HOW TO MAINTAIN MOTIVATION ON YOUR DIET
A struggle that’s common to all dieters is how to sustain motivation. It’s likely you’ll see your desire to choose weight loss over indulgent foods come and go, especially if your progress isn’t constant.
Just remember that you are not alone is this struggle, and bet yet, know that there are millions of people who have pushed through this challenge of being unmotivated and came out the other side with significant positive changes in their health.
Adapting your lifestyle to include more healthy habits isn’t a one-time thing; it’s a big decision made up of lots of little choices. To ensure that your motivation to stay the course always runs high you need a plan or a checklist to follow. If you don’t have a plan or checklist and you just try to do it from memory you will have a really hard time keeping up with it and have a huge sense of being overwhelmed.
Here is a guideline to help keep you motivated and committed to your diet and new lifestyle changes:
- Use a food journal. Write down each and every bite you eat to hold yourself accountable. This record of your nutritional intake will become a powerful resource for helping you identify the habits that are holding you back.
- Find a diet buddy. Friends and family can provide great support along the way during the hard times and will provide company to celebrate your success with. This is also a method of accountability.
- Consider hiring a dietician. If you’re really struggling, they’ll provide a complete diet plan and practical ways to get yourself to follow through.
- Use calorie-tracking software. Smartphone apps and free website services will make tracking your diet incredibly easy. Many like MyFitnessPal have built-in barcode scanners, recipe analyzers and nutritional charts to help you visualize your success.
- Try new recipes! Experimenting with healthy alternatives can keep your diet more interesting. Look online for endless options ranging from local to global cuisine.
- Use herbs and spices as often as possible to boost flavor. These won’t add any calories and may offer health benefits. Do you know what kind of immune boosting benefits garlic and turmeric will give you, eat these on a daily basis and see what kind of difference it makes in your health.
- Never start the day without a plan in place for what you will eat. Write an outline in your food journal, or choose the recipes you’ll use ahead of time. After a while, choosing healthy meals and snacks will be a no-brainer. Some dieters even make an entire week’s plan at a time.
- Focus on food quality. Thinking about the health benefits you’ll reap from eating right, like increased energy and improved digestion, can be motivation on its own.
- Prepare food as often as you can ahead of time. This will help you cut back on the time commitment it takes to eat according to plan during your busy week. Leftovers will keep in the freezer for weeks at a time.
- Add one new vegetable to your diet each week. This will boost your nutrition and make your diet more interesting. Ideally make this a green vegetable, there are so many health benefits to green vegetable such as natural pro-biotics, fiber and they are anti-acidic.
- Take a cooking class-Learning a healthy method of cooking can jump start any stale diet routine. A common complaint with most new dieters is “what am I supposed to eat”, all this healthy stuff is great but I have nothing else to eat. If you run out of recipes to stay healthy odds are that you will lose interest and go back to your old ways of eating.
- Set specific daily goals. Aim to accomplish one main dietary objective each day, even something as small as having a healthy breakfast, or opting for fruit yogurt over ice cream. This might not seem important but it is huge, baby steps are the key here; this is a journey so take it slow so your body can get used to the change.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining your motivation doesn’t need to feel challenging as long as you’re prepared for it. The biggest thing that you must make sure you’re doing is taking proactive measures so that you never experience low motivation – or can at least bounce back in no time.
When you feel your motivation start to waiver you’ll be able to return to following your diet plan quickly and with a lot less grumbling. This will help you change your eating habits for the better over time and promote lasting long-term results.
Motivation is a challenge you must expect and prepare for. If you fall off the bandwagon for a day or two, just get right back on. It only becomes a set-back if motivation peters out completely and you return to former bad habits for a week or longer. Keep in mind that you are not the only one struggling to stay motivated to stay on your diet, there are millions of other Americans doing the same thing right now, just accept it and forge on.
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