Following a proper diet plan can help you achieve numerous health benefits, from speeding up the weight loss process to helping you build muscles or overcoming various health issues. However, to begin a diet plan, you will have to bring a major change in your lifestyle. These changes may include changing your eating schedule, focusing on a specific food group, and avoiding some food groups.
Before starting a new diet plan, you should know your goals. Small changes can make a huge difference in your overall health. You should also know what to avoid and what to expect. People usually start getting tough on themselves from the beginning. They keep high expectations from their new food regime and eventually fall apart within weeks.
You don't need to sacrifice everything or completely change your life to achieve results. It's easy to get started with a diet, but staying on track and seeing results is the challenging part. You should make small changes, step by step, that is easier to implement. You should stick with these changes till the end, and they can help you achieve your goals.
To avoid the disappointment of quitting before seeing results, you must understand some points that will help you follow your diet plan consistently. These tips will lead you to success and help you stay firm on your schedule until you reach your goals. We have listed these simple tips to help you attain the best from your new diet plan.
1. Start Small
It would be best to start with one or two small goals. You should follow these goals for two to three more weeks to help them become a part of your routine. Once you achieve your mini-goals, you can add more. If you still have trouble, you can try another goal or different habits until it becomes easier for your to follow.
Many people are motivated to lose weight by setting high goals. For example, they may aim to fit in clothes too small for them. Remember that even a small percentage of your body weight can make a big difference. How you feel and what your health says matter the most.
Research has proven that even a small amount of weight loss can positively impact your overall health, including lowering blood pressure levels reducing diabetes risks and cholesterol. You should set diet plan goals that you can achieve. It is best to lose 1-2 pounds each week. This race is won by slow and steady. Learning new habits of eating takes time.
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2. Systems Make it Easier
Systems are routines that you incorporate into your daily life. They help you overcome obstacles and create habits. Building systems is one of the best things that you can do to improve your long-term health and fitness. The more you make your goals simple, the easier it is to achieve them, and the quicker you see the results.
If you want to be more consistent at the gym, place your gym clothes next to the bed every night before sleeping. And if your want to quit eating out for lunch every day, you can either set a time for meal preparation each week or choose a healthy meal delivery service that takes care of the rest. Making healthy systems help you create healthy habits that lead you to your goals.
3. Strive for Accuracy
You can not manage your new diet plan if you don't measure your food intake accurately. Stop guessing how much food you eat and track it with a macro-friendly nutritional app. These apps help you track every bite that enters your mouth or if you have reached above your nutritional goal of the day.
Tracking macros is even more important than tracking calories. The advantage to counting macros is that you can ensure that certain essential nutrients are included in your diet instead of just focusing on calories. When you count just calories, nutrients are not counted.
Healthy, nutritious foods are better than high-sugar and saturated fat foods that you can track by knowing your macros. If they were the same, you could eat seven chocolate bars, each containing 228 calories and a total of 1,596 calories, and still lose weight, as long as your daily energy expenditure is less than 2,000 calories.
So, to hold yourself accountable, track your food intake each day. Even track your cheat meals to ensure that you are meeting your goals.
4. Cravings Are Normal
It's natural for people to crave the same thing as soon as they start restricting it. You will crave more sugar if you plan to restrict it.
Along with your willpower, good nutrition can help you curb certain cravings. Don't reduce your calories too low that you feel hungry all the time. You should increase your protein intake and eat more nutrient-dense foods, fruit, and vegetables so that you feel satiated and don't have cravings all the time.
It's important to plan your cheat meals too. Also, learning proper diet management can help. Managing your diet will allow you to treat 20% of your daily diet goal. You should not prohibit any food completely if you want to maintain your health even after reaching your goals. Try to restrict them to as minimum as possible but do not forbid them completely.
Allowing cheat foods in small amounts can help you improve your relationships with foods that should be avoided or eaten less often. You can plan to have your cheat meals ahead of time and get rid of any guilt. It doesn't matter if you overdo it once in a while. Try to include your favorite foods, and you can reduce the amount altogether.
5. Your Energy May Fluctuate
Although eating well is a good way to increase your energy, it's not always the best choice. Switching up your diet can make a big difference in your energy and mood, especially if you have been eating poorly for a while. It may take time for your body to adjust to alternative fuel sources.
If not increased, you should maintain your energy levels over time. If they don't, this is usually a sign that your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs. Relax the restrictions or increase your calorie intake gradually. Keep going and try your best to get enough sleep and manage stress levels. You can also add multivitamins and pre-workout supplements to your diet to boost your energy levels.
6. It Is Possible to Be Too Hungry
Calorie cutting can cause a little more hunger. But if you are starving and feel hungrier than normal, you could be heading for a diet disaster.
You don't have to be starving to achieve results. An approach to a cutting diet can help in this matter. Don't start to get too low in your calories if you are new to dieting. Most people aim to lose weight by cutting calories by 15 to 20%. However, you can always start with a lower calorie intake if necessary.
To find your caloric baseline, consider doing a preparation week to get comfortable with tracking all the food you eat. Notice how you get with your weight during those calorie intakes. If you maintain your weight, you can reduce your calories by 10% for a few weeks. Then, cut 15% for a couple more weeks. This will allow your metabolism to adjust to a decreased intake and keep hunger at an acceptable level.
