Updated: Aug 2
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.
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, follow these simple tips.
• 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 dietitian. 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 bar code 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.
• 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.
• Take a cooking class. Learning a healthy method of cooking can jump-start any stale diet routine.
• 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.
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 can catch low motivation when it first starts, 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.
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