Almost everyone has tried at least one diet in their lives. And most people who have gone on a diet have also strayed from it.
But why is that? Why do so many people fail to stick to their diets?
In this article, we’ll go over some tips that’ll help you stick to your diet so you can start seeing the results you want.
How To Stick To A Diet
If you’re on a diet, chances are you don’t want to get off of it any time soon.
If that’s the case, check out these tips for staying on your diet.
1. Keep Your Goals Realistic
Look, we get it. Everybody wants to lose 10 pounds. Everyone wants six-pack abs. Everybody wants to be their strongest, healthiest, best-looking self. But the fact is that takes a lot of time and effort. And unless you’re a celebrity who’s famous for being good-looking, chances are good you have a job, a family, and other responsibilities that compete for your time.
If you’re wanting to make some changes to your health, whatever those changes look like, you have to have realistic goals for what you can and can’t do. You have to be honest with your ability to stick to a specific schedule and diet.
There’s nothing wrong with having big goals, but you still need to make sure they’re realistic.
2. Keep Your Diet Simple
In the military, special ops fighters talk a lot about keeping their plans simple and easy to execute. The more complicated a plan is, the harder it will be to execute it and the harder it will be to adapt to changes as they come. The same goes for your diet. That’s great if you want to be a keto vegan who fasts intermittently, but at some point, you’re going to find yourself on vacation without food that you can reasonably eat, much less time to eat it.
Make sure to keep your diet simple so you can adapt as things pop up throughout your day. Simple diets can be just as effective, if not more so, than complicated, overly-specific ones.
3. Find A Diet That’s Sustainable
When most people talk about diets, they’re talking about short-term eating plans that are usually designed to accomplish a goal like weight loss, fat burning, or muscle gain. But there’s another definition of “diet.”
Anthropologists and food scientists usually talk about diet in terms of typical meals and food consumption patterns you have over the course of your life. For example, people in Japan eat a lot of fish throughout their lives while people in North America consume more red meat.
If you’re hoping to see long term results from your diet, you need to make sure you can stay on your diet for the long term. Which means you have to think of your diet in terms of lifestyle changes and long term eating patterns and not in terms of 6-week booty boot camps and special diet programs.
And to change your lifelong diet, it has to be sustainable. It has to be something you can do every day without getting sick of it or crashing due to harsh dietary restrictions.
You can still lose weight or whatever you want to do on a diet like this, but it has to be done in a safe, sustainable way.
4. Make Plans When You Deviate From Your Normal Schedule
People go on vacation. They go on work trips. They have to go to the hospital. They get sick.
It’s normal to have your everyday life disrupted by things you absolutely did not plan for. And it’s normal to make plans that take you out of your day-to-day routine. That’s life.
The fact is, you’re going to run into things that disrupt your normal routine. And things that disrupt your normal routine are going to disrupt your diet as well. Of course, there are some emergencies you can’t plan for, but you can plan for things like vacations, work trips, and going out with friends and family.
Try to think those plans through from a food perspective when possible to make sure that you stray from your diet as little as possible, if at all.
5. Think In Terms Of A Passing Grade
Some people treat their diets like an all-or-nothing game.
And they’re not.
Let’s say you’re trying to cut 500 calories out of your diet each day. And let’s say you stick to that diet each day except for Friday where you give in to temptation and get a bunch of tacos. Chances are that if you count all the calories you cut throughout the week that you’ve still eaten fewer calories over the course of the week than you would have otherwise.
And that’s a win, not a loss.
So don’t throw away your whole diet because you messed up one day. If your diet was a test, sticking to your diet 6 out of 7 days would still get you an 85.7%. That’s a solid B.
Just make sure that you allow yourself to see your bad days in the context of a larger dieting pattern so you don’t feel like you’ve fallen off the wagon completely.
6. Deal With Reality On Reality’s Terms
The fact is, people who are trying to quit smoking don’t keep cigarettes around their homes. People who are trying to drink less probably shouldn’t have a six-pack in their fridge.
Similarly, if you’re trying to stick to your diet, you shouldn’t have a bunch of foods in your house that’d break your diet if you ate them. That’s just surrounding yourself with too much temptation.
Deal with reality on reality’s terms and get rid of the tempting snacks you shouldn’t have in your home in the first place. It’ll make sticking to your diet so much easier in the long run.
7. Find Better Ways To Stay Motivated
A lot of people want to go on a diet so they can look better after losing that last 10 pounds.
But the fact is that isn’t a great motivator.
What can you do if you stick to your diet? Will it help you feel more comfortable in the clothes you own? Will it make you feel more confident? Will it help your knees hurt less? Will it make moving around easier?
Think less in terms of self-deprivation and more in terms of self-care.
Your diet shouldn’t be starving you skinny. It should be fueling your body with the macro and micronutrients that you need to go about your day. Exercise shouldn’t be about getting thin, it should be about becoming more physically able.
Positive thinking is going to help you stay motivated for longer than negative thoughts centered around self-denial.
8. Find An Accountability Partner
Accountability partners are great because they help keep you honest. Also, an accountability partner can help be your own, personal hype man so you can feel good about starting over and feel even better when you meet your goals.
Make sure your accountability partner is someone you can trust who knows how to motivate you in a way that works for you though.
9. Track Your Progress
Progress tracked is progress seen. And seeing progress is the most exciting part of any diet or exercise routine. Make sure to track your progress so you can see that the effort you’re putting in is making a real difference.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to hop on the scale every day. Or that you have to put on your goal pants every day to see if today is the day that they fit. But you should do something every week to see what progress you’re making.
Just remember, it’s normal to have ups and downs. If you usually have good weeks, then a bad week is just a blip on the screen and nothing you have to be too concerned with. Just get back up and try better next week.
10. Make Sure To Get Your Macros
A lot of fad diets ask you to cut the majority of a given macronutrient out of your diet.
In the 90s the macro was fat. Nowadays the macro is carbs. Maybe one day, people will be anti-protein. But the fact is, you need all three macronutrients. They all play an important role in your overall health and wellbeing.
Sure, you don’t want to go overboard on any one macro, but that doesn’t mean cut it out entirely. So although diets like the keto diet are really popular right now, don’t think that it’s healthy to cut all of your carbs. Because it isn’t. In fact, foods like oats, which are rich in carbs, can actually be really healthy for you.
11. Find Something To Do
Some people are really into meal replacement shakes. Some people like the Mediterranean diet. Other people want to eat one, large meal instead of several smaller ones. And none of these are bad approaches if they work for you.
As long as you’re getting the nutrition you need without an over-access of calories there’s nothing inherently better about one diet or another. It’s more about experimenting, finding what you do and don’t like, and sticking with it long term.
If you’re able to do that, then you’ve found the diet for you.
Let Oats Overnight Help You Stick To Your Diet
Oats are a gluten-free, nutrient-rich, protein-packed source of good carbs that can give you the energy you need while making sure you feel satiated throughout the day which will help you eat less.
If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast option that’ll make sticking to your diet easier, then consider giving oatmeal a try.
And if you’re wanting to add oatmeal to your regular diet, try Oats Overnight.
Our oats taste great and are easy to make.