With the New Year fully upon us many are already finding it tough to adhere to those resolutions, especially when a new diet is part of the plan. If you are one of the approximate 45 million Americans who start a new diet every year and would like for this to be the year you finally succeed, read on.
For most people starting a new diet there is the initial excitement, determination and motivation that goes hand in hand with most any new project. Unfortunately, the tendency to slip back into old and familiar patterns causes us to veer off course. We get frustrated that results aren't happening as quickly as we would like, get discouraged, and finally just quit. There is a solution. However, there are no quick fixes and no short cuts. Additionally, it's going to require making significant changes in several areas of your daily life. Not just for a few weeks or months, but for the rest of your life.
If you want lasting change it won't be easy but it will be worth it. Follow these guidelines to get started down the right path.
- Rather than going on a diet (which infers that at some point you will go off the diet), adopt a new, healthier way of eating.
- Don't demonize any particular food or food group. Swearing off chocolate or potato chips forever will only make you crave those food items even more. Instead, make the choice to limit high calorie foods.
- Eat breakfast. People who regularly eat breakfast are slimmer than those who don't. Morning coffee is not a substitute. No matter how busy you are, if you make the time to eat breakfast you're off to a great start every day.
- Have a high protein/high fat breakfast. A bowl of cereal or pancakes first thing in the morning is NOT an example of a healthy breakfast. A high carbohydrate meal will likely make you feel lethargic as well as set you up for sugary carbohydrate cravings later in the day. An example of a GREAT breakfast would be eggs cooked in real butter, lean steak and sliced avocado on the side.
- If at all possible, keep tempting foods out of the house. During moments of weakness it's all too easy to reach for a treat.
- Eat at home more often. Restaurants create a huge temptation for most people with their varied menus and selections of high calorie foods. Plus, when eating out it's hard to know exactly what you're really eating. For example, many restaurants inject their steaks with sugar to improve taste and flavor and to reduce meat shrinkage.
- Eliminate soft drinks and juices. Switching to plain water and/or unsweetened teas will assist your new eating plan in every way.
- Stay away from diet drinks and anything containing artificial sweeteners. These have been found to reduce metabolism and incite sugar cravings.
- Exercise. Any diet plan that offers flat abs or thin thighs without exercise is false. It won't happen. Period.
Change is never easy and changing your health for the better is one of the biggest challenges most of us face, but reaping the results of those changes is one of the biggest rewards there is.