When was the last time you tried to lose some weight? Went on a diet for a couple of weeks, the scale didn’t move much and you just returned to your old habits?
Sticking to a diet is a bitch. No more than 20% are actually losing the weight and keeping it off.
But that 80% didn’t have my advice. You will not be in the 80%, you will be one of the few that have the knowledge to keep being on a diet for as long as they want.
No more late night cravings, no more crying over missing dessert. This time you got this.
I will take you by the hand and show you a magical place where dieting is easy and your body is exactly how you want it to be.
Now don’t think this is going to be easy. If it were easy everybody would be happy.
I wrote down my
favorite top 7 ways to help you stay on a caloric deficit without the pain.
R U ready?!
Tip #1: Find your “why”
Some time ago, I was talking with a friend and I told him that I had trouble walking up in the morning, I was feeling sleepy every time I woke up. He told me bluntly: “You don’t have a strong enough “why”. That’s why you won’t get up easily in the morning”.
“You don’t have a strong enough “why”. That’s why you won’t get up easily in the morning”.
Boom, it hit me.
Ironically my “why” was to have a “why”, a purpose. I couldn’t imagine that I didn’t have a strong motive to begin my day with. I started writing down my most important goals. I picked my 7 most important and attainable for the next 3 months and I gave a promise to myself. To hit my targets.
So what’s YOUR why?
What motive do you think obese people have? They see their gut every day in the mirror. That’s enough negative feeling to make them stick to their diet, throughout the day.
That’s a start. You know what keeps ’em going? The scale going down.
When they see the scale going down they enter a positive feedback loop. Re-condition yourself to get happier with achievement rather than with eating every chocolate candy in the office because it’s someone’s birthday.
One of my favorite people in the world wrote an article about finding your why.
Start with that and build your purpose. Live with it, feel it, breathe it. Never forget about it.
That’s what’s going to take you out of many tough days. Your “why” will answer the difficult questions.
Tip #2: Measure your progress
It’s time to make a new friend.
If your goal is weight loss. 90% of the time, the metric you need to care is what the scale says.
There are a million times to get the weight down, like tracking calories and macros but keeping track of your weight is mandatory.
Accidental fat loss is an imaginary animal, like the unicorn, which unless you’re a cartoon character of Disney, you are unlikely to encounter.
Don’t be afraid of the scale. The scale doesn’t lie. The scale is objective and just.
Let the scale become your best friend. Treat your mouth and body well, and the scale will treat you even better.
Take it one step further and measure your calories. Actually, make a plan around those calories is even better. If you are serious about your diet you ought to have a diet plan and stick to it.
Tip #3: Have a diet plan
Probably you haven’t noticed but our bodies and minds, love patterns. They love having a specific schedule around almost anything. Although you are conditioned by all these movies that serendipity brings happiness and everything has to be spontaneous and happen by chance or it’s no fun etc.
If that was the case the human race would have become extinct a long time ago.
Imagine your great ancestor not being hungry in the morning. So he thinks to himself, “I will go hunting when I become hungry”. Then the night falls and his appetite is rising. After an hour, he’s shaking from hunger. Do you think he will go hunting in the dark?
Most probably not, he just learned his lesson and he will go hunting every day in the morning from now on. At the time that he has the most advantage over his prey, like actually seeing it.
How does that correlate to YOU?
Plan when you’re not hungry. Plan when your mind is clear and you have specific goals and nothing else is clouding your thoughts. Then when hunger knocks on your door, you will know exactly what to eat and you will have it ready waiting for you to consume it. No willpower spent 😉
Tip #4: Habits
Eat at specific times. Form habits.
As I implied before, our body is a magnificent piece of machinery. It’s very efficient in doing stuff in “auto” mode and it will adapt to its environment in such a perfect sense that you won’t even realize it.
Have you ever thought of how monks can be sexually abstinent for so many years? The brain can repress even the most basic instincts such as procreation (generating offspring).
Do you know about Ramadan? Ramadan is a Muslim custom where people fast during daytime for a month. First days are tough but then everything becomes easier. Do you know why? Our bodies adapt to the environment.
If you train your body to eat at specific times of the day, it will form that habit. You will get hungry only during those times. This can make dieting so much easier. This is where intermittent fasting can help a lot.
Tip #5: Prepare your meals earlier
If you wait until the time to eat comes, to make or cook your meal, you are just lowering your chances of adhering to the diet.
When you are hungry, your mind is busy trying to find food to eat. So instead of the healthiest choice, it goes for the fastest one.
On top of that, put the “workplace” variable in the equation, where you can’t cook or prepare something that takes more than 5 mins.
Yep, the chicken sandwich from the place around the corner doesn’t sound so bad. It’s also a quick and relatively healthy choice. Never mind the mayo in there or that the chicken is actually deep fried.
Prepare your meals and eat only what’s on your schedule. Treat your body right 😉
Tip #6: Reward yourself
Break the diet on a scheduled basis and not randomly.
Start by noting down the foods or meals you crave the most. Seriously.
Put them in some order regarding desire. Have the ones you crave the most on top.
Pick a day in the week and have those foods/meals during a specific time of that day. My personal preference is to have the cheat meal after a workout. Cheat “meal” not cheat day.
First of all, you will crave them less during the week. Since now when you get hungry for some juicy, fatty burger, you will know that you will eat that on Saturday night. I prefer doing that why my buddies.
When you’re with best friends, it’s like double the taste, double the joy you get from it.
Now this might sound totally idiotic but after this exercise, you learn to appreciate food a lot more.
You now know that a chocolate bar should be “earned” rather than eaten any day of the week.
There will be a time in the future where you can eat anything you want and then adjust your diet. But until then please be very patient and strict to your schedule. Time will come, where you will reap the benefits of this effort.
Tip #7: Accountability partner
Last but not least, the secret weapon in my arsenal… Having an accountability partner.
Anytime I have a task that requires consistency from my side I find an accountability partner.
I let him know of my problems and he makes sure I am doing what I have to do and we do weekly checkups/chats to see my progress and adjust if needed.
Dieting is the best example for this. I will give a kinda detailed layout of the process so pay attention.
First of all, you need a person that is going to be hard sometimes on you, he will tell the way things are and he won’t sugar-coat anything.
If you fail to deliver, he will tell it straight to your face and try to help you not repeat that.
Next thing you need, is a schedule. Find a time slot in the week that you both have some free time where you will chat about it. Like 30-40 mins tops.
Now, what you are going to discuss is based on your goal. First thing on your agenda should be your weight. What’s the progress there? Then you can continue with foods you ate during the week or any cheat meals you had.
I will tell you a little story about a very dear friend of mine, Manos. After some
pressure deep thought, he arranged a DEXA scan (body fat measurement). He found out he had a BF of 30% (here’s a strong “why”).
After a couple of days, he called me up and asked for my help. I suggested we would be accountability buddies and that he would make a weekly report of his weight and his eating habits. Just that, no diet, no meal plans, no nothing.
Here’s his progress for the last month.
Manos has one more advantage on top of all that. Besides the weekly report with me, he has also made a statement to some friends and family that he will be reaching 82kg by early February of 2017.
Now every once in a while when one of those friends sees him, he will ask about his progress and my buddy is happy to say that all is going well in that direction and he might hit the target weight even a little bit earlier.
That is called social accountability, it’s a very strong weapon. Use it to hit your goals. Don’t be afraid, say out loud what you are going to accomplish. Smile back when someone laughs at you.
Let your progress do the talking 😉
If you got any more tips for sticking to a diet, please share them away, so we can all get the benefits.