I constantly get asked about my diet and eating habits, whether it be friends, family, or students. Usually it’s followed by them asking if I can help them, write a diet plan, etc. Over the years, I’ve had to really develop a way for someone starting a new diet. People think that you can just write a meal plan and have someone follow it. While this may work for experienced dieters, for someone who has never followed an eating plan, this can be difficult (read: almost impossible). So, without further ado…
#1 – Set A Goal
We’ve all heard it, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and starting a new diet is no different! You have to set a goal to get yourself on track. If you need help with a diet, you probably (generalizing here, bear with me) aren’t too familiar with goal setting. This is a perfect time to help build up your willpower. Write your goal(s) down somewhere that you see them every day when you wake up, and maybe somewhere you will see your goal(s) throughout the day.
#2 – Start Small
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people who are overweight/out of shape/unhealthy/you name it, who are always starting the latest diet craze, which usually includes some drastic change in their eating habits. While sure, you may be able to keep up with the drastic changes as there are exceptions to the rule, but most of us will relapse after some amount of time. I usually advise people to start with their water intake, as most of us don’t drink enough to begin with. If you can’t keep up on something as simple as drinking enough water, what makes you think you will be able to make sure you can follow that diet plan? Which leads me to #3
#3 – Be Accountable
Being accountable is HUGE, you can’t lie to yourself, you have to be honest with yourself. I heard Mike Dolce use the phrase, “Don’t shit the bed, you’re an adult and know when you’ve shit the bed” and it’s something I find myself quoting quite frequently. “I followed my diet to a T, how come I’m not losing weight?” When I review the diet log, I see they were eating chocolate after training or something to that nature, and commonly I hear, “That can’t possibly stop my weight loss.” You’ve shit the bed, buddy. This is one of the reasons I tell people to go into these types of lifestyle changes together with someone who can hold you accountable. If you don’t have someone to do this for you – just contact me.
#4 – Stay Active
I know this can be hard if you’re dealing with an injury, but staying active is a great way to motivate you and keep you on track with your diet. If you eat good, you feel good; if you feel good, you do good. It’s a great motivator when you feel your body changing as well as your energy levels increasing. I highly recommend a sustainable activity, such as martial arts, I may be biased though. ;o)
#5 – Hide Your Scale
The scale can be one of the biggest demotivating things when it comes to your diet. When I’m losing weight for a competition, I check my weight once a week and do my best to ensure the same routine every time I check it. I check mine on a Wednesday, to ensure that anything nasty I might have had on the weekend has time to leave my system and the post-carb binge bloat leaves my system. Your body can fluctuate 5-10 lbs of water weight because of multiple things, such as not keeping up on your water intake or having that earned meal the day before. Weighing myself on a Wednesday ensures that I have been keeping up with my water intake, I’ve been training and my diet is back on track.
If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments section at the bottom.
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