2 Steps Towards Sustained Diet Improvement
By now I’m sure you’ve probably tried some form of a diet or eating plan. You might have tried substituting a salad for a meal once a day, cutting down on carbs, counting calories, or a plan from a new book you read. At first you might have seen some success and the new diet seemed to have great promise.Â Unfortunately after a few weeks or even months you began to lose focus and slowly but surely you reverted back to your old eating habits.
I’m not suggesting that you are not currently eating healthy or that you can’t follow through with your plans. This is merely a generalization for what a lot of people go through when they try to start eating healthier, or lose weight. We’ve all started something like a diet with great enthusiasm only to have it fizzle out after a few short weeks.
I think this is especially true when it comes to embarking on a new nutrition plan or exercise routine. I mainly believe it’s due to the fact that the results aren’t as big as we want, or that they don’t happen instantly. It’s in our nature to want our good things to happen right now. We all want instant satisfaction, especially when it comes to losing weight. When it comes to starting a weight loss program, or just changing your eating habits, I believe there are two main tactics you can use to help achieve your goals on a long-term basis.
When most of us start a new project we begin with high hopes and extreme enthusiasm. We put out 100% effort because we know that we are going to achieve our goals. But after a few days or if we are really motivated weeks or months, we start to lose our vigor. We realize that maybe we bit off a little more than we could chew. The next step is to start to lower our expectations and in turn decrease our efforts. This continues until finally we become so discouraged that we just give up completely.
The first step towards improved dieting is to start the program slowly. As mentioned, losing focus happens to the best of us, but I don’t think it’s because of some personal flaw. I believe it’s because we all tend to set our sights to high to begin with. I’m not advocating that you set low standards and be happy with minimal long-term success. I’m suggesting that you ease your way into it. As an example, say you want to start substituting a salad for lunch. Start out by substituting a salad once a week, then after a few weeks of that start substituting a salad two or three times a week. This can work for any type of diet you might want to try. The key to this method is setting goals based on a schedule that are attainable, but challenging at the same time.
Secondly, setting specific goals is by far the most important part of any diet. Without setting goals, it’s impossible to determine whether you are successful or not. With specific goals, you have a benchmark that you can work for. It’s very difficult to diet or exercise with no target to strive for.
I suggest that you start with a broad goal or strategy. First determine what you are trying to achieve overall. This could be losing 20 pounds and maintaining that weight, or a healthier diet for the rest of your life. Once you determine what that broad goal is, determine how exactly you intend to achieve it. Choose a diet or exercise plan that you want to implement. Then take that plan, and break it down into several goals that will ultimately lead you to what you want overall. As I mentioned earlier, you could do something like eat salad for lunch once a week for a month, and then the next month eat salad for lunch 2 or 3 times a week. Or it could be walk a half mile 4 times a week, then 1 mile 4 times a week, next run a half mile 4 times a week and so on. By creating goals that are unique to you, you can increase the likelihood that you will succeed. Many diet or exercise plans have specified routines that they tell you to follow. Unfortunately, not everyone can effectively follow these routines. You need to determine the goals that are best for you, and how long it will take you to reach them. It is important for you to not be discouraged by those around you either. If someone you know is losing weight faster than you, you shouldn’t be discouraged. As long as you are meeting the goals you have set for yourself, you are going to do just fine.
Some people are able to jump right into a diet or any other type of venture and stick with it all the way. Unfortunately, not all of us can do that. If you have a hard time getting started, or sticking with a diet, you should ease your way into it. And no matter what you do, always set out specific goals you want to meet. Create a spreadsheet with a schedule that explicitly states the goals you want to achieve and on what dates you hope to do so. And if you don’t meet a goal, or if you are progressing slower than you expected, don’t worry. Most of us won’t achieve each goal we set for ourselves when starting a diet or exercise plan. If you miss one, adjust your schedule, and use it as extra motivation to reach the next one. The last thing you want to do is quit because you missed one time. Take the leap and start working out a plan now. Set goals and you will be on your way to better health practices and an improved lifestyle.
Tom Rybicki has extensively researched vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, nutritional supplements, and general nutrition. Visit his website for information about the Multivitamin and Antioxidant Nutritional Health Supplement he helped develop.Rating: