Once you’ve figured it out, looking back it all seems so simple. Isn’t that the way with things? When you first learned to ride a bike it seemed like you’d never get it, however today, looking back you wonder what all of the fuss was about. Now sure, it WAS hard for a little while, but then everything fell into place and you barely had to think about it and to this day I bet you can hop on a bike and ride without much trouble. Well, it is the same thing for your perfect diet. It is going to take some time and effort, some practice, and even some falls and scrapes, but when you emerge on the other side you’ll have a way of eating that you’ll be able to keep for the rest of your life.
Step 1 – Brain Power
Change the Way you Think about Food and “Diet”
The key to making a lasting, positive change in your life must start with the way you think. A change to how you think leads to a change in how you act and that will lead to a change in your life. When making a change to how you think it is important to make a few changes, as you must make changes if you’re looking to get new results.
Get Some New Information
You’ll need to open yourself up to learning and perhaps challenging what you know. If you’ve tried diets in the past that haven’t worked, don’t expect what you learned from the experience to be helpful, except as an example of what doesn’t work. Luckily you have the internet and a vast amount of information on food and the body. You can spend days researching studies and how food interacts with the body, what hormones are affected by different foods, recommended intakes of different macronutrients and a LOT more. Diet is so important to every person that it gets a lot of attention and research as well as a lot of different opinions. This is why diet plans are so helpful. They are created by looking at a lot of the available information, putting everything together and then experimenting with what works and what doesn’t for the specific goal the diet is trying to achieve, in this case, fat loss.
Set Some Clear Goals
You must know what you want if you are going to get it. A strong set of goals have the ability to powerfully affect the way you think and act. Setting a specific goal to lose fat and be a healthy eater can easily be the difference between having a donut with your morning coffee eat day or choosing to skip those 200 calories. Along with some of the new information you may have picked up you would realize that those extra 200 calories each day, along with the insulin spike from all the sugar in that donut making you feel hungry again soon after will lead to pounds piling on. Make a commitment to yourself and it will pay off in a very big way. This is a big topic, so click to read more about setting goals.
Examining The Word “Diet”
What does “diet” mean to you? Is it something that you do for a short time, eating cabbage soup for a while because you read it will melt the pounds? If this is what you think of when someone says diet I’d like to bring a new thought to the table. Consider an animal living in the wild. It eats certain types of foods, likely limited by its habitat and the season. This is the animals diet, and it will likely be pretty similar for each member of that species. The diet of an animal is simply what it eats. That is the type of diet that we’re talking about here. We are different from the animals in our access to all types of different foods and how little effort we need to exert to get it (no foraging or hunting for us) but the word still applies to us in the same way. I like to think of diet as a way of eating and when I made this shift in thinking I found it had a big impact on me. It wasn’t that I was “on a diet”, now it simply became “This is my diet, this is what I eat.”
Food, What is it Good For?
You eat every day, but when was the last time you thought about why? Of course you know that you need to eat to stay alive. Food is fuel for our bodies, it keep us running, thinking and doing. At one point in history, that may have been foods only purpose, but in the modern age there are more varied reasons we eat. We eat to be social, going out to spend time with friends and family at a restaurant or bar. We eat to celebrate, with a cake for every occasion. Food comforts us when things have gone bad, a pint of ice cream goes with a good cry. Sometimes you might eat just because. A bag of chips and soda as you watch your favourite tv show or a few donuts at the office throughout the work day. Many times we eat simply because it’s delicious and it makes us feel good and to be honest I don’t think I would want to change that. Food is delicious and a great source of pleasure in daily life, but overindulging leads to getting fatter. To keep me in the right frame of mind for being healthy and losing fat, I like to stick with the thought that “Food is Fuel”, though don’t think that means it can’t still be delicious or that the occasional meal for pure pleasure can’t be part of the plan.
Step 2 – When to Get Started: Pick the Plan and Get Moving
Everything needs a beginning. If you don’t act on your ambitions they can never become reality, but will stay forever as ideas. For some people this gives a sense of safety, if you never begin you’ll never fail and somewhere deep down we’re all afraid of failing. The thing is, everyone fails. Most if not all of the most successful people can recount many failures in their past, but they became successful because they tried, failed and kept going, probably failing many more times until they reached success. When it comes to finding a perfect diet that works you have a leg up however and you can minimize your failures. Learning from those who have gone before you and had the same issues with fat loss and following their tested and proven methods will cut the learning curve and get you shedding pounds so much faster than going through all the trial and error for yourself. Don’t be afraid to try new things, if you find that something doesn’t work for you you haven’t failed, you’ve just learned something new!
