The first step doesn’t have to be the hardest.
At some point, almost everyone feels the need to shed a few pounds in order to look their best. Many people believe the way to start a diet is to jump into “healthy” eating 100%, often making very drastic changes to their lifestyle. This is actually one of the most detrimental approaches to have, and is the reason most diets are broken in the first month. Instead of jumping right in, make the first step about analyzing your current diet and lifestyle. Keeping a record of everything you eat and drink throughout the day is the easiest way to begin a plan. It allows you to pinpoint areas in need of improvement, and takes very little effort. Taking notes on a pad, or on your phone throughout the day and reflecting on them at the end of a week or so period, will make the next step of your diet plan much easier.
Starting doesn’t have to mean changing.
Just because you’ve decided there is a need for dietary change, that doesn’t mean you need to change everything you eat or drink throughout the day immediately. It could be the majority of the foods are healthy, but are outweighed by the nighttime snacks, or the on the go breakfast options on the way to work. Finding small areas to begin improving will be much more sustainable long term than starting a highly restrictive "fad" diet. The biggest flaw in the “fad” style diets is that eating healthy is not one size fits all, and every individual has different needs. This makes them very difficult to stick to, and many times people will “crash” and go so far off the diet they are eating worse than when you started it. One diet plan will almost certainly not work for everyone, so assessing how your individual diet needs to be adjusted is a great first step to starting a diet you can stick with and get long term results.
Get the app, or skip the apps?
There are dozens of diet tracking apps available now, most will allow you to input the foods you are eating along with a portion size and give you a detailed breakdown of calories, proteins, carbs, and fat. This can be incredibly helpful with portion control, as it will give you real time statistics (as long as you consistently and honestly log the information) that can help you make better eating choices throughout the day.
Maybe you haven’t eaten the best all day, and when out to eat for dinner, that daily log may help you make the decision to skip those wings before your meal. Or you’re deciding between the baked potato and mixed greens for the side. If you’ve eaten healthy all day the potato might not kill your diet, but if you haven’t, the tracker will show that. Hopefully encouraging the more health conscious choice.
Making drastic changes to your diet or daily lifestyle almost never sticks. While some weight loss can be experienced over the short term on “fab” or “crash” diets, most often in the long term it does not benefit and can actually cause you to wind up further from your goal. Assessing your current situation and making minor adjustments every few weeks is a great way to begin a healthy, and most importantly sustainable, diet. When you’re ready, we have many diet and lifestyle coaches we would be happy to connect you with, in order to help turn your goals into reality. Feel free to contact us for more information!