Why Most Diets Fail
Most diets fail because the dieter fails to make the proper preparations, and you know what they say about failing to prepare? You prepare to fail.
You need to get your mind ready, your body ready, and your home and/or workplace ready for your diet to be successful. In other words, if you want your diet to be a success, plan for the success.
Understand Why You are Planning on Dieting
Before you begin your diet, write down your dieting goals. Why do you want to go on a diet? Do you want to teach yourself to eat better? Is losing weight your main goal or do you want to feel healthier and have more energy? Do you want to gain muscle tone?
There are many reasons why people go on diets. Losing weight is not the only reason and it doesn't need to be your main goal, either. In fact, if you are adding weight lifting to your diet plans, you may lose the fat but you will also have muscle gain.
Research Different Diets
Research different diets to find the one that works best for you and your lifestyle. There are many diets to choose from, from the paleo diet to the raw food diet. There's also Weight Watchers and the South Beach Diet. Find a diet that includes foods you like to eat. For example, the paleo diet allows you to eat meat, but you have to give up grains, refined sugar (the sugar from fruit is okay), and all processed foods. The raw food diet, however, does not include meat, but you get to eat a lot of raw fruits, veggies, and nuts. Weight Watchers will teach you how to eat in portions. The South Beach Diet teaches people how to replace bad carbs and fat with good carbs and fats.
Make a Plan
Before jumping into a new diet routine, prepare to start small, working in a small amount of exercise each day and making slow changes to your diet.
- Give up soda - This is a tough for most people to do without adding on the pressure of dieting. Before taking a headlong dive into your diet, spend a month, or however long it takes you, to eliminate soda from your diet.
- Begin reducing sugar intake.
- No alcohol - Eliminate all alcohol from your diet, at least at the beginning. There will be a time when you can have a drink at a social event, but for now avoid alcohol and the calories that come with it.
- Cut back snacking - Snacking is a huge habit for many people. Long before you start your diet, begin eliminating your snack routine or replace your usual snacks with raw fruit and vegetables.
- Start drinking more water - So many of us are accustomed to flavored drinks that we avoid drinking water. Before starting your diet, begin replacing your normal drinks with water. If you need some flavor, add a twist of lemon or lime to your glass.
You need to set goals for your diet to be a success, and you need to make these goals easy and reachable. Don't just write down "lose 50 pounds" because 50 pounds looks like an unattainable goal. Instead, write down that you want to lose 1 pound a week. Losing 1 pound a week is easily attainable. If you want to get into shape, set a goal of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day. Keep your goals small and light so that you can reach them.
We all need motivation from time to time. We can get this from friends and family. We can also share our goals with people on our Facebook accounts and ask them for their help. For a quick motivation fix, visit YouTube.com and do a search for "motivation". There are hundreds, if not thousands, of motivational videos that will put you in the mood to lose weight and do your exercises.
Prepare Your Kitchen
The kitchen is a problem area that you need to fix before you start your diet. Treat it like a spring cleaning and begin going through your cupboards and pantry. Eliminate all the processed foods and junk foods you find. Donate items to the local food pantry or women's shelter if you feel you cannot throw those items away. Be ruthless.
If you have kids who love junk food, then it is time to parent-up and teach them to eat healthy food. Yes, they might resist you, but they will give in to hunger sooner or later and begin to eat the healthier alternatives you give them.
You can also hire someone to help you stay on track and remain motivated. You can enlist the help of a dietician, a nutritionist, or even a personal trainer. Personal trainers can be found online and you can have one visit your home or you can maintain an online connection to one.
If you have never learned to eat in portions before, it is a hard habit to start, so why not start it now? I grew up with the saying, "Everything in moderation". That is what portions are - a moderate amount of food.
Some people find that eating off of smaller plates helps them eat smaller portions of food. There are even portion plates you can buy that will help you portion out the food your eat.
Plan Your Meals in Advance
When you have chosen your diet, you will need to research recipes for your diet. Plan your week or month in advance. Create a grocery list, adding only what you need to make the meals. When you go shopping tell yourself that those are the only things you will buy. Stay out of the junk aisles.
Create a Reward System
Decide in advance how you will reward yourself after you have reached each goal. A reward can be as simple as kicking back to watch a movie after all your hard work or buying yourself a little something special. Some people create a star chart for themselves and simply add a star whenever they accomplish something. It's a throwback to school days, but sometimes all you really need is a pat on the back from yourself.