The first month of any diet is going to be tough, both emotionally and physically. Perhaps you’ve heard this at some point, but it bears repeating. A lot of people also think that diets are about losing weight the easy way. It is not always this simple; in fact, dieting is often incredibly hard for most people. We have spent decades forming relationships with food, exercise, stress, portion sizes, and snacking. It is easy to learn good habits that will lead to weight loss success, but actually putting them into practice is another matter.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the practice of weight loss, here are some tips to keep in mind:
There are a few ways to make it a little less stressful.
Recognize that some days will be hard.
There are going to be days where you do not feel like putting in the effort to eat healthily. On those days do not beat yourself up. You are only human after all. Focus on tomorrow and the next day. Do not expect too much and because you are not perfect, being unrealistic is not going to help either.
Understand that portion sizes tend to be way too big.
If you look at the portions on restaurant and takeaway menus they are absolutely huge compared with places like Europe and Asia. So large in fact that it is easy to eat the equivalent of two portions of food in one sitting just from looking at them. You may not think it is quite so extreme, but in a number of cases, restaurants are loading you up with carbs and starches in order to ensure you walk out the door feeling ‘stuffed’.
Plan Your Meals
Having a plan before going out to eat or buying your food will make getting back on track so much easier. Take out a notepad or an app and plan out your meals for the next day. Think about lunch, dinner, snacks, what you are going to drink and where your grocery shopping is going to take place. It is easier to stick to a plan when you know you have one.
Do Some Physical Activity
It is amazing how people eat meals while sat in front of a computer at work or eat and then plop down in front of the television. Get up and go for a walk, do some pushups or squats while you are watching TV or before you start cooking. A workout can help you build muscle and improve your outlook, so using this time to help you stay productive and get some exercise is a great idea.
Be Flexible About Exercise
Working out is hard. Everybody wants to look good and that can mean spending a lot of money. A gym membership is too expensive for some on a fixed budget. Getting a personal trainer is not realistic for most people. This is why it is key to be flexible when combining diet and exercise. There are workouts on YouTube that you can do at home which are just as good at getting you fit and do not require an extravagant gym membership. Even taking a daily walk is an excellent way to stay healthy and burn calories.
One thing that a lot of fitness programs claim is that if you follow their eating and exercise regime, you will see immediate results. Really? Chances are if you followed all the rules, stopped to eat and everything was fine then you would be in great shape. Dieting, however, is not an overnight lifestyle change. It is hard work and it is not something you want to rush. Take a step back and figure out what you can realistically change. Should you eat more fruit? How many carbs ought to be part of your diet? Can you snack? How often? Are you doing enough physical activity? Do you need to train less? These are all complicated aspects of any diet, low carb, keto, or otherwise. This is why you should speak with a board certified physician like Dr. Blissenbach–who is specialized in internal and obesity medicine–about all your health factors.
The most important thing when following a new diet is to be kind to yourself. Everybody is different and therefore the same diet regimen may not work for everybody. Do not try and do too much at once, especially at the beginning.
Dieting is tough work. People will tell you it is hard and that is true. Don’t give up at the first hurdle, because your body will thank you for being committed to health.