Written by Lisa Allen | Edited by Dr Mark Kapnoudhis
Starting a diet is somewhat easy but sticking to it is the difficult part. As a general rule find a diet that suits you and your lifestyle and then follow our top ten tips to help you succeed.
Tip 1. Why Do You Want To Diet?
Think of all the reasons why you want to diet. Using index write a reason on each card whenever you feel you want to break your diet taking a glance at these cards will surely help you to stay on track.
Tip 2. Identify Negative Thoughts
Identify thoughts that give you permission to eat and prepare responses. These negative thoughts that sabotage your diet always precede spontaneous eating. By learning to counteract them and recognizing what triggers these thoughts will help you to stick to your diet plan.
Tip 3. Identify Hunger
As a general rule, real hunger is felt in the stomach and dry lips may simply be thirst. It is easy to mistake one feeling for another. In order to correctly identify whether or not you are hungry you need to feel real hunger. Simply skip a meal or go several hours without food and you will be able to recognize the difference.
Tip 4. Emotional Eating
Different emotions affect us in different ways. These emotions can sometimes play havoc with your diet plans unless you break the link. Any emotion, especially unfavourable emotions will still be there when you have finished your food binge. Working out a coping strategy and accepting that the emotion you feel isn’t hunger is an effective mechanism for destroying this negative link.
Tip 5. Maximize Your Eating Experience
Eating slowly ultimately leaves you feeling fuller. Always sit down to eat as you will be far more comfortable and less inclined to rush. Make your calorific intake count by choosing meals that you enjoy and therefore wish to savour. Dining out needn’t be a problem. All restaurants offer suitable alternatives that wont interfere with your diet plan.
Tip 6. Prepare Meal Plans
Avoid disaster.By planning your meals in advance you reduce the risk of breaking your diet. Make a list of what you will each and on which day. Tick each meal off as you go along, that way you will have a record of what you intend to consume. Any deviations should also be listed against the relevant date. This way it may be easier to isolate scheduled meals that leave you feeling hungry or discontented.
Tip 7. Resistance Training
Every time you break your diet you are reinforcing the self believe that it is ok to do so. STOP RIGHT THERE… Break this bad habit and ultimate impediment to a slimmer you. Recognize the strength of this reinforcement and use it to build up your resistance in a positive way.
Tip 8. Thought Control
Dieters are constantly aware of the inner battle that precedes an unscheduled eat. This battle causes tension which can be eliminated by giving in and breaking your diet. Try compiling a list of alternative methods of alleviating this tension, such as going for a walk, telephone call etc.
Tip 9. Triggers
Be honest with yourself. Think about what triggers a deviation from your diet plan and employ avoidance techniques. If this is not possible then your reasons for dieting index cards will act as a reliable back-up.
Tip 10. Absolution
If you do break your diet then don’t wait until the following day to resume it. START RIGHT NOW and get right back on track. Beating yourself up will only serve to demotivate.