Picking the Plan
There isn’t just one way to lose fat. There are many, many diets that work out there, many of them with completely different methods, yet many people find success with them. Having a specific plan to follow gives you a series of simple steps to follow, as well as a safety net to fall back on. If you are unsure of what to do you can quickly and easily find the way. When you experience a setback you will be able to dust yourself off and get back on track thanks to the guidance and support of following a pre formed plan. When it comes to choosing one of the many diet plans out there you’ll need to consider what your personal goals are as well as the things that are important to you. To help you make a choice about picking the perfect diet that works to fit your personality and preferences you can check out this handy tool for narrowing things down.
As it is important to have goals when facing a fat loss journey it is just as important to have the information that will get you there. Step by step instructions on what to do each day will make achieving your goals so much more simple. Starting a specific plan also gives you a jumping off point. When you are committed to change and have the resources to get things done you will be amazed at the results.
What is the Best Time to Start My Diet?
There must be a time that is the very best right? YES! There is. If you want to begin losing fat with a diet that works the best time to start is immediately. Now I don’t mean drop everything and go eat a carrot, but there really is no better time to start than right now. If you start today you can look back in a month at your progress. If you sit and wait for the perfect time, a month from now you will probably still be waiting. If you make a commitment now, by choosing a diet plan and taking the first steps on the road you will really be ahead of the game. So go ahead, stop overthinking it and dive in, you will only get results after you take action.
Step 3 – Keeping on Track: Staying Positive and Sticking to It
Sticking to a new way of eating is easy when it is fresh and new. You’re full of hope and everything seems possible. The problem comes as time goes on, if you don’t have the right mindset things can begin to unravel and the bright future you saw a few weeks ealier suddenly doesn’t seem to great compared to simply return to your old eating habits. Your diet plan will need to be enjoyable as well as help motivate you to continue. No one said it would be easy to make a lifelong change and commitment to your health but if you have the right tools you will succeed and find yourself wondering how you ever did things any differently.
More than the food you eat and the exercises you do, keeping a positive attitude will do more for your fat loss than anything. Many diets fail shortly after they are started when negative thinking sets in and motivation levels fall. This is the reason why it is so important to have a powerful reason for starting a diet plan and setting strong goals. These things give you something to grab onto if you start to experience a negative thought. It is very easy to slip into old habits and binge on unhealthy foods, but you are much less likely too when you are happy, enjoying a new diet you love with foods you enjoy and are surrounded by positive influences.
Consider this situation. You’ve been following your new diet plan for a few weeks and things have been going great. One day, a food temptation is set before you, free pizza or donuts arrive at work, you’re invited out to a big dinner or a new sale for double chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches goes on at the grocery store. You let yourself off the dietary leash a little bit and it leads to a bit of an unhealthy feast. What do you do now? Quit the diet that has been going so well for weeks and showing results? Tell yourself that this is proof dieting doesn’t work and go back to eating junk? I say no, just continue on your diet as you normally would. Over the long run breaking a diet plan a few times becomes very minor. Once in a while off diet eating will not negate all the progress you’ve made. What works the best for me to stick to eating healthy and staying positive is the 80/20 rule. The things you do 80% of the time are what influence the results you get and the 20% makes only a minor difference. Discovering this rule has been one of the biggest helps to me in my personal diet journey and has kept me on track many times. I encourage you to make it your own as well.
Step 4 – The Challenges: Dealing with Setbacks and the Unexpected
Nothing is perfect. Things very rarely go exactly as we plan and your diet will not be one of the things that does. The good news is that you can deal with the setback as they occur, no matter what the cause you can adapt and conquer. If you accept that healthy eating and fat loss are long term goals and that there will be ups and downs then you will be ahead of the game compared to someone who expects to follow a new diet, lose 2 pounds a week for the next two month and then be done. If this is your mindset, when the first sign of trouble appears, you’ll become frustrated with the rigid expectations you’ve set, place blame for the failure and go back to the old habits which caused you to put on fat. If you were to find the daily weight of someone successfully following a fat loss diet you would find that there are some days when their weight goes up from the previous day, however on balance, over a period of time the graph turns downward. I personally keep a log of my weight to make sure I am on track and it is so encouraging to look back at a graph of that information and see all the progress you’ve made, with all the ups and downs.
