Deciding to undertake a new diet is challenging. Being successful with this diet even more so. Not having a strategy can be the difference between looking and feeling great, to being back at square one and unhappy all over again. So here are 7 steps to make that new diet a guaranteed success.
1 Addressing The Situation
Coming to terms with the fact that you are currently not happy with the way you look and/or feel is never a great feeling. But don’t kid yourself!
Have you noticed that simple tasks now render you feeling out of breath or tired?
Are some of your favorite clothes no longer fitting? Denying it will only make it more challenging in the long run, so decide to take action now before that small hill you have got to climb becomes Everest!
2 Finding The Right Diet
Low carb this, High fat that, Paleo this, Atkins that. The world of health and dieting is a complex one, cluttered with so many different fad diets which suit certain demographics.
At the end of the day, all successful fat loss diets come down to one thing… forcing the body into a calorie deficit (burning off more calories than an individual consumes).
With the people I work with, I guide them towards developing a well-rounded diet, full of lots of wholesome fresh fruits and veggies, minimal processed or packaged food tied together with a balanced macronutrient split of 40/30/30 (protein/carbohydrates/fats).
Some struggle with this as they feel they cannot skip the junk food altogether, so we then look towards the IIFYM ideology, where we factor 20% of their daily calorie intake into whatever foods they like. This can be successful provided you maintain your calorie deficit.
Just be sure, when you make your choice, don’t pick one which sees you cutting out wholesome proper food (juice diets/meal replacement shakes/ Cambridge) forcing you into starvation mode. You won’t be in anyones good books for it, trust me on this!
3 Assessing Your Environment
Have you got a positive environment set up around you to ensure the smooth running of this diet? No diet was ever successful in a chaotic, hectic and stressful environment.
Hide ALL of the biscuit tins in your office, throw out all of the chocolate biscuits that cost £1.49 that are stashed in your cupboard and empty out that fridge pack of canned fizzy drink. Having the junk around you enables cheating! Do not be attached to the things you buy; because in reality, they cost nothing.
4 Planning Your Path To Success
How are you going to do it? What are you going to eat and drink when you get asked to stay in the office for an extra couple of hours? What snacks provide satiety and can keep you on track? Nothing successful ever happened without a plan!
Don’t underestimate the power of sitting down for 30 minutes a week and planning out each of your meals! Furthermore; get a written schedule drawn up and mounted in places you are likely to see it on a regular basis which will keep you accountable (the fridge door, your work desk, on the back of the office door etc.).
5 Taking Action
Actually beginning anything that is likely to change your life is invariably the hardest step in the whole process.
It sounds simple, but just DO IT! If not today, then when? No waiting for Monday as you “Can’t start anything in the middle of the week!” If you have planned correctly, start IMMEDIATELY!
6 Executing Effectively
No excuses! No “Oh but I was tired”, no “Oh but it was Rich’s birthday and they all had cake”, no “There weren’t any places that served healthy food”.
What are your failsafes? Your go too’s for when you’re feeling famished, agitated, tired, anxious and craving sugar? For me it is dark chocolate (80% or higher) and berries.
I ALWAYS keep a ready made pot in my fridge of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries; there to immediately satisfy my sweet craving.
All three berries are low in carbs and therefore low in calories. Find your failsafe and ALWAYS keep it ready made to keep you on track.
If you have planned effectively, there should be no barriers, nothing to hold you back, so executing should be straightforward and seamless. Keep prompts/ notes near you at all times to help remind you of why you started this in the first place!
So you’re a week, a fortnight, a month in. What went well? What didn’t go well?
At these points your body will have hopefully changed, but don’t rest on your laurels. Your Basal Metabolic Rate will have also come down with your weight, so your daily calorie intake MUST as well!
If you remain at the same daily intake, you will eventually come out of your calorie deficit and into a state where your intake matches your daily need (BMR), leading to no further physical changes.
Address what went poorly, can you change it or cut it out completely? No? Then can you reduce* it or find alternative options?
What went well? Can you possibly do more of that?
Once you’ve made these changes, essentially start again. Create new goals, create new targets and don’t dwell on what you have achieved so far, think of the bigger picture and again TAKE ACTION!
Any attempt at a diet is actually pretty similar to starting a business.
Before you start it requires research, you then need to carefully prepare and strategize, plotting your route to success.
It then takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and determination. Then to make this a sustainable long term change and continue on the path to success you need to reflect.
We have all heard of the people who begin a diet and two weeks later they’ve given up. If you break it down as to why, it’s always because they didn’t have a plan.
They rushed into it thinking it would be easy. Any diets success relies upon clear strategic steps to get you from point 1, to point 7! You can’t just wing it and hope.
Address the problem, find what suits you and your needs, eradicate all barriers, plan how you are going to achieve your goal, take action and adjust if necessary, then reflect and set more goals!
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