If January means starting well before downing tools, then follow Simon Stevens and Steve Howarth’s (EQ Nutrition) tips to help you stick to your good intentions
The New Year often means a change in diet in order to lose weight and drop a few unwanted pounds. Most people do it and it’s a positive move, but others do not keep this up. Typically, this occurs as people find dieting hard to stick to, which means they quit.
In order to change, you need to ensure the change doesn’t require large degrees of effort, as the more you have to go out of your way, the less likely you will be to maintain it.
Below are some top tips to make better habits and choices to assist with your change. Use some or all, whatever allows you to stick to the plan long term.
1 Diet and fitness apps
There are plenty of apps out there but we recommend MyFitnessPal. The motto is ‘what is measured can be managed’ and this app does exactly that in a simple way. You will no longer need to weigh everything and use a calorie-counting book to ascertain how many grams of carbs, fats or total calories you are consuming. Sign up to the app, scan the bar codes of your foods using your phone and the app logs and displays the information, clever! It’s easy to see how much you are eating and if a certain nutrient or certain food is derailing your fat-loss goals
2 Plastic cup
Typically, most people will weigh their rice, pasta or quinoa, or even throw it in and hope for the best, but there is a quicker way. Buy a see-through plastic cup and add the weighed product to it. Using a marker pen, draw a line and write weight and product. You can do this for several different food types and what you’re left with is a quick measuring scoop to give you accurate portion sizes every time.
Now you know each time you cook a meal you have the correct amounts without having to bust out the weighing scales every time – win-win!
3 Proper planning
A lot of people fail because they’re caught short and have to make substitutions which aren’t perfect, or they have to go out of their way to get what’s needed for their diet plan each day.
Having a plan is key. Typically, you need to sit down and plan your week’s eating ahead of time. Once you know what you are going to need, you can simply use the online ordering system of the supermarket to obtain everything you need (don’t go in as often you will be tempted to buy more off-limit foods).
If you have everything you need to stick to your diet you will be well on your way, and each day will just be a simple case of eating what’s planned. Far too often, this simplest of actions is overlooked and probably accounts for a high percentage of people failing. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – never truer than when you are looking to burn fat and lose weight.
4 Meal-prep Sundays
People go off the rails as life gets in the way and when you are tired or rushed, poor choices and substitutions start to creep in. Instead, prepare a large amount of your meals ahead of time. The commonly used tactic is to prepare all your lunches or meals on a single day of the week when you have time. Getting into this habit will give you a better chance of sticking to it. Then get your Tupperware out and put your meals in the fridge or freezer.
5 Do it with a friend
There’s a lot to be said for having a partner to join you on the journey. Having a friend or spouse going through the same thing gives you support in many ways. Firstly, you will not want to let them down and therefore you’ll be more determined to stick to a diet. Secondly, by bringing people on board they are less likely to tempt you to take a detour off plan as they will be in the same boat and working towards the same goals. It won’t be easy, it’s not supposed to be, but at least you will have someone with you for moral support.