Have you ever been on a diet, done really well, and then spotted your favorite food and completely fallen off the wagon? We’ve all been on the yoyo diet where we’ve done great for a week, and we almost get in to spring break shape, but then we cave and negate all of our hard earned progress; so what should be done? Clearly, crash diets are not the way to go, so what can we do to make sure that we are consuming fewer calories and actually eating calories that are good for our bodies?
In order to stay on track with your healthy eating plan, it will be important for you to establish accountability for yourself; I have discovered, for instance, that finding a friend with similar goals is extremely helpful. If you both are consistent with your eating plan and do not cheat, reward yourself at the end of the week; make a deal to treat yourself to a ten-dollar prize, if you stay the course, but if either of you cheat, neither of you gets the prize! This will go a long way in encouraging you not to cheat, because if you do cheat, you are not only ruining it for yourself, but also for someone else.
Another great way to stay accountable is to write down everything you eat – really, write down everything – including that handful of peanut m&ms you just ate; at the end of the week, review what you ate. By forcing yourself to write down what you’re eating, you will cause yourself to think twice; you will be surprised by what you eat without thinking about it! If you eat those doughnuts, after all, you are going to have to write it down! When you’re reviewing, compare your eating plan with what you actually ate and then figure out what you need to do differently the next week.
If writing down what you ate is not working well enough for you, then download a calorie-counting app on your phone like Lose It, or My Fitness Pal; these apps will allow you to set goals, and then will tell you how many calories you should be consuming in order to meet your goals; after you eat, just enter in what you ate and the app will calculate the calories for you, and in this way – keeping track of what you eat – you will be able to be more consistent with your diet.
There are a lot of key factors to weight loss – consuming fewer calories, exercising more, drinking an adequate amount of water, eating smaller portions, and getting enough sleep – but all of those factors do not matter if you cannot be consistent; I have found that consistency is achieved when I have someone or something else keeping me on track. I can justify peanut m&ms all day long, but if I have something telling me how many calories I am consuming with each handful of candy, I am going to be less likely to continue reaching into the bowl; you can lose weight and you can stay on a healthy eating plan, with a little accountability.