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9 Ways To Stick To A Healthy Diet

If you’re someone who struggles to stick to a healthy diet, you’re not alone. It turns out that only around 5 percent of people ever lose weight and keep it off. For everyone else, it eventually comes back. 

Healthy diets are hard for a number of reasons. For starters, they’re not particularly convenient. They take up a lot of time. What’s more, they don’t give you that dopamine hit that you get when you eat junk. Eating a bean salad feels wholesome. Eating a donut feels decadent. 

Then there is the fact that many of us have emotional attachments to food. We feel like we’re missing out if we deprive ourselves. Sometimes we need food to bring us closer together with our families. Other times, it’s something that helps us when life gets tough and we feel like we need a pick-me-up. 

In this post, we take a look at some of the tricks and secrets of the 5 percent of people who lose weight and keep it off. We explore what they’re doing and how they make it happen. Check out our ideas below. 

Only Eat Whole Plant Foods

If you want to stay full, eat as many whole plant foods as you possibly can. Things like nuts and seeds, beans, legumes, whole giants, fruits and veggies give you mountains of fiber and plenty of bulk to keep you full. 

You’ll notice, for instance, that if you consume a handful of nuts in the morning, you are far less hungry in the afternoon. In fact, people who regularly consume nuts are much more likely to be slim compared to those who don’t. 

Beans have positive effects on your satiety as well. That’s because they contain an almost magical combination of protein and fiber. Plus, when you eat them, they lower your blood sugar response to subsequent meals. So, for instance, if you have beans for dinner, your blood glucose response to breakfast is lower (something called the second meal effect). This prevents your blood sugar levels from spiking and crashing repeatedly. 

Don’t Go On A Crash Diet

Extreme diets, such as the cabbage soup diet, are not sustainable. While they produce results in the short-term, particularly weight loss, they don’t work over the long-run. Eventually, you’ll start craving all the things that you want, fall off the bandwagon and wind up back where you started. 

The trick here is to simply make small changes to your diet but not let the devil know. Say to yourself something like “I’m going to eat a salad today, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have burgers tomorrow.” 

You’ll notice that when you take this approach, you get less resistance from your mind. You’re allowed to eat junk anytime you like. It’s just that, today, you’re not going to. 

If you deprive yourself (or feel like that’s what you’re doing), you’ll create a store of resentment and negativity towards your diet. Instead of seeing it as something that’s helping you, you’ll view it as restrictive. 

Find Out What Works For You

While some eating patterns are better than others, the diets that really work are the ones that you can follow. Virtually any diet you read about in books is superior to the standard western diet of meats, sweets, sugary drinks and alcohol. Picking one that you know that you can stick with is perhaps the best thing that you can do. 

In many cases, you don’t need to follow a specific dietary eating pattern at all. Most people can get awesome results simply by skipping take-out and restaurant meals, and cooking at home. The moment you eliminate junk and processed foods from your diet, you’ll find that you feel considerably better. 

If you are courageous, you’re able to change your social relationships, cultural traditions and work schedules around your eating to support your health. However, going to these lengths seem impractical for the vast majority of people. Changing your whole life can seem a little extreme. 

That’s why you want to choose a diet that works for your life as it is right now. Think about where you have control, and where you don’t. Perhaps you choose what you eat for breakfast, but you need to consider the whole family when it comes to dinner time. 

Often, the best diet is something that closely resembles the Mediterranean. Hare, you’re eating mainly whole plant foods, but can also enjoy olive oil and fish from time to time. 

Use Helpful Quotes To Support Your Goals

As sites like Everyday Power make clear, quotes can be game-changing. Deep wisdom speaks directly to the heart and makes it easier for us to pursue our goals, particularly if they support our wellbeing. 

Many people find quotes motivational when improving their diets. They discover that they resonate deeply with them, giving them the fortitude to carry on. In many cases, quotes actually improve a person’s outlook on food, turning a diet into a new way of life. 

Don’t Allow Junk Into Your Home

Before you go to the grocery store, make sure that your stomach is full. Have a delicious bowl of oatmeal with fruit and nuts to keep you sated. Then, when you go to the store, you won’t instinctively grab high-calorie foods that your body is craving. 

When you buy junk food and it sits in your home, it is a constant source of temptation. It’s hard not to think about it, particularly when you are hungry. However, if you only keep healthy foods in your home, your snack choices will be different. You’ll munch on fruit and nuts, instead of unhealthy foods. 

Develop Delicious Recipes

Believe it or not, healthy food can be delicious. In fact, it can be even yummier than its junky counterparts because it gives you real flavors. 

When you develop delicious foods, it sends a signal to your brain that you’re not missing out. When you make yourself a delicious lentil lasagne, for instance, you find that you’re not craving fried chicken or hamburgers. Somehow, natural food fills you up and makes you feel great at the same time. 

When you deprive yourself, you automatically put your weight loss strategy at risk. Your mind and body fight you every step of the way and, eventually, you give in. 

Don’t put yourself in a situation where you are craving food. If you feel a craving coming on, find a way to deal with it in a healthy way. For instance, you don’t have to get take-out pizza to satisfy your pizza cravings. You can make pizzas with spelt flour bases, nut-based cheeses and plenty of healthy toppings. You can also make your own garlic dipping sauces. 

Avoid All-Or-Nothing Thinking

When people go on a diet, they believe that they need to stick with it 100 percent, otherwise, they will fail. But that’s not true. Your biology isn’t an all-or-nothing process. It just reacts to the inputs it receives, so even if you fail on your diet 90 percent of the time, your body will benefit from the 10 percent where you don’t. 

Believing that you have to be perfect can be counter productive. When people adopt this approach, they start having unhealthy conversations with themselves. They say things like “I’m not strong enough to stick to a diet, so I might as well just give up and enjoy myself.” This talk then takes all of the energy out of their diet plans and makes it much more likely that they will abandon them. 

Don’t go into a diet believing that you have to follow it 100 percent. Instead, just see what you can do and how far you can take it. There’s no need to pressure yourself if you eat something that’s not a part of the protocol. Instead, just get back on the bandwagon tomorrow. 

Plan Ahead If Eating Out

If you’re eating out, make sure to plan ahead. Here are some of the things that you can do to limit the damage: 

  • Research the menu to see if they have any options that fit your diet. Look for the healthiest item on the menu
  • Consume some nuts of beans a few hours beforehand as these will help you stay full and prevent overeating
  • Consume plenty of water during the meal, making sure that you stay hydrated
  • Take your time when eating the meal. Aim for the eating part to last for at least 20 minutes. This way your body has time to send you feedback signals that you’re full

Track Your Progress

Lastly, take time to track your progress. Celebrate your victories. If you get closer to your goals, allow yourself to feel good about it. 
Also, find novel ways to track how you are getting on. Don’t just focus on calories or changes in your weight. Instead, ask yourself whether you’ve noticed any improvements in mental or physical health, or how confident you feel. Question whether you are able to continue eating this way forever, or whether you think you might go back to your old habits.



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