28 Dec How To Stick To Your Diet For Weight Loss
This article is going to give you 7 tips to improve your consistency so you can stick to your diet for weight loss.
The more times you start a diet, the harder it’s going to be to lose fat.
Yet most traditional diets set you up to fail because they’re impossible to stick to.
The good news is that you don’t need a traditional “diet” for weight loss.
You need to create a calorie deficit.
Then you need to stick to this calorie deficit, consistently for weeks to months.
Consistency comes with practise.
But the following tips will give you a head start by helping to make it easier to stick to your calorie deficit in the first place.
Ps. For the rest of this article I’m using the word diet to describe your daily food intake.
7 Tips to Help You Stick To Your Diet For Weight Loss
Tip 1: Start with a moderate deficit not a massive one
The bigger the calorie deficit, the hungrier you’re going to be. This is going to make it harder to stick to your diet for weight loss.
It’s important that you choose a calorie deficit that is big enough to get results but not so big that you’re constantly starving.
One of the biggest mistakes with calorie counting for weight loss is choosing a standard calorie target like 1200 calories, or choosing a standard deficit like 500 calories.
Don’t be lazy and do this.
You need to make sure you calculate a deficit based on your body.
Let’s say you need 3500 calories per day to maintain your body. Taking 500 calories off this will create a small deficit of about 15%. That should be pretty easy to stick to.
But if your maintenance calorie needs were only 1700 calories per day, taking 500 calories off this will create a deficit of around 30%, which is huge. This will leave you feeling very hungry, restricted and make it much harder to stick to your diet. Aiming for a 1200 calorie a day diet works the same way. It’s going to put you in too big of a deficit.
You need to calculate your maintenance calories and then take a percentage off these to work out what your individual calorie target for weight loss should be. If you start with a deficit of around 20%, this is going to make it much easier to stick to your diet to lose weight. This article here explains how to do this.
Tip 2: Don’t sacrifice everything
You always want what you can’t have.
So, if you want to make it easier to stick to your diet for weight loss, don’t set yourself up to get cravings and want to binge.
Include treats in your diet on a daily basis- just do so in moderation.
If you make sure they fit into your calorie target, you’ll be able to eat them and lose weight.
Don’t be extreme and make all your diet full of treats though.
Aim to get majority of your diet (around 80%) from nutrient dense, whole foods. Then fill up the rest with some treats.
Another thing that will help you with this is to improve your relationship with food.
Stop seeing food as good or bad and start seeing food for what it is. You shouldn’t feel guilty for choosing to eat a donut. You’re not “good” for having a salad instead.
Food serves many purposes including energy, nutrition and enjoyment. It’s ok to eat it for all of those purposes.
Tip 3: Make sleep a priority
I know it’s hard; you need to make so many things a priority for weight loss.
Your first focus before anything else should be sleep.
Yes, I said sleep, not your diet.
Sleep deprivation makes it harder to stay consistent with your diet for weight loss.
It does this by changing your internal body chemistry. You’ll be hungrier because levels of the hormone ghrelin increase. Another hormone, leptin also increases meaning you’ll feel less like moving thereby decreasing energy expenditure.
Lack of sleep also impairs your decision making ability meaning it’ll be harder to stop yourself from making poor food choices.
It impacts your ability to perform your best in the gym. That will impact your ability to build muscle and lose fat.
This is just the start of how sleep deprivation impacts weight loss.
Make sure sleep is a priority if you want to be successful at weight loss.
Tip 4: Time your meals
Meal timing doesn’t matter for weight loss directly.
Eating all your food before 7pm isn’t necessary. Skipping breakfast isn’t either. You can eat 1 big meal a day, or 6 small meals. So long as you’re consistently eating in a calorie deficit you’ll lose weight.
However, meal timing can come in handy to help you stick to your calorie deficit.
You’ll be hungry eating in a calorie deficit- that’s normal.
If you eat every time you’re hungry, it’s likely you’ll eat the majority of your calories early in the day. Then you’ll have no calories left to spend on dinner. It’ll be easy to go over your calorie deficit which will stop you from losing weight.
If you have set times that you eat your meals, then you’ll avoid eating all your calories too early in the day because you’ll be able to better manage when you spend your calories (and make sure you leave some for later).
Mindlessly eating in between meals or planned snacks is one of the easiest ways to go over your calorie needs. Eating only at set times will help you avoid this.
Tip 5: Pay attention to all forms of progress
Making progress is motivating.
There are so many forms of progress you could be making in a weight loss journey that can help keep you motivated and stay consistent.
But you have to be paying attention and looking out for them.
If you’re only measuring progress by the number you see on the scale each day, then you’re going to be disappointed very quickly. You’ll probably end up quitting too soon.
You also need to have realistic expectations for progress.
This will help make it easier to stick to your diet for weight loss because you won’t feel so pressured to be making drastic progress each day.
It’s all the little forms of progress you make along the way that add up to the big change you want to see. Don’t ignore them.
Tip 6: Remember you can’t stuff up
You have to stay out of that all or nothing mindset if you want to be successful at weight loss.
There’s no need to be perfect every day.
Your calorie target is meant to guide you to make better decisions around food. It isn’t meant to control you. If you have a day where you go over, don’t stress about it. Get back on track the next day. If it’s happening a lot, then you have to reflect on why it’s happening and make some changes to your plan.
It’s easy to focus on what’s not happening or what you’re doing wrong. But this is only going to make you feel like you’re failing. You’ll lose motivation and that makes it even harder to stay consistent.
Instead, you have to focus on all the progress you are making and what you’re doing right.
You have to be your own cheerleader.
You can’t stuff up so long as you keep going. Remind yourself that daily.
Having the discipline to stay consistent when you don’t want to is a skill. You can get better at it.
The above tips will help make it easier to stick to your diet for weight loss but it’s up to you to practice.
Start with something small and test yourself to do it for 7 days straight. It might just be swapping most of your calorie dense drinks for calorie free ones. Or going for a walk every day.
Then do it for 30 days straight. If you miss a day, don’t call yourself a failure. Try again. The more you practise the better you’ll get.
Having some accountability can help with this. It doesn’t have to be a coach- it can be anyone you trust and respect.
If you are interested in getting some accountability with your fitness goals, feel free to reach out here.