Best Tips for Sticking to your Diet – Be consistent
No one likes the idea of a diet and because of this, many people falter on their way to getting their dream bodies. Even when armed with all the right information, it’s still very easy to get discouraged about the whole thing and quit.
So here are a couple of things I’ve found that will help you stick with it.
You may not need all of them but some might scream out to you as a good idea and if that’s all it takes to keep you on path, that’s good enough.
When it comes to completing anything, one of the most important things in life is to remain consistent over a long period of time.
While we tend to live in an immediate results environment, time has shown us again and again that relatively slow and steady wins the race. We all know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare right. Nothing has changed.
Put the work in, stick with the method and you WILL eventually see the results.
The key to this is making sure you don’t take your eye off the ball and you put in the effort day after day after day and you never take your eye off the prize.
This is probably the single most important piece of advice when it comes to making any sort of progress in life and you can apply it to literally anything.
- Playing an instrument
- Learning to drive
- Trying to quit smoking
- Losing weight
- Learning a new language
- Getting out of debt
At the beginning of a new venture, we always end up overdoing something when our motivation is high but we also underestimate how long this will take us to complete things. When we don’t see results fast enough, soon you find our efforts waiver and we stop altogether.
Understanding how long it will take is key
But there is a plan to tackle this.
The key for this is managing expectations and coming to the realisation of just how long it will take which many people fail to realise.
I’ve already commented on how magazines advertise super fast weight loss tips and hack personal trainers will tell you how you can get the body you want in weeks.
This isn’t the lie you should buy into. Any significant change in your body fat composition can take at least four months to occur and a true body transformation (without drugs) could take many years to obtain.
So the very first thing you need to realise is that this isn’t going to happen overnight. You’re not going to get bitten by a radioactive spider or get enrolled into some super soldier project that gets you in shape anytime soon, let alone tomorrow.
But if you do have a plan in place, you CAN determine how long it will take you to burn off the body fat, give or take 2 weeks or so (if everything runs smoothly). This is how fitness models get in shape for their competitions, none of them stay that way all year round and they have to be able to get to their desired shapes like clockwork as there is a lot of money at stake with regards to endorsement deals and modelling campaigns.
If you have been reading the whole series, you will know that in chapter 1 of my DIET HARD SERIES, I took you through how to you to plan your weight loss so that you can estimate how many weeks it will really take you to get down to your desired shape.
Based on this, you can track your progress over a long period of time and if you are consistent, you should see a slow but steady drop in your weight, body fat content and a slow change in your structural make up.
Sure, it’s not as glamorous as being told you could lose a stone after a week of intense exercise but here are a couple of things
1. If you lose the weight that quickly, you are 100% guaranteed to be able to put it on again as discussed here, which renders the whole exercise pointless (why go through all that headache for short term success). It also makes it more difficult to achieve the next time around.
2. If you find yourself out of shape, it’s usually because of the culmination of a lot of choices made over a long time, which have become habitual. The weight loss process itself isn’t necessarily about losing body fat but developing a new version of yourself, through knowledge, personality and behavioural habitual reconstruction. Unless it’s something traumatic, people don’t change in a week and there’s nothing to stop you making those choices again.
3. No matter how much weight you lose in that week, you’ll never be satisfied with your results, it’s a psychological barrier we all have in place that suggests that anything worth having is difficult and takes time. While this isn’t necessarily true, it will hinder your ability to be happy with the you, you see in the mirror afterwards. Sometimes taking the longer journey will provide you with better self worth and satisfaction. Most of all, it means you are likely to stick with it afterwards.
4. Due to rapid weight loss regimes being based on severe calorie restriction, you won’t looks or feel as good as if you did it properly over time, trust me on this one.
The Power of consistency
So now you know how long it is going to take, how do you motivate yourself to stick with it.
The first thing I would say is take that long journey and make bitesize goals. Don’t think of a diet as a year long quest. Make it a long term goal with medium and short term targets in place to keep you on track. Celebrate successes on a weekly basis and mark down monthly target milestones, use every trick in the book to keep your mind occupied on the task and your ego’s need to be happy, in order to keep you motivated and consistent.
That covers the hows but what about the Whys?
Again, this is a very personal thing but you just gotta dig deep and think about something that is worth it.
- Think about your kids or someone that is dependent on you
- Do it because you don’t want to become a burden to others
- Think about the legacy you want to leave behind
- Think about maybe wanting to inspire others
- Make it the first step in realising you can do anything if you put your mind to it
- Do it for your own peace of mind and because honestly, you deserve it.
- Do it to tick it off your box, we put barriers in our way to stop us doing more important stuff, remove one
- Do it because other people don’t think you can
- Do it through the power of divine inspiration
Personally, I don’t like waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror and calling myself a collosal fuck up, complaining about something I have the opportunity to change at the time.
That’s enough for me, Besides.I’ve always believed in the long game, many of my greatest achievements in life have taken me decades to come to fruition.
Even when I’m about to go off, I always remember these scene from Shawshank Redemption
If Andy Dufresne can spend over twenty years digging his escape route of of jail, then FUCK IT, I can muster the testicular fortitude to stick to a diet.
Find whatever you can to get through the day to day, once you get over to the other side, all the daily struggles will be worth it and your commitment to the cause will pay off. Further more, the time will pass right by and you’ll get there before you even know it.