22 Feb Proactive Dieting: 3 Tips to Plan and Maintain an Effective Diet
Starting a new diet can be an overwhelming and intimidating affair—but it doesn’t have to be.
After consulting with your doctor and health coach about starting a new diet, the first thing you need is a plan. Establishing a game plan will prepare you for challenges you may face and provides a stable foundation for when you become discouraged or veer slightly off track.
Think of it as a safety net: no matter what complications may arise in your diet, you can always look back on your plan, remind yourself of your goals, and have a pre-established set of tools waiting for you.
Here are three tips to help you start planning your plan. (Feel free to share yours in the comments!)
Plan and Schedule Meals
Don’t let your calendar get in your way.
Your life is busy, but it’s possible to make time for a diet. By having pre-made meals and snacks, you’re a lot less likely to come home after a busy day at work, see your empty fridge, and decide getting takeout is a more viable option than cooking.
Quick tips for meal planning
- Sit down on a Saturday or Sunday and plan out meals for the week.
- Be sure to add a mix to your recipes (i.e. don’t get 5 days worth of chicken) to ensure you don’t get tired of what you’ve prepared.
- Grocery shop for 5 days of meals. Remember variety! Also remember to avoid the candy and chips aisle!
- Before putting your food away, wash and chop your veggies and store them in clear containers in your fridge. One of the biggest psychological hurdles to meal prep is—wait for it—the prep. By chopping your veggies ahead of time, you’ll eliminate one of the more time-consuming aspects of home cooking, and thus simplify the entire process.
Now you have snacks, lunches, even stir-fry ready to go at a moment’s notice!
To make post-work cooking easier, consider setting up your crockpot before leaving for work, or assemble meals on baking dishes so they’re ready to pop into the oven the moment you get home.
Say See Ya to Soda and Fruit Juices
Managing your sugar intake will have a profound effect on your weight-loss plan.
Sodas—even so-called diet sodas—are packed with loads of sugar (not to mention all those weird, unpronounceable chemicals). Many sodas actually contain more sugar in one serving than you should have all day long!
Sodas aren’t the only beverages guilty of sugar overload. Fruit juices have concentrated levels of fructose, which are particularly dangerous for those with or at-risk for diabetes. You need to initially curb all foods containing fructose until you get your metabolism, blood sugar and insulin under control.
Reacquaint Yourself with Veggies
Rekindle a love affair with veggies. Experiment with delicious ways to stir fry them using low-sodium spices and condiments. Search the internet for veggie-based international recipes—it’s never too late to learn something new.
Here are some great PHMP Online Knowledgebase articles about vegetables to start with:
- 21 Best Low-Carb Veggies, Part One and Part Two
- Superstar Veggies That Fight Cancer And Taste Awesome
- The Mega Superduper Ultimate List of Low-Calorie Snacks, Part One, Two, and Three
Save yourself some time and heartache by planning and pre-prepping your meals. Your diet will thank you!