Setting a healthy routine for our diet can be easy, but some of us can have trouble sticking to it. Did you know that having a healthy diet can reduce your risk of disease? Of course, it can also improve your overall mood. If you’re one of those people who want to stick to their diet or don’t know how to set up a healthy routine successfully, here’s my advice for you.
1. Start by having an end goal or simple expectation of what you want to achieve within three months, six months, one year, or a lifetime diet you would like to stick to. So having an achievable expectation can help motivate you and increase your chances of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
2. A perfect diet plan or a perfect combination of food doesn’t exist, so stop looking for it! You read it right. You can eat in a very healthy way but still have one favorite food. Remember, the secret to a successful diet is not just the food we eat but also eating everything in moderation every day. If you get tempted to eat something that isn’t on your “diet plan” list, eat it shortly before bedtime. Allow yourself to enjoy food once in a while but in moderation.
3. Motivation is indeed needed. Rethinking why you’re making healthy choices or what motivates you can help you stay on course. It may sound not that important to you, but listing down specific reasons can help you adhere to it. So, whenever you feel like you need a reminder of your end goal, you can refer to this list.
4. Weigh yourself every day. You have to stay accountable, whether or not you have followed your diet list. It helps to have an accountability buddy to email, call, or text to report your everyday progress. If you don’t want to or don’t have someone as your accountability buddy, you can also have a diary to keep posted on daily progress.
5. Know and teach yourself the difference between craving and hunger. The feeling of wanting or desiring something to eat is called a craving, while the empty feeling or growling stomach when you haven’t eaten for hours is hunger. Knowing and teaching yourself the difference can discipline you to stick to your healthy diet routine.
6. One ground rule to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is eating when it’s time, not when you feel like it. Set a plan of meals with or without snacks, pick a time, and regularize that eating pattern.
7. Remember to remind yourself that every time matters. When you’re tempted to eat something else, and every time you choose to stick to your plan, you strengthen your resistance muscle no matter how tempted you are. You’re simply training yourself to resist next time and the time after that. On the contrary, if you give in and eat something you’re not supposed to, you’re training your craving muscle, which is more likely to keep giving in the next time after that.