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
Your life is busy, but it’s possible to make time for a diet. Don’t let your calendar get in your way. 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.
- Sit down on a Saturday or Sunday and plan out meals for the week. Grocery shop for 5 days of meals. Before putting your food away, wash and chop your veggies and store them in clear containers in your fridge. Now you have snacks, lunches, even stir-fry ready to go at a moment’s notice!
- Keep yourself to the outer fringes of the grocery store when shopping. This is where fresh foods live, far away from the processed stuff that’ll sabotage your diet. Oh, and never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.
- 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 diet sodas—are packed with loads of sugar, not to mention 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, 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 veggies to start with:
- Beet greens
- Green and red cabbage
- Bok Choy
- Brussel sprouts
- Lettuce: romaine, red leaf, green leaf
- Mustard greens
- Celery Onions
- Chicory Parsley
- Chinese cabbage
- Peppers: red, green, yellow, brain-meltingly-hot
- Collard greens
- Dandelion greens
Got any tips, recipes or personal experiences you’d like to share? Write ’em up in the comments!