Thousands of people try to start new a new diet each month. The dieting and weight loss industry is one of the most booming sectors within the lifestyle market purely because as people, we’re fatter than we’ve ever been before.
Some people fall at the first hurdle, can’t manage to make it through day one of their new, healthier lifestyle. Others stick to it for a week or more, see minimal or contradicting results and pack it in because it’s easier to get a take away than make a meal for four after a long week at work. Still more dieters will carry on and hit a plateau along the way – a natural point where weight loss stalls, which discourages even the most dedicated dieter and leads them to gradually slip back into their old, unhealthy habits. A few lucky souls make it through the finish line and attain their goal weight, but more often than not, they gradually slip back into old habits and the weight creeps back.
Few succeed in the ultimate goal: losing weight and keeping it off. Why is that? Most diet and nutrition experts agree that the root cause of failure is a simple lack of forward thinking. What follows is a simple list of easy changes you can make in your life before, during and after a diet to help ensure you get the best result for your effort and dedication.
Before the diet:
1. Set a realistic goal by checking what the recommended weight range is for your height and body type.
2. Eliminate caffeine if possible.
3. Wean yourself off of refined sugar.
4. Get rid of all the fatty, high-calorie, processed snacks and foods; give it away or chuck it out, but whatever you do, don’t keep temptation lurking in the kitchen cabinets or the back corner of your freezer.
5. Tell your friends, family and co-workers; particularly if you’re embarking on a radically different diet, you’ll need their support
find a suitable exercise, even if it is just taking a few extra trips up and down the stairs at work each day.
6. Stock up on healthy snacks; most diet plans have ‘free’ foods you’re allowed to eat liberally – stock up on these wherever possible so that there’s always something to hand, particularly during the first few days of your new diet.
7. Speak to your doctor; often your GP can help you choose a diet that best suits your body type and weight loss needs – a GP can also recommend an appropriate exercise programme and/or refer you to a suitable facility in your local area.
During the diet:
1. Join a support community online or in your local area.
2. Take it easy; don’t dwell on little mistakes or occasionally giving in to your cravings, these things happen and you can always work a little harder at the gym or a little longer on the treadmill.
3. Set milestones along the road to your goal weight – when you reach these, reward yourself with a treat that’s not diet related (for example, have a spa day but don’t indulge in a box of chocolates that will ultimately make you feel guilty).
4. Eat a healthy breakfast.
5. Learn to understand the labels on your food so that you make the best choices when shopping or making choices at restaurants.
6. Drink lots of water and herbal tea.
7. Snack when you’re hungry, particularly on foods your diet recommends you eat liberally.
After the diet:
1. Eat sensibly, any foods you have eliminated from your diet but wish to reincorporate should be added back in gradually.
2. Choose healthy snacks.
3. Continue your exercise regime.
4. If you notice the weight returning, try following a short detox programme to revitalise.