Everyone who has tried to lose weight knows that starting a diet is the easy part. When you’re motivated and raring to attack those pounds, it’s easy to stay away from junk food and keep your portions in check.
But as the days go by and that initial fire wanes, the excuses start to creep in. Maybe some of these sound familiar to you?
- I’m too tired to cook, I’ll just grab a quick bite on the way home.
- I need some fuel for the day, a little breakfast sandwich and a hash brown in the morning won’t hurt
- I’ve worked hard the past few days, I deserve this treat
- This just too tired today, I’ll take a break from my diet today and continue tomorrow
- Everyone else is having desert – I don’t want to be anti-social
Whatever your favorite excuses are, they’re like a steel gate, slamming shut on your weight loss plans before you even get out the door. But surprisingly enough, excuses themselves are not the key problem with sticking to a healthy diet plan– it’s what generates the excuses that are the problem. While we should all train ourselves to recognize our own excuses when we hear them, the following tips will help you avoid putting yourself in a position where you have to make excuses in the first place.
1. Set Goals You Can Achieve
One of the main reasons you find yourself making excuses for unhealthy meals is because you set your goals too high. Anyone can pledge to eat nothing but green vegetables and boiled chicken breasts for the next year, but the reality is that this type of extreme diet requires a level of dedication that borders on the unhealthy. It’s also not sustainable during our daily lives.
Sure, you’re anxious to reach your goals and transform your life. That’s great. But whatever goal you set – you don’t have to achieve it overnight. In many cases, you simply can’t. Set reasonable goals for yourself that you can track regularly, and that are within your control. Promising yourself that you’re going to lose 5 lbs this week might not be reasonable since it’s not truly in your control, but pledging to stick to a healthy meal plan and exercise 3 times a week is definitely sustainable, easier to track, and something you can control.
2. Give Yourself 1 Cheat Day Every Week
While not all diets give you permission to take a cheat day, it’s something we highly recommend and believe in. There may come a day where you look at ice cream or cheesecake with disgust, but until that day comes there’s nothing wrong with indulging occasionally. Permanently banning something we love forever from our diet will constantly sap your will power and make it near impossible to stick to a diet.
It’s much easier to hold off on a treat until Saturday than to banish one of your favorite foods from your diet forever. Allowing yourself to indulge on 1 specific day of the week will likely result in greater adherence to your diet in the long run.
3. Learn To Create Great Meals Quickly
Like anything else, cooking is a skill, and preparing great, healthy meals quickly – is also a skill. If you’re looking for long term weight loss, investing in a skill like cooking and planning a grocery shopping/cooking strategy that allows you to create great tasting, healthy meals quickly is going to benefit you more than virtually anything else you can do.