You are probably at the point in your resolution where you are ready to give up. It’s totally okay and not surprising. There’s a good chance, in the back of your mind, you didn’t really think that you were going to succeed. How many times have you started and stopped? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Other than you telling yourself that you are a failure, it’s really not all that bad. As humans we are meant to fail. And fail. And fail. You are the only person who thinks badly of you for this. I have started, succeeded, failed and repeated many a diet or exercise routine or new year’s resolution. I quit beating myself up about it because that just leads me down the candy aisle, which is really bad for my backside.
So, what do we do about this diet failure? Stop! Stop going on diets. Stop trying to change everything all at once. Stop totally depriving yourself of everything that you love. Stop jumping in and start taking the stairs. It may be less fun, but at least you won’t belly flop. Pink belly isn’t pretty folks.
Here are some of my favorite ways to tiptoe into a diet change. The best part of this list is you do as much or as little as you want and then you can build up momentum as you become more successful. It’s the doing that will bring you the motivation.
- Fast. If you’re constantly eating your body tends not to use up what it’s given and will store it as fat. 12 hours between dinner and break-fast (see what I did there?) is the easiest and you can do this everyday. It will allow for you body to use what you have taken in that day and if necessary use what has been stored. It needs to be a big amount of time that’s why I suggest overnight. If you are into the keto type of diet, it will help you get into ketosis for the next day.
- Grains. People often say that carbs are bad when you are trying to lose weight. The truth is we need carbs, but we need the good stuff. That would be whole grains like long grain brown rice, oats, quinoa and small amounts of whole grain breads. These are filling, have fiber and will help lower cholesterol. Switching whole grains for the white rice, white or whole wheat breads and white pastas will go a long way toward cutting out sugar spikes and crashes and that beautiful belly fat.
- Fats. Oh no! The dreaded fats! Boo! Just kidding. I like my fats. Avocados, olive and walnut oils, nuts and seeds, and just a little bit of chocolate to save my sanity. I also really love salmon and eggs. Coconut is good for you, your hair and skin. And let’s not forget about the nut butters. All these things make for really good snacks and can help with the sweet tooth. A spoonful of peanut butter has saved me a few times and if that’s not enough I add a little dark chocolate.
- Vegetables. I know that it goes without saying that you need to eat your veggies, but seriously eat your veggies. Plan to have a vegetable with every dinner and then with every lunch. Put a pile on your plate, eat it first and then eat everything else. If you can plan a meat for your meal you can plan a veggie. Plus they came in bags of frozen veggies which is so easy. Add some olive oil and garlic salt, yummy.
- Water. Drink it. Bathe with it. Use it in a fight. Water is so versatile. If I’m not drinking coffee then I’m drinking water. I probably drink other things, but not as much as water and coffee. I mostly put water in here to remind you that most all other beverages have sugar, calories, or additives that can be harmful to your body. Water is cheap, quick, and easy (like some people we know).
- Slow down. We’re in too much of a rush when we eat. The trick here is to turn a 5 minute meal into a 20 minute meal. Chew well so there is less indigestion and so that you actually remember what you just ate. Slowing down can even change the experience that we have during a meal. Dinner may become more fun if you challenge yourself to be the last to leave the table. Plus, your stomach will thank you.
- Walk. Moving your body is one of the best ways to feel like your life is improving. Taking time to be outside will also improve your mood, especially if you include others. It can improve digestion and burns a couple of calories. If all you can do is walk to the end of your driveway and back, do it. Get up and move, because sitting is the new smoking.
There are lots of other things that you can do like get enough sleep, join a gym, challenge your friends, or cut out sugar and processed foods, but I wanted to make this a list of easy things to do to change the way you feel and help shed the first easy pounds. I wanted you to see that it isn’t that hard and once you start succeeding it becomes easier to carry on. Little changes can lead to big results, but they have to be consistent and sustainable. One of the hardest parts is choosing to start. So start small, you can make a big splash later.
As always I hope this helps or inspires you. I am here to talk if you need me.