The first day of a diet is when we realize how much of the world is sugar-coated, breaded, or full of empty calories.
It may seem like there are no options, like there’s a conspiracy to keep you from sticking to your diet. You’ll be confronted with plenty of opportunities to misstep, give in to your cravings, and just blow the whole thing off.
But if something is worth starting, then it’s worth sticking to.
Here are a few ways to deal with those hard-to-diet days…
Wait a Few
A lot of us eat when we’re bored. We’ll snack out of habit or because there’s nothing else to do. Your body knows when it’s hungry, whether you do or not. The trick is figuring out if you’re really hungry. Before you grab a cookie or bag of chips, give yourself time to figure out what you truly need, not just what you want to fill up the moment. Be Patient. If you wait for fifteen minutes and still want to eat, then you’re probably actually hungry, so take the chance to make a sensible choice.
But what will you do with those fifteen minutes? You have some options…
Distract and Reflect
When you find yourself thinking about all the things you could be eating, stop. It’s tough to do, I know, but stop. There are literally billions of other things to occupy your mind and hands. Keep a notebook in your back pocket and work on your poetry. Or do a crossword puzzle. Or read some of that novel you’ve been meaning to finish. Keep your mind occupied by anything other than food.
Whatever your reason for losing weight might be, when you find yourself in a situation in which you must choose between staying on course or falling off the wagon, think about why you wanted to make a change in the first place. Do you deserve an extra slice, or do you deserve to be more comfortable in your own skin? Think about it.
The weight loss journey, for some, can be like going to a foreign country. There’s a whole language of calories and nutritional information that reads like gibberish to the unprepared ear. As with any trip to a far off land, you’ll want to be ready.
Have a daily agenda so you’ll know where you’re going throughout the day. Know the language, so that when you’re faced with choices, you’ll know which one is best. Understand how many calories you need for your specific body type. Find out the difference between “good fats” and “bad fats.” Know what empty calories are.
You’re going to need to do your research, and fortunately there’s a great resource at your disposal. Check out choosemyplate.gov. It has plenty of tools and articles on nutrition to help you traverse the path to a new, improved you. Bon Voyage.
What has no calories and fills your belly? Water! Of course, we feel hungry when our bellies are empty. A good glass of water will take up that space, with added benefits. Keeping hydrated keeps your metabolism going. Drinking cold water actually causes our bodies to burn up more calories by bringing that fluid up to our body temperature. It also helps flush out toxins, while not adding any pesky calories. We need it anyway, and honestly very few of us get the amount that we need in a day. And, fun fact, it makes up 90% of our brains, so water helps us think better, work better, and overall feel better.
Call your Mom
Seriously, when’s the last time you did?
Okay, it doesn’t have to be your mom, but make sure you have people who support you. When you’re faced with a situation that puts your diet in jeopardy, make sure you have someone who appreciates what you’re trying to do and can talk you off that ledge. Let them remind you how important this journey is, and that once you make it to the end, they’re going to be proud of you. Just like you should be of yourself.