3 Meaningful Tips To Help You Stick To Your Diet In 2017
Can we agree? There is no shortage of weight loss tips and tricks floating around the internet. The market is saturated, and quite often, contradictory. YouTube is filled with weight loss channels.
Bodybuilders, dieticians & personal trainers from all over the world are teaching the masses how to effectively workout, gain muscle, lose weight and live an overall healthier lifestyle.
While the information provided can be accurate, I often find it to be repetitive. One size does not fit all, and I would like to provide you with some meaningful tips that differ from the usual "eat 6 meals per day instead of 3" type of advice.
The point of this article is to bring you some tips you might have not previously heard of.
So, how do you stick to a healthy diet? It's really a mixture of will power, knowledge and culinary skills.
A basic education on food intake, nutrients, and how your body works can help you understand why you should be eating grilled chicken instead of a bag of chips at 8pm. These 3 tips should provide meaningful info and hopefully help you stay on the right path.
1. Cheat days aren't actual cheat days. They're re-feed days.
Your cheat day or meal is required. Most people cannot fight the urge to eat ice cream for 7 days without ripping out their hair. You need a cheat day. Not for the psychological satisfaction it will bring you, but for more important reasons you might not be aware of.
Let me explain.
Low carbohydrate diets will lower your blood glucose. This is a fact. Over time, your resistance to insulin will decrease. Insulin plays a key role in your metabolism. It helps absorb nutrients in your blood stream and transport them to your muscle tissues.
Your body will burn fat more effectively because of your lowered carbohydrate intake (assuming you're in a slight caloric deficit) but this can only last for so long. Your body will gradually adjust to your lowered calorie intake & stop breaking down fat cells.
In comes in the re-feed day. This particular meal or day will skyrocket your blood sugar levels & boost your metabolism for a short period of time. It keeps your body receptive to insulin, and sends your body a message: keep the fat burning machine running.
You should approach your cheat day not only with the excitement of satisfying your tastebuds, but with shameless confidence, knowing your body actually needs it.
2. Drinking smoothies is important
Smoothies are often labeled as a meal replacement beverage because they effectively help curb appetite. The thick mixture a smoothie normally has takes up more space in your stomach. Adding any type of fruit, whey protein, or peanut butter to your smoothie will make it taste sweet and help satisfy your sugar cravings - not to mention that smoothies are probably the biggest time saver in the kitchen.
These findings have been pulled From David Zinczenko's New York Times best selling book, The New Abs Diet:
A Penn State study found that men who drank yogurt shakes that had been blended until they doubled in volume ate 96 fewer calories a day than men who drank shakes of normal thickness;
In a study presented at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, researchers found that regularly drinking meal replacements increased a man's chance of losing weight and keeping it off for longer than a year;
A University of Tennessee study found that men who added three servings of yogurt a day to their diets lost 61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more stomach fat over 12 weeks than men who didn't eat yogurt.
Still think smoothies aren't important?
Don't forget to include a solid source of fiber to your smoothie. Fiber cereal, oats and flaxseeds are all great choices. Fiber effectively helps you feel satiated, which means even more control over your diet and cravings. If you're drinking a shake to help you gain mass, opt for almonds instead.
All in all, drinking one or two smoothies per day is an effective and delicious method to help you stick to your diet.
3. You better learn how to cook & be creative
Speaking of delicious...
Fast food is addictive and there's many reasons why. Certain brands and corporations will deliberately add additives to their food simply to make you crave them more. Believe it or not, some companies will actually go to that extent just to create an addictive response from your brain.
Keeping a clean diet means staying away from processed foods, eating fresh, and cooking meals from home. It's a common belief that people who are able to cook delicious meals tend to have reduced cravings for junk food.
If you genuinely enjoy what you're eating, you won't be thinking about the oreo cookies sitting in your cupboard. If you're not the best cook, this means that you're more than likely to cook basic meals. The more basic your meals are, the less you enjoy eating and the more you start to crave other types of food.
Food is an emotional thing. Our brain has different chemicals that interact with our emotions and tell us what we crave.
You must invest some time into developing your culinary skills. Get a few cookbooks, spend some time on YouTube learning recipes, or learn from family members. Start experimenting with a few recipes and ingredients. Once you get the hang of it, move on to more complex ones.
Creativity is your best friend. Homemade waffles and pancakes are a thing of beauty. As mentioned before, delicious homemade food = less junk food cravings. There are tons of healthy homemade waffle & pancake recipes floating all over Pinterest & Instagram; you simply need to dig a little bit and begin experimenting.
You can also check out a service like Panna Cooking. Panna Cooking gives you access to hundreds of video lessons, guiding you through the entire process of a recipes - all from master chefs from the culinary industry. This way, you'll get a feel-good restaurant vibe to your plate in the comfort of your home.
As you continue to cultivate your skills, not only will you have developed a repertoire of go-to recipes that you can cycle on a weekly basis, but you wont be killing yourself in wait of your next cheat day (they're called re-feed days remember?)
Will you finally stick to your diet?
You can use these tips to create long-term habits that will follow you for the rest of your life. The ultimate goal is to make the switch from healthy to junk go as smoothly as possible. Hopefully these 3 tips will help transform your life forever, change the way you see food, and ultimately help you stick to your diet.