It doesn’t matter if a diet works if you won’t stick to it. As a matter of fact, adapting a diet that you won’t stick to can leave you worse off than before you tried it.
We know that many of the health outcomes we seek require some changes to how we eat. However, a complete overhaul to our eating style is usually a set up for inconsistency and lack of results. Motivation may get you started. But, if you want to keep going for the long haul and continue to reap results, consider these three things before changing your diet.
How Much Time You Spend Preparing Food
If you’re a 10-minute meal type of person, don’t pick a plan that includes complicated recipes. You can improve your health and weight management by including items like pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, bagged salads, and frozen vegetable blends in your weekly meals. Those items will be full of healthy protein and fiber. But, you won’t need to spend tons of time in the kitchen to prepare them.
How Much Money You Are Willing to Spend on Food
Some experts recommend following an organic diet as the path to better health. However, if a 100% organic diet doesn’t fit your budget, you may feel like you can’t make a difference in your health. That’s not true. There are plenty of healthy food items that are budget friendly. Foods like eggs, canned tuna, oatmeal, and frozen vegetables are budget friendly healthy alternatives.
What You Prefer to Eat
No matter how beneficial any particular diet can be, if you hate the food that’s on the plan, it’s not sustainable. This is especially true if the meal plan you are considering doesn’t include any of the traditional foods and spices that are central to your culture. You may feel like you need to trade in your culturally familiar food or be healthy. However, you don’t have to choose. There is a middle ground. So, make sure that any diet you plan to follow already includes some of the foods that you like.
If you find a diet that checks out in all three of the areas mentioned above, that one is likely one that you will stick to long enough to get results. However what most people find, is that no diet that they’ve seen before checks out in all three categories. That’s precisely why so many of us struggle to stay consistent.
The answer to that dilemma is to create your own diet instead of searching for one!
How to Create Your Own Diet
Start by writing down the meals that you typically eat. Once you have at least three options written for each meal time, assess those meals. Check them to see if they have a source of protein and vegetables or fruit. Having a source of protein and fiber rich vegetables of fruit is the foundation of a healthy meal. Place a star by any of your meals that don’t meet the criteria.
Write down which foods you will include in the starred meals to cover the missing components. Now you have just created customized meals that are more likely to keep you fuller longer, help you avoid cravings, and make it easier to manage your weight.
That simple process is an amazing start to immediately improve your diet. The cost and convenience of your meals will be relatively unchanged. And, those changes are enough to start moving toward consistency and results. Sure there’s more that you can do to your meals to optimize them even more. However, you can always fine tune your meals later. Making small changes to improve your meals rather than overhauling your diet all at once is a huge step in the right direction.
Creating the right plan for you upfront is the key to end the on again off again cycle that so many of us experience with our eating habits. Now you have the key to greater consistency and results that feels goods. Positive change doesn’t have to hurt.
Concita Thomas is the Food & Fitness Strategist behind ConcitaThomas.com. She is on a mission to help busy career women and female entrepreneur’s look and feel fierce without making the process a second job.
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