How to Stick to Your Diet Plan and Embrace Healthier Habits

How to Stick to Your Diet Plan and Embrace Healthier Habits

Written by tyemedical on Feb 7th 2020

We’re several weeks into the new year, and all the exuberant promises we made to ourselves are beginning to lose their luster. Many of us want to be healthier and lose weight but sticking to a diet plan can be tricky. We face constant temptations and frequent cravings while battling the lure of convenience foods. But there is hope!

You’ve probably heard how many people give up on their New Year’s resolutions before the end of January, but you might not realize that about 40% are still on course after six months, according toUSA Today.

If you’ve felt defeatism creeping in of late, then remind yourself that you can be counted among the percentage that’s progressing toward their goals and sticking to their diet plan.

Skeptical? Of course you are, but here are some practical and effective tips for overcoming obstacles and successfully adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Find Your Deeper Motivation

Here’s the truth – getting skinnier won’t be enough motivation for most people. It just won’t. Even if you don’t like your current size, you’re accustomed to the status quo. For most people, losing weight isn’t a necessity, which means it’s a poor motivator. It’s something we want but usually not badly enough to overcome the larger challenges and long-term commitment.

So aside from “getting your skinny on” – why do you want to change your eating habits?

Common reasons for a healthier diet:

  • Improve general health (feel good)
  • Combat chronic illness
  • Improve incontinence symptoms
  • Mitigate genetic risk factors
  • Increase quality of life
  • Become more active

Take some time to identify the deeper motivation behind your diet plan. If you struggle with motivation, then begin with this simple article and do some research on the link between diet and disease. This could help you find your mojo and win a huge victory for your health!

Set Achievable Goals

Monumental tasks discourage most of us. It’s nearly impossible to climb Mount Everest if you haven’t conquered the hill in your backyard. It’s just human nature to feel disheartened when facing a daunting challenge, such as sticking to a diet plan attached to a 20-pound weight loss goal. (Yikes!)

Instead of fighting against your nature, try working with it. Set smaller, attainable goals for weight loss. Rather than aiming to lose 20 pounds, shoot for losing 5 pounds. When you hit that first goal, set your mind to dropping another 5 pounds. You’ll find your motivation and confidence grows with each smaller victory.

It’s also easier to stay true to your diet plan if your goals involve more than weight loss. Maybe you only lost 3 pounds last month, but did you notice other positive health benefits from your healthier eating habits? Are you sleeping more soundly, feeling more energetic, or noticing improvements in your digestive health? If so, count these health benefits as a win too!

Know Your Weaknesses

If you want to avoid temptations, consider your weaknesses and develop a strategy for dealing with them. Do cravings hit at a certain time of the day? Are you prone to stress eating? Do you cave every time you walk past the corner bakery on your way home? We all have weaknesses, and it’s wise to acknowledge them (and then outsmart them).

If you’re prone to snack attacks, be sure to keep a healthy snack on hand, even when you’re on the go, like a Kind snack bar or a serving of nuts. Just be sure to avoid anything with more than a few grams of sugar and take note of how many calories you’re eating.

If stress eatingis your Achilles heel, then consider morning or evening yoga routines at home or at the gym. If yoga isn’t your style, you can also try walking during stressful times of the day when you’d normally grab a bag of chips.

If exposure to the sight and smell of certain foods is a trigger for you, learn to avoid proximity to these foods when possible. But what about when it’s not possible? In those cases, do your best to focus on the reasons you’re avoiding that food. Remember why it’s bad for you or how it will affect your waistline. For an extra boost, try ordering or making yourself your favorite low-to-no calorie beverage to distract yourself, such as seltzer water (club soda) with lime, a decaf coffee, or a cup of hot tea if you’re at home.

Take Time to Meal Plan

This is huge! If you don’t have a plan for your meals, then sticking to you diet plan becomes a lot of hassle. You’ll find yourself racking your brain and rooting around in the refrigerator for something remotely healthy to eat. When you’re tired or pressed for time, it’s extremely easy to grab whatever is convenient or give in to temptation. When you have a meal plan and cut out all the thinking and decision-making, your road to success becomes much smoother.

Your Tye Medical team loves simplicity, so we recommend using a basic calendar method for meal planning. If you’re computer savvy, create a weekly (or monthly) meal plan in Word or Evernote using a basic table layout. Then type in your menu for breakfast, mornings snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and supper. You can also use a day planner or other large, printed calendar to record your menu on paper, if you prefer. Once you’re satisfied, begin a grocery list to ensure you’re well prepared to execute your weekly menu!

When planning meals, you become more mindful of what you’re eating, and it’s easier to avoid impulse eating – which is where most of us derail!

