When embarking on a weight loss journey there’s always unexpected obstacles that come up that can set a slimmer back. However, at Christmas time slimmers tend to ditch their diets for good, in order to indulge in some festive treats, wasting a lot of the progress that has already been achieved. So, what’s the best way to stick to a diet? Nutrition and weight loss expert, Jane Michell, founder of Jane Plan shared with Express.co.uk some top tips and tricks for sticking to a diet.
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Top tips for sticking to a diet
1. Place goals
Jane states that the most important aspect of sticking to a diet is to set realistic goals, she explained: “The most important aspect of sticking to a diet is to set your yourself realistic goals.
“Why? Because if you set yourself unrealistic goals and then don’t achieve them, you will give up and feel like you have failed.”
Instead she encourages slimmers to set realistic goals of losing one to two pounds a week.
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2. Find a key motivator
As a slimmer finding a key motivator for weight loss could be the kind of push needed for someone to stick to their diet.
Jane said: “It could be because you want to wear a certain outfit, or combat a health issue like elevated blood pressure.
“It could be that you want to lose weight for a wedding, a party, a holiday – or because you can’t tie up your shoe laces anymore without help.
Whatever your motivation, make sure it is specific and then write it down and keep it somewhere close to you, so when you lack motivation, you can look at it and re – motivate yourself,” she encouraged.
3. Write it down
Jane revealed: “There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that people who write down what they are eating (a weight loss diary) are more successful in losing weight – AND – keeping it off in the long term.”
So, keep track of what’s being eaten in order to stick to the diet as well as track the achieved weight loss.
4. Do a weekly weigh in
According to Jane, a slimmer should engage in weekly weigh ins in order to stay motivated and on track.
“Do a weekly weigh in – no more and no less,” she said.
“If you weigh in more frequently you may have the odd result that suggests you have gained weight,” explained Jane.
“This is because our body weight varies throughout the day, and a ‘supposed’ weight gain may discourage you from sticking to your diet.If you weigh in consistently once a week, you will be able to track your progress.
“And even better, if you do this in conjunction with your weight loss diary you’ll be able to rationalise and understand why some weeks you have lost a lot of weight, whilst other weeks you may not have done. This prevents us from those classic ‘I don’t know why I haven’t lost weight this week’ moments.
“These can be very de motivating – but regularly weighing in and tracking progress you will remain more motivated and are more likely to stick to your diet,” she said.
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5. Eating with eyes
According to Jane, people eat with their eyes therefore are more likely to overeat and gain weight, as if a slimmer has a cupboard full of unhealthy or high calorie foods, they are more likely to eat them.
Jane explained: “We eat with our eyes so if you have unhealthy or high calorie foods visible, you are more likely to eat them.”
Instead, Jane suggests that a slimmer should “hide away” or conceal the unhealthy treats in order to defer temptation, she said: “Hide away tempting treats in cupboards and even better, in opaque boxes.
“When shopping, avoid the aisles in the supermarket where the unhealthy foods are displayed – that way you are less likely to buy them, and avoid going anywhere where you may be tempted.
“For example, if your morning routine is a take out coffee and a croissant, change your routine, don’t go into the coffee shop just for coffee – if you do, you are quite likely to find the croissant too hard to resist.
“Instead, start having a coffee or herbal tea (even better) at your desk and made in the office or at home,” she suggested.
6. Carry healthy snacks
Healthy snacking to keep the hunger at bay is one of the top tips to achieve a healthy weight loss. Jane recommends carrying healthy snacks around to quench any ebbing of hunger.
She said: “Always make sure you have a snack, like an apple, in your bag when you are on the go. That means you won’t get caught out if you feel hungry and find your only option is an unhealthy snack.”
7. Plan ahead
Dieting isn’t all doom and gloom, a healthy weight loss is achieved through a well balanced diet and this doesn’t mean that a slimmer has to sacrifice all treats in order to lose weight. Moderation is key.
“If you’re eating out – plan ahead,” said Jane. “This will help you make healthy choices in the restaurant. Avoid starters and dessert and instead stick to a main course.
“Or have 2 starters! Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter for more plainly cooked food, eg grilled fish and no sauce.
“Avoid alcohol – as they say ‘will power is soluble in alcohol’. Alcohol is not only high in calories, it also makes you more relaxed so you’re more likely to come off your diet if you’ve had a drink,” she revealed.
8. Avoid an all or nothing approach
Occasionally everyone slips up, but that’s natural. Don’t throw away all of the weight loss progress over one slip-up.
“Everyone slips up occasionally – it’s only natural, If you do this, don’t beat yourself up, instead get back on your diet and put your slip up down to experience,” said Jane.
“One common scenario is that someone offers you a biscuit with your coffee mid-morning, you accept and then have another.
“After this you say to yourself, ‘oh well I have ruined my diet today, I may as well give up completely today’. A better approach is ‘Oh well, I had 2 biscuits, never mind, I’ll have a bowl of soup for lunch with no bread and I won’t add any rice to my dinner tonight – that way I’ll be back on track’.
“Don’t use the slip up as an excuse to give up on your entire diet!,” Jane, founder of Jane Plan, urged slimmers.
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