Have you ever known someone who got so excited about their latest diet, only to fall off of the wagon a few weeks later due to hunger and frustration? Maybe you’ve been in that situation yourself. Certainly, many of us have.
Here’s some good news: It is possible to find a diet plan you won’t give up on and doesn’t feel like a diet; it just takes a little research and planning. To get started, follow these helpful tips for lasting diet satisfaction.
Ensure You Satisfy your hunger.
You might be trying to lose weight or prevent chronic disease but you still need to eat! Your body has a minimum number of calories per day that it needs to perform the most basic functions. So, you need to be careful with severely-restricted calorie diets.
Hunger is the number one reason for diet failure. It’s nearly impossible to stick to a plan that leaves you hungry all the time. You will find your thoughts turning to high-calorie foods quite often, and you won’t have a lot of energy or patience.
Avoid any diet that reduces your calories dramatically. Experts recommend eating between 1,200 and 2,000 calories a day for weight loss, depending on your current body weight. If you’re eating a reasonable amount but not feeling satisfied, you might want to add more protein, fibre and unsaturated fats to your diet. These foods will leave you feeling fuller longer.
Include foods you enjoy to avoid feeling deprived.
While you might need to make some adjustments to your usual eating plan, you don’t want to depart too radically from the norm. You need a diet that incorporates the food groups you enjoy most. For example, if you love fruit and whole grains, you might want to avoid low-carb diets. If you’re more of a carnivore, you won’t be satisfied with a vegetarian diet. Fortunately, there are reasonably healthy diets to suit every palate.
Include a variety of foods to avoid boredom.
A funny thing happens when we eat the same things over and over again: Our cravings decrease, and we tend to eat less food per sitting. If this were a long-term effect, it would be easy to follow monotonous diets. However, the effect wanes over time, and feelings of deprivation set in.
From a health standpoint, variety is key. Our bodies work best when they receive fuel and nutrients from many different sources. Eating lots of different foods also keeps you from getting bored with the diet and makes you less likely to abandon it.
Make it easy to follow.
It’s hard enough keeping track of your calories or carbs each day, but some diets will have you counting points, weighing your food at every meal, and trying out bizarre food combinations to maximize weight loss.
There is no need to make elaborate preparations or to measure every morsel that passes your lips. Learn to estimate portion sizes on sight. For example, a serving of lean meat should be the size of your palm and a serving of healthy fat is the size of your thumb.
Don’t break your budget.
Diets that involve pre-packaged meals, shakes, bars and supplements can get very expensive very fast. Many dieters abandon these plans because they feel the results aren’t worth the price.
Choose a diet plan that uses regular foods you can purchase at the grocery store. You’ll avoid the extra cost (and often the extra sugar, sodium and chemical flavor enhancers) that pre-packaged diet foods entail.
Ensure it doens’t interfere with important medications.
This is especially important if you will be including grapefruit in the diet. Grapefruit interferes with the metabolism of many medications and can affect the dosage that is actually absorbed by the body. Check with your doctor first.
Focus on promoting long-term health.
For life-long success, you need a diet you can stick to for life. In order to be able to stick to the plan for life, it should be a healthy one that provides abundant nutrition and doesn’t place unrealistic restrictions on the foods you can eat. Remember: Variety is the spice of life, and that includes healthy lifestyle changes. Keep and food journal and monitor the foods you eat by all means, but do indulge on special occasions.
Change up your meals frequently to avoid boredom, and add exercise to make your body the healthiest it can be. Start with small, sustainable changes. Soon, you won’t even feel like you’re on a diet. Your new habits will become the norm, and you will simply be eating in a way that will keep you slim and healthy for life.