Before we even begin, answer these questions:
I’m sure that 99% of people reading this article will answer “Yes” to the first question and 75% will answer “Yes” to the second question.
- Have you ever tried dieting?
- Have you ever failed in your attempt to maintain a diet?
You will need to change your HABIT first in order to change your current diet into a healthier one.
Be it for weight loss or to achieve a normal blood sugar or cholesterol level, whatever be your goal in changing your diet, changing your habit is never easy! It may not be enough to know about nutrition or to know what you should be doing differently. Most people need strategies and plans for making these changes. This section will help you change your overall diet. It will address the following problems:
- Getting Started
- Setting Goals
- Staying Motivated
- Overcoming the barriers of dieting
- Social Support
If you have never paid much attention to your diet before, making changes to it or using a recommended diet plan can be overwhelming. If you have tried many diets, you may be frustrated if you have not been able to stick to them. The following are the most important things to remember:
1. Make Small Changes
Don’t try to change your whole diet at once. You are more likely to be successful by making small changes and sticking to them for the long term.
2. Highlight the improvements
Any positive changes you make will improve your health. Your diet doesn’t have to be “I must never eat this or that”. If you go back to old eating habits for a meal, for a day or for a week, it doesn’t mean that you have failed and should stop trying to make improvements in your diet.
3. Consult a dietitian
Although this blog serves as a destination for all people seeking to improve their diet, there remains the fact that some people need to consult a dietician in order to supervise what they eat.
4. Track your progress
Write down your goals. Keep track of your progress. Periodically go back and check your progress. Small successes can add up quickly and make a big difference in your life.
5. A change a time
Make only a change a time. For example, you may want to work on improving what you eat for lunch, or you could try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Pick a change that will be easy for you to make.
6. Add instead of Subtract
Add something nutritious to your diet instead of taking something away. Try to add foods that you need more like fruits or vegetables. Removing things from your diet (for example, foods high in fat or sugar) may leave you feeling deprived, which may make it more difficult for you to make a change.
7. Opt for the healthier foods
Make a list of the foods that you enjoy and choose the healthier ones.
Getting motivated to change your diet is essential but hard to achieve. Motivation problems may have gotten in your way in the past. Try not to let bad experiences and attitudes from the past stop you from becoming motivated now.
8. Record your efforts
Circle the days on the calendar when you meet a nutritional goal. Use a notebook or diary to record your food intake. These records will motivate you on your dieting endeavor. Pour over your food records when you start doubting yourself or your dieting abilities.
9. Make it a habit
Sticking to a particular diet over a certain period of time may seem to require too big an effort for certain but staying committed to your dieting goals will reinforce the diet. Eventually this diet will form part of your eating habit. The point here is not to lose focus on your diet goal.
10. Make it 12 weeks
Try to stick to your diet for 12 weeks. For some people, 12 weeks is not sufficient to achieve your diet goals. Commit to your diet for 12 weeks until the “new” diet just seem to be another normal part of your day.
11. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat… and Repeat again!
When you’re getting started, try some new routines and stick to them. You can make changes later, but creating an eating habit requires repetition.
Barriers To Eating Well:
Even when you know about the benefits of eating well, you may find it hard to change your lifestyle until you deal with the reasons you give yourself for not eating well. Barriers to eating well often include valid reasons for why you aren’t eating well and excuse you make to avoid something you dislike or fear. It can be hard to tell the difference between a valid reason and an excuse. It’s more important to face those barriers and find solutions.
12. Track down your inhibitions
Recall the last time you thought about improving your diet but didn’t follow through with it. What held you back?
Examine the choices you make about your diet each day and reinforce the positive ones.
14. Combat Fear
Sometimes fear is the reason people avoid change. Changing the way one eat is not an easy achievement for most people.
One more important barrier to eating well is a lack of social support. You may eat on your own most of the time, so no one acknowledges your efforts and improvements. On the other hand, you may be part of a family whose eating habits are very different from those you want to acquire, and your family may not be interested or prepared to accept a change to your eating habit. Any changes you make may be harder because you have to make them in an unsupportive atmosphere. This could mean being around people who don’t support you and behaviors that undermine your efforts.
A lack of social support is a real barrier, but it may be overcome with careful preparation, the right attitude and effort.
Speak with your family or the persons you eat with about the changes you are making. Ask them for support in specific ways, such as not commenting on your eating habit and not to offer you foods that you have chosen not to eat. You may not get all persons to do the above, but you can often improve things by asking for help.
16. Seek out friends
If you often eat alone and feel a lack of support, seek out friends or co-workers who may be interested in sharing in your efforts to change. Many people are aware that they could eat in a healthier way with willing partners supporting them.
17. Make small changes
Make small changes instead of big ones. People are less likely to notice small changes, so you are less likely to feel that others are undermining your efforts. Also, small changes are more likely to be maintained.
Please bear in mind that the above keys are guidelines for dieting and that the outcome of your diet depends primarily on your determination and commitment. To your dieting success!
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