When it comes to staying on track with your diet, it can be easy to get sidelined. And it doesn’t matter if you’re new to fitness or a seasoned fitness competitor — dieting can be a challenge for everyone.
The best way to keep on track is to be consistent! There is no magic pill, special workout or fad diet that can take the place of hard work and healthy eating; you must change the way you eat, work out and live your life to see change! Make a commitment to your workout and your meal plan and you will set yourself up for success.
Here are 25 diet tips to help get maintain a lean and toned body all year long!
1. Take Responsibility for Your Diet. Only you can control what goes into your mouth, so exercise some willpower with your food choices. Skip the salad dressing, avoid the cream in your coffee and watch the spoonfuls of peanut butter! Limit your cheat meals to once per week.
2. Set Realistic Weight-loss Goals. When starting a diet remember that safe and effective weight loss should occur at a rate of one to two pounds per week. Slow and steady weight loss is more effective in the long run and will lead to long-term success.
3. Have the Right Mindset. The mind is a powerful tool in your weight-loss success. Set the image in your mind of what you want to become, how you will feel, and what you will do once you reach your goal.
4. Keep Track. It’s hard to know whether you are tracking toward your weight-loss goals or if you are completely off target if you do not consistently use some form of measurement. Take pictures, use the scale and take measurements.
5. Make Your Fridge Your Vision Board. Need some motivation to keep you from snacking or eating something you shouldn’t? Place motivational pictures of bodies that inspire you on your fridge to be a constant reminder of your goals.
6. Toss the Junk. If you are really committed to making a change to your diet, then consider throwing out all the processed foods before you start dieting. That means getting rid of that emergency stash of cookies in the cupboard or that tub of chocolate ice cream in the freezer!
7. Fill Your Fridge With Whole Foods. The easiest way to stay clear of temptation is to have a fridge full of clean, whole foods including lots of fruit, vegetables, lean meats, egg whites and non-fat dairy!
8. Don’t Skip Meals. Being consistent with your diet plan is important to keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day. This will ensure your energy levels remain constant and prevent hunger! Eat every three to four hours.
9. Eat High-Fiber Foods. Make the most out of the food you are eating by consuming high fiber foods like fruits, leafy, green cruciferous vegetables and whole grains that are digested slowly, providing a steady release of energy and reducing hunger between meals.
10. Eat Slow-digesting Protein Before Bed. Use a slow-digesting protein like casein protein powder, cottage cheese or yogurt as your last meal of the day. These proteins will provide your muscles with a steady supply of aminos while you sleep, assisting in the muscle recovery process and reducing nighttime hunger!
12. Don’t Shop Hungry. Don’t go grocery shopping post-workout or anytime when you are feeling famished! It will only result in impulse buying of foods you don’t need.
13. Weigh All Your Food. Might seem like an annoying task all the time, but weighing your food will ensure you are getting the right amount.. By measuring your food, you can keep track of your portions and make necessary adjustments if your weight loss is stalled.
14. Know What You Are Eating. Get into the habit of reading nutrition facts labels and understanding ingredients. If you don’t know what you are eating, it’s hard to make the right choices.
15. Use An App. There really is no excuse these days when it comes to tracking your fitness goals. There are tons of fitness apps available that can help you keep track of your calories, your macros and the amount of calories you have burned. Download an app to your smartphone and start using one to keep on track!
16. Shop the Perimeter. Most of your grocery shopping should be done from around the perimeter from the store. This is where all the fresh, whole food is located.
17. Social Media Your Diet. If you want the support of friends, family and your social network, tell everyone you are on a diet. Not only will they be more likely to be supportive of your decision to use a diet, they may even hold you more accountable!
18. Bring Your Food. To be successful, you need to be consistent with your diet— and that means occasionally you may need to bring food with you. Pack a protein shake, low-carb protein bar, some natural raw almonds or veggie sticks— anything that will keep you tied over until your next meal.
19. Be Creative With Your Food. Just because you are on a diet, it doesn’t mean it needs to be bland or boring. Change up recipes to make healthier options— there are tons of different spices, herbs and varieties of vegetables that can be tried! All it takes is some imagination and creativity to make food fun!
20. Eat More Protein. Although eating protein is probably number one to most fitness-focused individuals, make sure you are getting at least 1 gram to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. Protein is satiating and has a thermic effect, which means it takes more energy to burn off than foods of the same caloric value!
21. Don’t Go Low Fat. You need fat in your diet to help keep hormone levels balanced, plus eating fat can help preserve muscle and switch the body to using fat as fuel. Make sure 30 to 40 percent of your calories come from good-for-you fats such as avocado, natural nut butters, raw nuts, coconut, fish or flax oil.
22. Try Carb Cycling. Cycling carbs helps the body use them up efficiently, while at the same time preserving lean muscle tissue and tapping into body fat as fuel! Try following a low-carb diet for three days, on day four have a higher carb day, then repeat.
23. Don’t Stay On a Diet For Too Long. Super restrictive diets that are followed for long periods of time cause your metabolism to slow down. Find the right balance by following a sustainable maintenance diet that supports a lean and healthy body!
24. Associate With Like-minded People. When your friends and family are all eating healthy, it’s easy to stay on plan. If they’re not on track to eating healthy, get them started. Introduce healthier choices and watch as your diet success starts to rub off on them.
25. Make it A Lifestyle. If you are constantly thinking, “When I’m done dieting I’m going to eat this or have that,” you will not get very far. All of your hard work will go to waste, and more than likely your previous bad eating habits will resurface. Don’t think of it as a diet, but as healthy eating for life!