Sticking to a New Year’s resolution isn’t always easy. You may slip once, or even twice. But there are ways to manage expectations and to win when it comes to starting a new diet. Some of the biggest mistakes when creating a diet plan are below.
- Creating unreal expectations.
Telling yourself that you’re never going to eat your favorite fast food again or cutting sweets from your diet completely is a sure-fire way to feel disappointed when you eventually steal some salty fries from a friend or eat a piece of chocolate. Set manageable goals. If you eat fast food once a week, try to skip it every other week. Or if you eat cookies after lunch and ice cream after dinner, pick one to stop eating each day.
- Not being prepared.
It’s easy to choose healthy foods when you prepare them ahead of time. Keep fresh fruit and cut up veggies and hummus easily accessible in your fridge. This way, if you get hungry you grab it and eat right away. Once you get in the habit of having healthy snacks readily available, you’ll likely choose them over quick and convenient unhealthy ones. It’s also smart to make extra helpings when preparing salads or healthy meals. You can save leftovers for later in the week, preventing you from going through the drive-through to curb your hunger.
- Forgetting the importance of food labels.
Food labels allow you to make informed decisions on what is right for your diet. The most important thing to pay attention to is serving size. Learn how to read labels correctly. This can help you keep track of your daily intake of calories and so much more.
- Forcing yourself to eat foods you hate.
If you have never liked broccoli, you’re not suddenly going to like it because you’re going on a diet. Forcing yourself to eat foods you dislike will only cause you to hate your diet plan. There are plenty of healthy recipes you can try that mask the taste of foods you might not necessarily enjoy. Adding herbs and spices to dishes may also help you ramp up your dishes. Carrots with rosemary and thyme. Sounds delicious.
- Not eating at all.
This is a big no-no. Constantly forgetting to have breakfast or lunch, skipping dinner, or forgetting to eat at all can cause real harm to your body. Not only does it deprive your body of essential vitamins and minerals, but it can make you binge when you do decide to eat a meal. Overindulging in any type of food can make you feel sick and gross. And regret usually follows. Make sure to create a diet plan that is right for you. It should include healthy foods you enjoy, leeway for a cheat day, and a simple exercise plan.
Remember the age-old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Neither was any successful lifestyle change.