Maintaining consistency with a new diet can be difficult as you try to build new habits and break old ones. With any wellness goal, it’s all about balance and finding what works for your lifestyle. Since a little motivation never hurts, we’re sharing ways to ease the transition and hopefully motivate you to stay on track.
Here are 10 hacks from a registered dietitian that can help you reach your health goals.
1. Avoid trends
While you may see results initially, the restrictions that are usually imposed by diet trends are typically unhealthy and unrealistic to sustain. This ultimately leads you right back to where you started feeling more frustrated and confused. Furthermore, diet trends can leave you tired, hungry, and weak, making it difficult to stay consistent with any changes made.
2. Make small changes
Focusing on small changes at a time makes it easier to stay consistent and motivated. Small changes can really add up over time as you’re building a new daily routine. For example, adding an extra vegetable to your dinner or having one big salad a day may seem simple, but can have a large impact on your goals. Work on one meal at a time to keep it simple and doable.
3. Stay hydrated
Dehydration causes fatigue, leaving you feeling low on energy and less likely to stay consistent with your new plan. By drinking enough water every day, you’ll be surprised at how much more energized and focused you feel. Also, people often mistake thirst for hunger, so try drinking a glass of water with Liquid IV’s powder before reaching for that snack to see if that satisfies the craving.
4. Create a grocery list
One of the most important things you can do when trying to stay consistent on a new diet is to be prepared. That means having healthy foods around so you can be more deliberate with your food choices rather than feeling tempted to make mindless decisions. Creating a grocery list with all the foods you want to eat more of is a simple yet powerful tip when creating changes with ease.
5. Stop waiting for Monday to get started
Most times, people like to start something new at the beginning of the week because they imagine themselves with more time and more willpower in the future. However, the problem with this thinking is not realizing that next week will have the same challenges that you are having today, and there is no reason to wait on your goals. Get started today.
6. Rule following versus decision making
One of the main reasons that people fall off track is that they are following somebody else’s rules that feel rigid and strict. However, shifting the power from externally imposed rules to being able to make your own decisions that align with your own unique lifestyle is empowering and makes it easier to stay consistent.
7. Don’t let one day throw you off course
Allowing flexibility into your plan leaves room to enjoy the foods you love eating. When thinking that you have to eat perfectly all the time, you start living in the “all-or-nothing” mindset, which sabotages your progress and your goals.
8. Emotional management
Emotional eating is a very common reason why people fall off track when trying to stay consistent with their new habits. Emotional eating can lead to overeating. Learning how to manage your emotions, so you are not using food as a coping mechanism, is highly important when trying to change your habits. Try keeping a journal to help evaluate your eating triggers so you can develop more effective strategies to deal with your underlying emotions.
9. Get specific
Your wellness goals can make a huge difference between success and failure. Setting realistic and specific benchmarks helps to keep you focused and inspired while providing a plan for the future.
10. Focus on a feeling
Try shifting your attention to your mood after eating a nourishing meal or after completing a workout. If you focus on how it feels to take care of your body from the inside out, sticking to your goals becomes easier and more enjoyable.