What will define your success or failure is how you deal with the setbacks that come along. One of the most common and frustrating problems can be to reach a weight loss plateau. That time when no matter what you seem to do your weight doesn’t change. As results fail to appear it is very discouraging and you may think to yourself, “This just isn’t working, time to quit.”. Well I say that this is the time to simply redouble your efforts because the reward on the other side will be doubly satisfying.
2 Simple Questions to Help Overcome Unexpected Diet Busters
Consider that as you’re making the decision towards a healthy diet, the world is still turning around you. The unexpected lurks around every turn waiting to throw you off course. It is almost inevitable that something will come up that will challenge your new way of eating. You might be pressed for time and not have time to prepare the food you’d like, or events might come up where you are eating out. Things like these don’t have to end up as ticks in the negative column of your fat loss plan. I like to use two steps very simple steps.
First, is this issue something that happens frequently enough that I should worry about it? Remember the 80/20 rule from before. If your problem you’re dealing with isn’t recurring or happens only very rarely you may not have to worry about it. If it is a recurring issue though, ask yourself this next question.
What changes can I make to minimize the negative impact on my diet? If you find that you are eating out a lot and not getting the right foods you can minimize the negative impact on your diet with a little planning. Find healthier options when eating out, or if your usual place has nothing that fits the bill consider finding another place to eat in the area. You could also spend some time preparing your meals ahead of time. Preparing a few days worth of meals at once can save you a lot of time and hassle, and will also make following your plan a lot easier.
Step 5 – How to Keep it Going: Living Your Life
Making the choice to start eating a healthy diet and losing fat is one of the greatest and most life changing choices you can make. If you are just making the decision to change now, think about how you are feeling and what your reasons are for making this choice. As time passes it is easy to forget your motivation and slowly slip back to old habits. Luckily new habits can be formed fairly quickly. Make a commitment to yourself for one month to do your best to follow your new plan to the letter. This doesn’t mean that everything has to go perfectly, but do your best to make healthy choices and really realize mentally what sorts of choices you are making and choose the best options you can. After just one month of action new habits become ingrained in our way of life and become the new default setting for your way of thinking and acting. Where you used to snack on a chocolate bar, after a month of snacking on apples or berries the new habit takes over and the thought of having a chocolate bar for a snack, which would have been the norm just weeks earlier, seems like a foreign idea.
There is No Magic Bullet
You may have heard statistics that say diets don’t work, or that people who go on diets regain more weight over time than they lose from their “diet”. The thing about these statistics is that they don’t understand the new meaning of the word diet. At the beginning of the diet revolution in the late 50s, a “diet” became a magic drink or a pill that you would take for a while to lose weight. There was none of the emphasis on a lifestyle change or healthy eating, just quick magic bullet fixes. As time has passed fad diets like these, the cabbage soup diet or the lemonade diet have still stuck around, relics of a bygone era. It is certainly true that these types of crash or fad diets do not work, but that is not the kind of “diet” that we are talking about today. The word diet has evolved to encompass the entire lifestyle you follow when it comes to food. Making healthy choices every day, having the right knowledge about how food interacts with your body and finding what the right balance is for you, this is the new meaning of a diet.
The Monster of Advertising
With all the advertising we are exposed to in the modern era it becomes increasingly more difficult to make good diet decisions. You might see ads for McDonalds 20 times a day, but when was the last time you saw an ad encouraging you to eat a zucchini? In local testing, when fast food stores cut their advertising to an area, they see huge drops in sales, as much as 60%. This goes to show the power that advertising has over us and the choices you make. Do your best to keep this in mind when you are out in the world, exposed to corporate messages that may not have your best interests at heart. This is where what you learn by following a diet plan, knowing about what foods are right for you, comes in to play and fights against the image of a perfect cheeseburger with a large soft drink and fries beside it. Instead of seeing a quick and easy lunch you’ll know just how many calories, sugars and saturated fats are in that meal and you’ll be able to make an informed choice about whether or not it is a good choice for you.
Put It Together for the Perfect Diet
You are in charge of your actions. There may be many factors working against you on the diet front: unsupportive friends or relatives, a busy schedule, a food addiction that you have to deal with, and a host of other things. If you identify issues as they arise and make a conscious effort to find solutions you will succeed. Seek out support when you need it from professionals or friends, online in forums or sites like this one with a focus on keeping positive while learning to change your way of eating. If you fall down, remember that you can get right back up and dust yourself off, don’t be ashamed of failure, just learn and move on. Keep your goals in mind every day and you will certainly succeed.