Monday, June 22, 2009
10 Ways to Restart Your Diet After a Break
Slipped into bad habits? Taken a break from your usual healthy diet? Gained a few pounds on vacation? Been ill or unusually busy?
Whatever the reason, it can be hard to recover momentum after a break. Here are ten easy ways to restart your diet:
1. Organise Your Morning
Get everything ready for tomorrow before you go to bed. Set out your work clothes, your gym kit (if you plan on heading to the gym from work), and your breakfast. Getting your day off to a smooth start makes it much easier to stick to your good habits.
2. Focus On Fruit
It's easy to let that five-a-day target slide. Try having a piece of fruit before each meal, every day for a week. It'll curb your appetite, and it will help you get the fiber and vitamins that you need.
3. Make Lunch Special
Do you end up eating the same (calorie counted, of course!) lunch every day? Try experimenting: ring the changes with different breads - pitas, wraps, bagels and rolls, for example. Or, now that summer's here, take a big salad instead of a sandwich.
4. Try New Recipes
Don't just stop at lunch. If your usual dieting dinners are calorie-counted ready meals, or dull recipes that you're getting sick of, then dig through your recipe books (or search online) and find some diet-friendly entrées to try.
5. Clear The Junk
If unhealthy snacks have crept into your desk drawer or your kitchen cupboards, be ruthless. Give them away or throw them away. Don't test your self-discipline unnecessarily! Replace the junk food with healthy, easy-to-grab snacks.
6. Weigh Everything
If you're a seasoned dieter, you're probably used to "eyeballing" portions. Get back into the habit of weighing everything - just for a week. There might be some nasty surprises (that "small" baking potato? That "medium" bowl of cereal?)
7. Write It Down
Studies have shown that dieters who keep a food diary lose twice as much weight as those who don't. Try recording everything you eat for a couple of weeks. Have some little extras crept in? Does that smidgen of butter, dash of olive oil and sprinkling of cheese add up to more than you thought?
8. Set Goals
You might have a target weight in mind - but try setting immediate goals too. How about:
Seven portions of fruit and veg each day
Going to the gym three times a week
Not eating after dinner (if this is one of the times you're tempted to snack)
Avoiding all sweet snacks at work
9. Find A Buddy
Have you got a friend, relative or colleague who's also on a diet? Buddy up - you can support and encourage one another, work out together, check in on weekly progress, or simply be available to each other on the phone in moments of "I need chocolate" weakness!
10. Stay Motivated
What motivates you? It might be a mini-reward each time you reach a goal (perhaps a magazine or a movie). Many people feel motivated and encouraged by the support of other dieters. Why not write a post for Diet Blog Share or leave a comment here?