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How to Start and Stick with Your Diet

Dec 9, 2010

Starting your diet can sometimes be the hardest part of the weight loss process. Once you get a on a roll and put in place some effective dieting strategies, it becomes easier to gain momentum. Healthy dieting practices help you to stick to your diet and to see long-term results.

Ease into Your Diet

One of the most effective ways to start a diet is to start slowly. Identify the high-fat, high-calorie foods that you commonly eat. What beverages do you consume on a regular basis? Do you drink alcohol, sugary juices, sodas, and/or coffee with lots of cream and sugar? When you identify these foods and drinks, you can start to lower your intake of unnecessary calories. Find food and drink alternatives that are healthier, lower in calories and which still satisfy your taste buds.

For example, if you like the fizz of sodas, consider replacing it with seltzer water and lemon. If like to eat donuts every day, think of other foods that will satisfy your craving without the fat and calories of donuts. Maybe an English muffin with low-calorie jelly will give you the sweetness you crave, offering more nutrition and fewer calories than a large donut.

Keep a Food Journal

A good practice when first starting your diet is to write down everything that you eat and drink. An online food journal, such as FitDay.com’s, a notebook that you can carry with you, or even an electronic document that you create and keep on the desktop of your computer can be efficient ways to track your food intake.

The benefit of a food journal is that it gets you thinking about what you are eating on a daily basis. It keeps you accountable to yourself. It can be easy to snack when stressed out and forget that you even ate those additional calories. When you sit down to complete a daily food journal, you develop the habit of remembering each food item. When using an online food journal, you benefit from databases that store the caloric and nutritional make-up of foods. This extra tracking and nutritional information can be motivational for avoiding empty calories.

Find a Diet and Exercise Partner

Dieting can sometimes feel like a lonely venture. It might be helpful to find a dieting partner. Pair up with someone who has similar weight loss and fitness goals. Encourage each other to keep a food journal and share journals with one another. Talk to each other about creative ways to replace high calorie foods with healthy alternatives. Exercise together on a daily basis. Working out with a friend can be a lot of fun.

Set Achievable Goals

The chances that you will start and stick to your diet are higher if you set small, incremental goals. If you’re focused on losing large numbers of pounds quickly, your goal might seem unattainable. If you decide, however, that you will lose one to two pounds each week and achieve this goal, you will feel good about yourself and feel more motivated to continue with your diet and exercise regimen.

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