It’s the time of year when we all start thinking about shedding those pounds from Christmas in time for the summer body. Despite lots and lots (and lots!) of ideas in the media, is it still a challenge how to achieve diet success?
Is this the thing that is stopping you: food inflexibility.
By the time we reach adulthood we tend to have very firm ideas about what goes with what. Beans on toast, eggs and bacon, lamb and mint sauce; you get my drift. When it comes changing our eating habits we tend to move away from our traditional way of eating and go for something completely different.
Whilst this helps you feel you are fundamentally making big changes, this tends not to be sustainable in the long term. The first row with a partner or increase in stress, it’s easier to return to ‘normal’ eating patterns. Usually this means undermining our attempts at embracing a new diet.
I believe it is far better to take your existing diet and give it a health overhaul. This takes the stress out of trying to adapt to a new way of eating everyday. It allows you eat your favourites occasionally without feeling you have failed miserably. When you have a busy schedule, it sets you for failure as you may not have the brain space to think about what to eat 2 or 3 times a day.
Here’s how to be successful at changing your diet, lose weight, gain energy and feel in control of your food choices:
- Before making changes complete a diet diary for a week or at least several days Monday through Friday and both Saturday and Sunday. Include how much plain water you drink.
- The following week by look at diary how you can add vegetables to replace the heavy carbs such as potatoes, rice and bread. Consciously up your daily water intake either hot or cold. A good average for most people is two litres a day.
- When you crave sugar, initially get into the habit of replacing with fruit. Once your have shrugged off cake and chocolate, look at reducing your sugar cravings.
- Experiment with different combinations at meal times for example: beans with fresh tomatoes and peppers stirred in, grilled sardines on red peppers and smoked salmon and roasted courgette slices.
- Swap your meal selections around; smoothies for lunch, pate with crudités or roasted veg with an egg for breakfast
If you want your dietary changes to be permanent then you need to understand how emotionally connected to food we are. We all know what happens when told we can’t have something.
So have it but have it differently and finally learn how to achieve diet success.