7. Sleep Is Essential
You can say goodbye to your willpower and good intentions if you don't get enough sleep. While it takes self-discipline to diet, rest is essential for growth and muscle recovery.
The relationship between your fitness goals and sleep is often taken as how sleep affects our appetite. Although it is easy to see hunger as just a matter of our stomachs grumbling, in fact, neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers, control the process. These chemical messengers allow neurons (nerve cells) to communicate.
Studies prove that the body naturally increases and decreases the levels of these neurotransmitters throughout the day, signaling the need to consume calories. You can make sleep a priority by setting a time for bed and getting up at the same time each day.
Disconnect from distractions like light, cell phone, and television before bed. You can gradually increase your sleep quality to at least seven hours each night. It will make all the difference.
8. Failure Is Part of the Process
Failure is not only important but is crucial to success. If you do not fail, you cannot learn to be strong, consistent, and competent. Failing a diet plan may often help you find out what works the best for you. So you should be ready to change your failure into your success.
Accept failure as part of the diet plan process. You can change your response to it by accepting it more. Instead of seeing slip-ups in the process as an excuse to abandon your course, look at what you can learn. Maybe your goal was too ambitious, perhaps you are focusing on the wrong things, or need more balance.
Failure is a good thing, and it's nothing to worry about. Keep trying. You won't succeed the first time. You are more likely to succeed the more you practice.
9. The Scale Can Lie
Weight fluctuations can be completely normal and are not always under your control. Your macro nutrition, exercise, hormones, and sleep all play a role in how much weight you lose. Similarly, water retention can lead to drastic changes in your body weight.
You should also know that if you gain muscle and shed fat simultaneously, the scale will not move even if your pants are getting loose. Remember, fat loss and weight loss are two different things. Instead of measuring your progress by the scale, you can measure it in other ways, such as through measurements, pictures, etc.
A body fat analysis is the best way to see if all your hard work has paid off. The body stores large amounts of fat under the skin. A person can estimate their body fat percentage by measuring the thickness of the skinfolds in different body parts. This will let you know how much fat you have lost and how your workouts support lean muscle mass.
You can also measure your fat loss progress by paying attention to your mood, attitude, clothes, workouts, and daily progress photos. Fat loss will make you appear more toned.
10. Consistency Matters Most
Real change comes from consistency and patience, not perfection. Your health is not dependent on the last meal you ate but on all of the decisions made throughout your life. Repeating something is what makes it more powerful. This is the essence of consistency.
Try to do it right most of the time, if not every time. Then everything will fall into place. There's never a better time than now to start making the changes that will dramatically help you pursue your fitness goals. This is how Jeff Cavaliere explains in an Athlean-X youtube video how to stay consistent with your diet plans.
11. Fats Do Not Make Us Fat if Picked Wisely
There was once a trend that fats were considered bad for your health. At that time, people believed that fat was responsible for making them fat.
It is easy to see why the name of this macronutrient could be confusing. However, just like carbs, there are two fats - good and bad. You should eat healthy monounsaturated fats. Avoid unhealthy fats like saturated fats and trans fats.
This will ensure that you take full advantage of your opportunities and remain healthy. Fats are good for our health, provided they are from the right source.
It is okay to consume good fats even when following a diet plan. So do not completely restrict yourself from taking fats. Choose them wisely, and they will help you stay full for a longer time and help control your cravings.
12. Switch Your Drinks With Water
Consuming excessive calories from sugary or carbonated drinks is the worst thing. They are quick to process and get into your system quickly. Moreover, your body gains no benefit from any sugary drinks.
You may consider that juices and other "healthy" energy drinks can be hydrating, but in reality, they are not. These are just empty calories. You can replace them with water with a few drops of lemon to ensure that you don't consume all the calories from a liquid.
You can also add water-based drinks like green tea, protein shakes, and hydration supplements to your diet that can ultimately help you with your goals. Whey protein supplements can help you meet your protein goals, build lean muscles and burn fat. You can use them before, after, or in between your workouts to keep you hydrated and strong.
EAA hydration powder by DMoose can help keep your muscles in anabolic condition and prevent essential amino acid depletion during rigorous training sessions. This essential building block helps maintain fluid retention, thereby keeping your body hydrated.
If you follow a low-carb diet plan, you probably need more electrolytes than an average person. The EEA hydration supplement will help you replenish your key electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These electrolytes are also lost during hard training.
Out of all the diets out there, you have to choose the right one for you. Choose the one that can help you achieve your fitness goals. The diet plan you choose should also fit your lifestyle and schedule to not give up on it after a few days. If you struggle to stay consistent with the right nutrition plan, it is important to follow the tips mentioned above to stay on track and reach your goals.
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- Spiegel, Karine, et al. "Brief Communication: Sleep Curtailment in Healthy Young Men Is Associated with Decreased Leptin Levels, Elevated Ghrelin Levels, and Increased Hunger and Appetite." Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 141, no. 11, Dec. 2004, pp. 846–50. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-141-11-200412070-00008.