How to Stick to a Diet
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How to Stick to a Diet

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How to Stick to a Diet

Creating a diet plan is hard enough, but sticking to it is even harder. You might have been dieting for a few months, or just a few weeks, and are finding it hard to stay focused and motivated. If you really want to stick to your diet, then you have to find a way to stay on track, avoid temptation, and to make your diet plan as fun as possible. If you want to know how to stick to a diet, just follow these easy steps.

1 Make a game plan and stick to it.

You can stay motivated by setting goals and keeping them throughout the course of your diet. If your goal is just to “lose weight,” then you won’t be nearly as motivated as you would be if you had a specific goal and a plan for how you would reach it. Here’s what to do:

First, figure out how much weight you want to lose, and how quickly you want to lose it. Make sure to set realistic goals. You can’t lose 50 pounds in a month, but you can lose five pounds in a month if you stick to your plan. Your end-date could be a specific time like your wedding, your friend’s beach barbecue, or the start of a new school year.
Set a game plan for each week. How much weight do you want to lose per week? Pick one day to weigh yourself each week. Don’t weigh yourself every single day or you will become obsessed with your weight.
Set a workout routine for each week. Though you can’t plan your workout schedule months in advance, at the beginning of every week, plug a few workout dates into your schedule.
You can stick to your plan by keeping a log of what you ate, how much you worked out, and how much weight you’ve lost each week. The log can be helpful, but make sure it doesn’t make you obsess over every single thing you eat.
You can also keep a diary that charts your dieting thoughts and analyzes what worked and what didn’t. This will help you get in touch with yourself.

2 Stay mentally strong.

Whenever you begin to slip, you should remind yourself why you’re dieting. Do want to get in shape for bikini season, or is your weight loss seriously affecting your health? Do you just want to lose those pesky 20 pounds you gained since college? Whatever your reason, keep telling yourself that you’re determined to stick to your plan so you can reach your goal. Here are some ways to stay mentally strong when you feel like giving up:

Keep an image in your head of what you are planning to change about yourself, like mental before and after photos. If you ever think you can’t be bothered to go to the gym, or want to splurge on a tub of ice cream, just remember your goal image.
Keep motivational quotes on your computer or posted above your desk. This will help you remember to stay focused on your reasons for dieting.
If you’re trying to return to your former weight, you can keep a picture of that time period on your desk.
Keep an index card that lists your reasons for dieting in your purse or wallet, so you can read it any time you forget why you’re doing the diet in the first place.

3 Reward yourself for good behavior.

It takes a lot of mental strength to stick to a diet, and you should remind yourself that you’re doing a great job from time to time. If you reward yourself for good behavior, then you’ll be more motivated to continue staying tough and losing weight. Here’s how to do it:

Reward yourself every five or ten pounds. Depending on how much weight you plan to lose, you should set up a rewards system every time you reach a new goal weight. You can treat yourself to a sundae or to your favorite meal, and will feel better for it.
If you’ve been really healthy during the week, reward yourself on the weekends. You can’t eat really healthy every day of your life.
Don’t forget to tell yourself how amazing you are every time you lose a pound. Your rewards for losing weight don’t always have to be food related. You can tell yourself that you’ll buy a new pair of shoes if you keep up your diet for a month.

4 Don’t diet alone.

You’ll be much more motivated if you have a diet buddy or other people to share your dieting woes with. This will make it easier for you to stay on track, because you will have someone there to encourage you. Here’s how to make sure you don’t diet alone:

Find a diet buddy. If you are trying to improve your body at the same time as someone else you know, then you can share tips, work out together and motivate each other. Setting a gym schedule with that person, or planning weekly healthy meals with that person, can help you stay on the right path.
Join a weight loss organization such as Weight Watchers. Whether you go to Weight Watchers meetings or just use the online resources, you will be motivated from knowing that there are thousands of people who are in the same boat as you.
If you can’t find a diet or workout buddy, find someone you can confide in, such as a friend or significant other. That person can help you stay focused and can listen to you if you’re having a hard time following your diet.