Prep Meals in Advance

So you’ve done all the planning – great! Your refrigerator is stuffed with fresh fruits and veggies, and your pantry is stocked with whole grains and healthy snacks. But now what? Even with a plan, it’s challenging to create a healthful meal while you’re rushed or tired. It’s tempting to take short cuts or skip cooking altogether to opt for an off-plan substitute.

Many folks face the same temptation to cave when in a bind, which is why advance meal prep has grown so popular in the last several years. Don’t believe us? Just Google “meal prep recipes” and check out the results! Browse these recipes and have fun picking out dishes that align with your new diet plan. When it comes to meal prep, realize that it’s okay to eat the same lunch every day for a week or to opt for just two suppers in your weekly menu. It’s best to keep it simple, especially in the beginning.

Allot an hour or two a week for prepping your upcoming meals. You can spread it out or do it all at once depending on what makes sense for your menu. When refrigerating, consider dividing the dish into portions according to the recipe (or your diet) and store for convenient heat and eat.

If you’re flying solo with your healthier eating habits and find that you must cook separate meals for other family members, then meal prep will be extremely helpful for your diet plan. Your lunch and supper will be waiting for you when you need it, which allows you to focus on cooking for others at mealtimes. It’s far better than trying to throw together two meals at once!

Meal planning and prepping will not only aid in your weight loss and nutrition goals, but it will also help you keep your grocery budget in check.

Food Logs Keep You Honest

If you must write it down or input it in your app, you’re more likely to be honest with yourself when it comes to your daily eating habits. You’ll start to notice patterns – both the good and the bad, which helps you keep impulses in check and monitor progress.

The key is to track everything –meals, snacks, desserts, and caloric drinks. If you still love pen and paper, then start an old-fashioned food diary. If you love phone apps, there are ton of options so choose one that works best for you.

Regardless of the method, a beneficial food log will include the following:

  • What you ate
  • How much you ate
  • Calories consumed

The internet contains resources for calorie counting, and fitness or food diary apps often include calorie data for common foods and restaurant items. If you’re not sure which app to try first, start with FitbitorMyFitnessPal. You don’t need a fitness tracking device for either of these apps, and both are free.

Bounce Back Quickly from Mistakes

If you get knocked own, don’t stay down! Get right back up and stick to your plan. Giving up is not an option. If you’re committed to a diet plan that is more like a new lifestyle, then you’re in it for the long term. Things won’t always go perfectly, so don’t beat yourself up when you stumble, especially in the beginning.

Remember, that ten steps forward and one step back still adds up to a lot of progress! As you stick to your diet plan, you’ll notice mistakes are much less frequent. So learn to roll with the punches and stay focused on your health and weight loss goals.

Treat Yourself Weekly

It’s important that you relax a little and treat yourself occasionally – no more than once a week (unless the option is healthy enough to fit into your eating plan). The planned, occasional treat helps curb temptation and gives you something to look forward to each week. But it’s important that you follow some ground rules. Otherwise, you could end up triggering your worst cravings, and no one wants that!

If you want to safely treat yourself, choose an option that is:

  • Low-to-no sugar
  • Modestly portioned
  • Not highly processed
  • Low in unhealthy fats

Some might say, “What kind of a treat is that?” But if you’ve been dieting for a while, you know that dairy, nuts, carbs, and even dark chocolate are discouraged or very restricted. When consumed mindfully in the correct portion size, these “taboo” foods can be enjoyed as a treat.

Safe Options for a Healthier Treat

  • 1 cup Nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 2 teaspoons of honey and some sliced fruit
  • 1 single-serving container of Chobani Less Sugar Greek Yogurt
  • ¾ cup low-fat cottage cheese with fresh berries or grapes
  • Fresh veggies with salsa, hummus, fresh guacamole, or dip made with plain yogurt
  • 4 cups air-popped popcorn with a tablespoon of warmed avocado oil (or olive oil) and salt
  • 2 rice cakes with nut butter and a drizzle of honey
  • Two slices of whole-grain bread with butter or nut butter of your choice and drizzle of honey
  • 1 Kind bar (choose one with a favorite ingredient like dark chocolate or peanut butter)
  • 1 apple with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter
  • 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao to avoid too much sugar)
  • Handful of your favorite nuts

If you start feeling deprived or want to shake things up a bit, consider indulging in one of these options to keep you satisfied and motivated without sabotaging your healthy-eating plan.

How Weight Loss Affects Incontinence

For some people, excess weight weakens the pelvic floor muscles and leads to incontinence. If you’re experiencing a leaky bladder or urgency, you might find those symptoms improve as you stick to your diet plan and lose weight. It’s another reason to stay committed to your health and nutrition.

In the meantime, consider trying our light pads, protective underwear, or premium briefs. Learn about how our Two-Piece System saves you money while keeping you comfortable! You can even try a free sample pack!

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