Write down your diet goals
This is pretty basic, and unless you actually practice this, you will not realise the power of putting your pen to the paper. Nutritionists say that when you write down your diet goals you actually realise what you are eating though the day. Dietician and sports nutritionist Deepshikha Agarwal says, “These are eye-openers. When you sit down at the end of the day to actually write down all that you ate — you will invariably realise your mistakes and that will help you to stick to your prescribed diet.” According to a study, maintaining a food journal on a daily basis can help you lose excess weight and also maintain it. The study found that participants, who were consistent with their food diary, were able to lose double the weight than those that did not.
Reminders on phone
With busy schedules we might just lose track of our diet. And since we are on our phones most of the time, mobile reminders really work for us. Deepshikha says, “Set a reminder saying ‘have green tea at 4pm’, ‘have a fruit at 11 am’ — these really help you to stick to your diet goal.”
Think through sub-strategies
A resolution to lose weight is not just about eating less. It also encompasses shopping for the right foods, cooking them the correct way, beginning and sticking to an exercise regimen and to avoid binge eating at parties and get-togethers. Dwell on these little sub-strategies first and then you can tackle your main issue much better.
Stock healthy snacks
This is essential, state nutrition experts. Clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan says, “Don’t buy unhealthy food items. Stock snacking options like wheat puffs, makhana, roasted jowar, bajra, bhuna chana (iron rich) mumra, black til, chikki (elevates period pain) and a variety nuts and fruits. Use these to deal with mid-meal hunger pangs and to stick to your actual diet resolution.”
Control your mood swings
“Your mood affects your ability to stick to your diet resolution. Stress, negative thoughts, depression will hinder your progress, so listen to good music, get a body massage twice or thrice a week. The endorphins released and the lowering of cortisol levels will help you stay charged up and stick to your resolutions,” says Nupur.
Find yourself a resolution buddy
Choose a friend who you will be accountable to regarding your diet goal. This should be someone who can talk you into sticking to your goal, if and when you stray. Studies have found that people who wrote their goals and then reported their weekly progress and updates to their resolution buddy, were successful in reaching their goal around 70 per cent of the time.
Do not rush into it
If you have a diet goal that says you need to up your intake of fruits, you can begin by having one fruit every morning and then, after a few days add more fruits to your mid-meal snacks. Experts say this will ensure that you slowly become accustomed to your new diet regime and so, are likelier to follow your goal.
Break down your goals
In order to make your diet resolutions actionable, you need to set goals that are broken down to short-term, smaller steps. Choose a long-term goal, then pick one that is achievable in the next three months, and then break that into smaller goals that would take just a week to achieve. Finally, break that down into little steps that you could accomplish every day!
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Reassess goals regularly
Once a month examining what all you have done to achieve your goals, always helps. Set alerts and them follow up.
Last but not the least, this is a tip that can help you stick to your resolution, longer. Deepskhikha says, “When you follow your prescribed diet diligently for a week, then, on a Sunday, treat yourself to a special lunch. This rewarding can egg you on to stick to your routine through the week.”