she go for a run to raise her spirits? Brainstorm new strategies to help her get ahead? “Observe what she does, and try to adopt her techniques,” Beck advises.
Rethink rewards. In most cultures, celebratory occasions revolve around food. Instead, give yourself a calorie-free pat on the back: Schedule a visit with your college roomie or get a massage. When you stop seeing food as your prize for a job well done, the pounds will start to disappear.
Quick Tip: Carry an index card that lists the reasons you want to lose weight, and whenever temptation strikes, refer to it. “When you read something you've written out, you're more likely to stick with it,” Beck says.
6. Practice mindful eating
Similar to emotional eating, Healthline suggests practicing mindful eating. Think about what you’re eating and when you’re full as opposed to just eating whatever you want. Try to improve your relationship with food to be successful in your diet.
Eating mindfully can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Take time to enjoy your food and appreciate its ability to nourish you. This increases your chances of making successful, lasting behavioral changes.
In a four-month study, overweight and obese women who practiced mindful eating significantly improved their relationship with food.
Another 6-week study in women with binge eating disorder found that binge episodes decreased from 4 to 1.5 per week when the women practiced mindful eating. Plus, the severity of each binge decreased.
Psychology Today stresses how important it is to implement positive habits while learning how to eat mindfully:
Tell yourself that every time matters. It’s not necessarily the calories (after all, cookie crumbs are not very fattening); it’s the HABIT. Every time you eat something you weren’t supposed to, you strengthen your giving in muscle, which makes it more likely that the next time you’ll give in and the time after that and the time after that. Every time you stick to your plan when you’re tempted to eat something else, you strengthen your resistance muscle, which makes it more likely that the next time you’ll resist, and the time after that and the time after that.
Even though it’s the habit that matters, it’s okay to have a snack every once in a while. One snack, in particular, is keto-friendly and tastes really good too! If you happen to love dark chocolate, then you’re in luck because Shape recommends occasionally eating it to curb a snack attack.
Have an ounce of dark chocolate, which has just 150 calories, instead of your typical treat. An added benefit: Several studies have found that the flavonoids in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and improve circulation, two factors that may protect against heart disease. Dark chocolate also offers about twice as many antioxidants as milk varieties and just an ounce boasts more of these disease-fighting compounds than one and a half cups of blueberries (one of the most antioxidant-rich foods), according to a USDA analysis. Look for a bar made with at least 60 percent cacao—the higher the percentage, the less added sugar it contains.
7. Learn important skills
Before you start any diet, you should have a set of skills to help you overcome any challenges that may come your way. Psychology Today provides examples of some of these skills, which can be how to use good eating habits. We also recommend checking out the Body Reboot book to learn more about the keto diet, which can help you achieve your weight loss goals and implement positive eating habits going forward.
Don’t even try to change your eating until you have learned important skills, such as how to motivate yourself every day, how to get yourself to use good eating habits, how to withstand hunger and craving, and how to get yourself back on track immediately when you make a mistake.
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