How to Keep Your Sanity While Dieting
I think it’s safe to say that dieting can be a pretty difficult endeavor to experience. Depending on what your weight loss goals are, what your current body composition is, your motivation level, and any possible time constraints you may be faced with, it can easily seem impossible for you to be able to successfully stick to a diet.
Though this perception may seem commonplace, it’s just simply not true. Regardless of how perspicacious you are, dieting itself doesn’t have to be a catastrophic dead end. There are always options available to you that can make your experience not only successful, but enjoyable as well.
Here, I’d like to discuss some of these options with you. Upon gaining awareness of them you can expect a weight to be lifted off of your shoulders (pun intended) as you’ll gain more peace of mind knowing the wide scope of options that are readily available to you to help you lose weight more easily.
Be honest with yourself
Being overt and truthful with yourself is key to starting and maintaining a successful diet. You have to also be realistic. I understand that if you have a deep desire to acquire something or achieve something, you’d rather obtain it sooner rather than later. However, the old apothegm “Good things come to those who wait.” holds a significant amount of truth to it.
Be honest with where you are. Are you obese? Are you skinny? Are you somewhere in the middle? Being brutally honest with yourself is the only way that you can truly expect to see success. This is vitally important due to the fact that you need to know where to start to get to where you want to go.
Also, you need to give yourself a realistic amount of time to achieve your weight loss goals. For example, if you want to lose over 40 pounds, you better give yourself well over 3 months to do so if you want to lose the weight safely and plan on keeping it off in the long run. Setting unrealistic goals for yourself is one of the major contributors to failure. You begin to expect too much from yourself too early, which ends up leaving you feeling incompetent and unworthy. Don’t let such an unnecessary situation manifest. Be honest with yourself and you’ll definitely reap the benefits.
Give yourself cheat meals
This may seem like a sacrilegious proposal, but it’s actually a necessary part of a successful diet. As humans, we are given a limited reserve of will power that we can overtly use throughout the day. However, when we are continuously deprived of foods that we deeply desire to eat (usually unhealthy foods) then we begin to crack under the pressure.
Sure, some of us are more resilient than others, but regardless of the scope of your will power reserve, there is indeed a ceiling. Once you use up all of your will power through constant resistance and disappointment, it then becomes extremely difficult to stick to your diet.
To help you counteract such an experience, try giving yourself a cheat meal once a week or once a month. It can be anything you want to eat within one sitting or it can merely be a piece of red meat. Whatever a “cheat meal” sounds like to you should be fitting. Remember, the goal here is to help “recharge” your batteries so that you can continue your diet for the following week or month.
Staying motivated in the long term
Motivation is key to success. It is with motivation, desire, and purpose that drive ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Sitting at the cornerstone of motivation is hope. Hope is a very powerful tool that gives you the incentive to keep pushing forward with your efforts despite any potential obstacles.
To help you stay motivated, try to reflect on why it is that you first started your diet to begin with. Reflect upon your goals and dreams. And as you think of them, feel them as if they are actually happening at this very moment. Feel the satisfaction you expect to experience once you finally reach the zenith of your efforts. This helps you to bring those “fantasies” into reality.
Also, try reading inspirational quotes to help put some vigor back in your demeanor. Try switching up your diet a little. Incorporate new training techniques to help spice things up and keep things interesting in the gym. Perhaps you can find a workout buddy or hire a personal trainer. There are tons of ways that you can spark motivation within yourself to help you push forward past invective self-talk.
Too busy to cook? No problem.
It’s no secret that a huge problem for people starting a diet is finding the time to fit their new healthy habits in with their daily schedule. This misconception can’t be further from the truth. Though you may lead a very busy life, there are in fact many options available to you that will actually allow you to even save time.
Instead of cooking your breakfast in the morning, try opting for eating a protein bar or make a healthy smoothie full of various fruits. This will help you to knock off a significant amount of time from your morning routine all while keeping your mind and body happy and healthy.
You can also opt for making all of your meals for the week on every Sunday for example. Putting everything in Tupperware containers inside your fridge makes eating a new meal during the week literally effortless as all you’ll have to do is merely heat up your food in the microwave. Feel free to try out some of these techniques to help you better achieve your weight loss goals and to do so with significantly less effort.
Journal your meals and your thoughts
It’s no secret that jotting down your dietary habits throughout the day can greatly help you keep your adherence. Writing down each meal, as well as the macros of each meal and calorie count helps you put things into perspective. Having the foreknowledge that you’re going to inevitably write down every meal and snack you consume throughout the day will make it more difficult for you to stray away from your clean eating habits because you’ll not only feel guilty immediately after you eat those 8 snicker bars, but you’ll also feel ashamed by taking extra time out of your day to write down your slipups.
Journaling your meals is very important for attaining success, but did you ever think about journaling your thoughts as well? The psychological aspect of dieting should not be undermined by any circumstances. You can start by adding small notes along with each meal you record that explain how you felt after you ate that particular meal, how your mood was at that time, as well as any significant constraints that may have come up. This not only helps to blow off steam, but it also allows you to see if it might be a good idea to adjust the contents of your meal based on how you’re feeling (e.g. low blood sugar).
You can take this idea even further by journaling your experience at the end of each day. This can merely be a place for you to express your thoughts, wherever that may take you. This is not only beneficial for you as you’ll be able to vent, as well as remind yourself of your daily accomplishments, but also for the sake of using it as a reference. You can look back at your past journals to see perhaps why it was that you felt particularly bad on some days or particularly good on other days. All in all, journaling is a very important tool for helping you to keep your sanity while dieting.
Dieting itself doesn’t have to be depressing. There are many measures you can take that will help make the entire process run smoothly and efficiently. This mainly starts with being honest with yourself. Be honest about what your current body composition is, as well as what you feel your weaknesses are (e.g. sugary foods, pizza, etc.). This honesty will allow you to meet your goals more quickly as you’ll have a better understanding of where to start.
Eating cheat meals is another way to help you keep your sanity while dieting. It can help you to restore your depleted glycogen stores, as well as to help re-energize your mind and body. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it! To help keep you motivated with your goals, try reminding yourself of why you started dieting in the first place. Write down your goals, as well as make small micro-goals that can be achieved daily or weekly to help keep your confidence up.
Meal prepping is another highly effective method that makes dieting much, much simpler. This helps you save a ton of time, as well as your sanity. You’ll also probably want to keep a journal of your thoughts that include your meals, as well as how you felt that day. Following these tips should help you reach your goals much more quickly, all while helping you to have a greater peace of mind.