It’s a crying shame how easy it can be to toss a well-developed diet out the window at the sight or smell of a comfort food. Or maybe you’ll find yourself at a baseball game this summer, and tempted beyond what’s reasonable by a heaping steaming platter of garlic fries. Don’t revert back to those old and unhealthy ways that inspired you to diet in the first place. Instead abide by the following 10 strategies that’ll help you face those grueling temptations head on and stick to that hard fought diet you’ve committed to.
1. Put a Face to Your Motivation
Maybe you’re a parent who plans on being around long enough to watch your child grow up to live a beautiful and fruitful life. Unfortunately diets high in trans fat for instance result in you running higher cholesterol and ultimately a greater chance at developing health complications as you age. All in all, when you put a face or a solid image behind your dietary motivation, you give yourself a much better chance at combating those trying temptations that’ll surely arise on down the road.
2. Ease into Your Diet
We’re all well aware (or should be) at this point that much of success in life is about striking a balance and avoiding extremes. When you first commit yourself to following a diet, don’t take too drastic of measures from the start. Otherwise you’ll likely suffer the overwhelming and discouraging effects of pacing out your diet poorly.
3. Find Foods You Enjoy that are Healthy!
Eating healthier doesn’t require you to give up all the great tasting foods that are available out there—you’ll be pleased to discover that there are many equal parts healthy and tasty food options that don’t destroy your diet altogether. Plus eating foods that you enjoy the taste of will help motivate you to continue onwards with your diet.
4. Eat Smaller Sized Portions when You Dine Out
Going out for a night on the town with friends now and again is inevitable; prepare for menus with sinfully descriptive entrees options by deciding beforehand that you’ll stick to eating in smaller portion sizes. A personal tip here—many restaurants nowadays offer appetizers that can just as effectively stand in as an entrée, at a much more reasonable portion size.
5. Fill Yourself Up with High-fiber Foods
Foods high in fiber (apples, bananas, oranges) encourage your body to absorb more water, which results in you feeling fuller for longer durations of time. So avoid scenarios that might result in you snacking on unhealthier options, and curb that hunger longer!
6. Don’t Starve Yourself
We can't stress enough the importance of meeting your minimum calories count each day. For women, this generally runs at 1,200 calories and for men 1,500 calories. If you fall into a pattern of starving yourself and not meeting your minimum calories count (at least!), then you’re all the more likely to lose muscle and revert back to unhealthier eating habits out of desperation.
7. If You have an Off Day, Work it off ASAP!
Sometimes you’ll reward yourself with a cheat day or have a bit of overindulgence on a no-no food or three. It’s okay! Off days can be a great measure to take when you feel yourself losing steam. Just be sure to hit the gym or take a long walk to burn off those extra calories!
8. Pack a Lunch
If you’re headed out for the office or another long grueling day of classes, pack a healthy lunch! Otherwise you might find yourself flooded with work, tried for time and settling for a faster yet massively unhealthier lunch!
9. Stock Up on Great Tasting, Healthy Substitutes
You don't want to find yourself overcome with a sweet foods craving, and chowing down on a big bottomless bowl of ice cream. Quickly combat reverting back to your old unhealthy ways by stocking your fridge/pantry with healthy snack alternatives—think cranberries, grapes, bananas, and oatmeal.
10. Avoid Empty Carbohydrates like Pasta, Potatoes and Rolls
Every once in a while, and especially after big workouts, it’s fine to enjoy a big bowl of pasta with a buttered roll on the side. But most of the time it’s best to avoid these serotonin-boosting foods that are often filled with empty calories, which can even, slow down your metabolism.