By: Nutritionist & WBFF Fitness Pro Alyx Ulbrich
The biggest enemy when on a "diet" is often staring us in the mirror. Follow these easy tips to minimize slip ups and misery~
- Plan and pack or prepare to fail. When a diet or meal plan is new ( think of it as a fragile baby) its best to pack your meals with you, to be able to stay within your meal plan. I recommend to most people to meal prep a few days ahead of time, then to take their meals in a cooler with them!
- Be realist with your expectations - if you're in a busy life schedule with a lot of high stress activities, don't expect to be able to perform your best as an athlete and diet extremely strictly. Realize you're in it for the long haul and make the best possible decisions daily.
- Download a food tracking app, you may not always be able to carry a meal with you, but a food logging app will help you keep an eye on what you are eating and how to best make decisions while you’re out and about!
- Don't sacrifice your favorite items, make substitutions or mini allowances. Love to drink soda while you're out? Try sparkling water with lemon instead. Love grandmas cookies and you only get them once a year, have one in substitution of some of your other carbs. Essentially if its something you can have anytime, try a healthier option; if its someone you don’t get to just run to the store and buy, then go ahead and indulge but in a reasonable portion.
- Make this about you, not about everyone else. Remember these are your goals, they are not for everyone. If you complain, sulk, or whine to everyone in your life, they aren’t going to be supportive of your journey. Why would anyone support something that makes someone miserable?
- It doesn't have to be boiled chicken and broccoli. In fact you can lose weight and get healthy and never eat either. Bodybuilding has brainwashed society into thinking you must do drastic, sometime unhealthy extreme diets to look fit and lose weight. The opposite couldn't be more true. For sustainable, healthy, and realist weight loss you should enjoy the majority, if not all of the foods you eat. Find a licensed nutritionist or registered dietitian ( someone with a college degree ) who can write you a meal plan, including only foods you enjoy. Being miserable isn’t healthy mentally, emotionally, and in the long run will only risk you quitting or cheating from feeling deprived.
- Avoid the mindset or a meal plan is a punishment. If you think of your workouts, your meal plan, or any steps towards getting healthy as a penance or a punishment, you will resent them. Find activities as well as foods you enjoy and work within those, but don’t be scared to try new things. If you get excited about your meals and your time spent strengthening your body, you will find actions become habits which will help you turn a resolution into a lifestyle.
- Life is not an all or nothing battle. Some days you eat salad and go to the gym, some days you eat popcorn and binge watch Netflix.. We all have ups and downs, realize that is a normal pattern, and don’t allow a “cheat meal” or an off day to derail you from your long term goals. It is easier to get back to your meal plan if you get right back to it after a cheat, it is easier to go to the gym after an off day, than after a week off. . . Allow room for human error, but also don’t allow yourself to backpedal to where you started.