It is hard to take the plunge and go on a diet, but it can be even harder to stick to the new dietary habits. However, keeping this long-term commitment doesn’t have to be agony. The important thing to remember is moderation, balance. Don’t deprive yourself, don’t drive yourself crazy by excluding whole food groups from your diet. If you go to extremes, you may see results fast, but these results will most probably be short-lived. Remember: dieting is not a sprint; it is a marathon.
Here are some simple tips to help you along the way.
You don’t really need to give up anything. It makes more sense to just reduce portion size.
Trying eating a salad before the main course: It will fill you up as well as nourish you with powerful antioxidants and all sorts of energy-boosting vitamins.
Got the munchies? Keep healthy snacks close at hand. Stock up on vegetables (carrots, cucumber, celery, broccoli), fruits, rice cakes. Instead of a soda, treat yourself to a homemade fruit-juice cocktail.
Don’t skip breakfast. What is more, make it a high-protein one, using low-/no-fat milk and sugar-free cereal. Protein will boost your energy while sugar will just give you a short-term rush and calories you are better off without.
Take homemade snacks to work. In this way, you will be in control of the quantity and quality of your calorie intake. (It doesn’t hurt the budget either…)
Spread your food intake throughout the day. Don’t starve yourself all day and then pig out late in the evening, half an hour before going to bed. Instead, make sure you eat 4-5 moderate, nutritionally balanced meals a day. The challenge here of course is not to nibble between meals, but if you do, munch on a carrot instead of a candy bar.
Make sure to eat the last meal of the day before 9 pm and not later than 2 hours before turning in.
Drink plenty of water, at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Water fills you up naturally and also promotes the burning of fat tissue. Avoid commercial refreshments, opt for homemade juices instead.
Adopt an exercise regime. Easy does it. The important thing is to exercise a little regularly. Take a brisk walk round the block and back. Use the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Get yourself a stationary bike and watch the first half hour of a favorite movie while exercising. Whatever works for you.
Above all, love yourself the way you are. You can only get better!