How to Stick to Your Diet
Each Monday I used to have a goal. My goal would be to stay compliant to my diet. I would spend Sunday night getting rid of temptations in the house, whether that was by me tossing them out or eating them. Either way, I would get rid of the goodies so they wouldn’t tempt me. I was going “on plan,” “back on the wagon,” or one of the many terms I used to define my diet compliance.
Sunday I would also spend the day grilling chicken and tilapia, preparing veggies, measuring out healthy carbs, and then packing them in Tupperware containers or Ziplock baggies for easy transport.
I was set!
Temptations Surround Us
The only problem was I still ran into temptations during the week. When I was working in an office it seemed there was ALWAYS something sweet tempting me in the break room. Or everyone at work would want to order pizza. Then I would end up having pizza because it was SO much more satisfying than the grilled chicken and broccoli I had waiting for me in my Ziplock baggie.
Even when I stopped working in an office and I was at home with my young daughters, it was a struggle. I would plan a healthy day of food for myself and suddenly the girls would want to bake cookies. I knew after one bite of a warm, freshly baked cookie and I would have to label the day “off plan” because I would overeat cookies to my heart’s content.
Sometimes I could stay strong and say, “no” to temptations, but many times I couldn’t.
I would be disappointed in myself and would vow to get back on track next Monday.
Why couldn’t I stick to my diet?
ANSWER: Because sticking to our diet is related to ONE thing (and one thing I did NOT have before)! That one thing is SATISFACTION!
WHY IS SATISFACTION IMPORTANT?
When we go “on plan/back on the wagon,” it typically means we are eating from a prescribed list of “good” foods. If we are “off plan/off the wagon,” we are not being compliant to our diet.
Our satisfaction level does not stay steady this way, though.
It’s the all-or-nothing mindset.
Before becoming an “anti-diet weight loss coach,” this is how I used to live and how I thought others needed to live so they could reach their health and weight loss goals.
What I learned instead is that satisfaction is the #1 thing that can actually keep you on track and REMOVE the need for “on plan/off plan” living.
There is a more effective (forever) way to live…
WE RAISE SATISFACTION LEVEL IN 3 WAYS:
1) Practice Awareness & Modify Your Healthy Foods.
Begin to practice checking in with yourself about your current satisfaction level throughout the day. If you notice satisfaction level is low, it may be time to try new healthy recipes in place of what you’re regularly eating, or find other healthier (but more satisfying options) at restaurants you frequent. You may even benefit from finding different ways to cook your healthy foods. For example, roasting your veggies with spices may be more satisfying to you than plain, steamed broccoli.
2) Adopt a #NoBannedFoods Lifestyle to Keep Satisfaction Level High.
Practicing #NoBannedFoods living was one of the scariest things I have done in my health and weight loss journey, BUT it was also the ONE thing that helped me break free of the yo-yo diet cycle and raise my satisfaction level more than anything else.
Practice allowing yourself a little of one of your previously banned foods each week. Don’t overwhelm yourself by allowing everything you used to ban all at once. Pick ONE food you previously labeled “bad” and begin having a small amount daily.
Yes, you may overeat it at first, but stick with it. Over time you’ll develop a more balanced relationship with that food, and even be able to stop at a few bites. Once you master that one food, move onto another food from your previously banned food list.
3) Give Up On Plan/Off Plan Living.
Decide to give up the all-or-nothing mindset for good. There’s no more “going back on the wagon” because they’ll be no more “wagon” to get off of in the first place!! You won’t be an expert at this right away, but stick with it. Practice makes progress!
If you give any of these strategies a try, or if you can relate to my story, feel free to contact me and let me know. I love hearing from you guys, and I read every response.