Embarking on a dietary journey can be overwhelming when you first start, and it can be even more challenging if you don’t know where to begin. Not to mention, with various media companies and lifestyle gurus preaching about “how to shed a stone within a week” and “don’t eat this, eat this”, it can be even tougher figuring out which advice to take and which to ignore politely. Various clickbait headlines aside, we understand that becoming more health-conscious is difficult.
Still, implementing these choices can be even more challenging, especially when you want to begin but don’t know where to start. From popular, trending diets such as keto and paleo, it’s hard to decide which lifestyle choices to adopt to kickstart your healthy diet journey and stick to it in the long run. Health-conscious decisions have their fair share of difficulties, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the process or enjoy the foods that you love in moderation.
Tons of tips and advice exists regarding dieting and kickstarting the process, so we’ve created this article outlining several of the best lifestyle choices to make to kick-start your healthy diet and help you maintain and stick to it.
Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Out Professional Advice
Getting started on your dietary journey can be challenging and an important life choice for those with lots of weight to lose or those with underlying health conditions. Therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek out professional advice during any stage of your journey, as healthcare professionals can give you informed advice and help you to tailor your experience to better health to better suit your needs.
Ensure that you seek advice from relevant health professionals such as dietitians, doctors, and behavioural therapists, as many underqualified health professionals can give you misleading advice – a mistake estimated almost 60% of the UK public would make. For instance, enlisting the services of a dietitian can help you with your overall knowledge of the food pyramid, prepare meal plans and advise you of the best diets to follow based on your age, height and suggested calorific intake. Or a psychologist can help you with your relationship with food and help you break new habits in favour of new ones that aid you on your health journey.
As mentioned earlier, seeking advice from some professionals is recommended if you don’t know where to begin on your journey. Not to mention, it’s best to consult your doctor before starting any dietary movement, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or diseases.
Keep Healthy, Filling Snacks To Hand
Even when you’re being mindful of what you’re eating, it’s important not to allow yourself to get too hungry; otherwise, this could lead to bingeing or less-healthy snack choices. To prevent getting too hungry, always endeavour to keep healthy, filling snacks to hand so that hunger doesn’t cloud your judgement and you end up sating yourself with something that could affect your progress.
We recommend incorporating protein-rich snacks within your meal preparation and snack allowance for the day, as foods within this food group keep you fuller for longer. Some examples of which are: whole eggs, nuts or nut butter, yoghurt, fresh fruits or vegetables and protein bars. Alternatively, if you’re not so keen on any of the previously mentioned snacks, you could look at alternative, protein-rich, healthy snacks such as the range from Shake That Weight which you can browse at shakethatweight.co.uk. From protein bars, protein crisps, and protein shakes suitable for a very low-calorie diet, they have tons of options to choose from, perfect for those looking to make healthier dietary choices. Peruse their offering for more information about their products and see how you could incorporate them into your diet plans.
Don’t Punish Yourself For Falling Off Track
Chances are, during the first few days or weeks of your healthy diet, you may be tempted to cheat on your new diet or be successful. According to health professionals, this is a mistake that happens to all of us eventually, and when it does, it’s essential that you don’t punish yourself for falling off track and strive to get back on track as soon as possible. We’re all human, and the risk of getting side-tracked appears to be everywhere when we’re trying to become healthier but making one mistake doesn’t mean that we must reverse all our progress.
Instead of promising yourself that you’ll start again at the start of the week, jump right back into your healthy eating programme straight away and remind yourself why you started this journey in the first place. Punishing yourself only instils negative feelings of guilt and makes your goals seem further away. Instead, put measures in place to ensure that you don’t fall off track again and reserve typically ‘bad’ foods for treat days instead of banishing them from your diet altogether.
Once you recognise the scenarios or situations that tempt you to cheat on your diet, you can then start to avoid them. You could also try to avoid falling off track in the future by tracking your food using an app, congratulating yourself when you make a healthy choice no matter how small, keeping filling snacks on hand and understanding that it’s okay to treat yourself from time to time.
Allow Yourself To Eat The Foods You Love (Sparingly!)
Let’s admit it, the worst part about preparing to go on a diet or making healthier lifestyle choices is the prospect of having to diet-proof our cupboards/fridges and bidding farewell to our favourite foods. However, providing that you are dieting correctly and making the right health choices, you shouldn’t need to say any goodbyes anytime soon.
So long as you’re endeavouring to eat around eighty percent of nutritious food, you can allocate the remaining twenty percent for treating yourself and eating foods that are less healthy for you. Additionally, suppose you’re incorporating exercise into your diet. In that case, you could account for the days in which you’ll be exercising and use what you’ve burnt off as additional calories for a ‘cheat’ day. Most people think that adopting an all-or-nothing style of approach to dieting that will prevent them from the temptation to cheat on their diet but doing so can create the opposite effect.
Those individuals who completely cut out the foods they love while dieting are more prone to falling off track than those who don’t since they are not being fulfilled. Whereas those who allow themselves to indulge in their favourite foods periodically generally feel more satisfied while dieting and are linked to a higher rate of weight loss and keeping the weight off in the future.
Be Patient With Yourself
As we’ve mentioned previously, we’re all human and adopting healthier life choices doesn’t just happen overnight, nor does the results! Therefore, you must be kind and patient with yourself and accept that becoming healthier takes time, as you’re bound to make some slip-ups along the way.
Not to mention some days will be easier than others, and many surprising factors contribute to weight loss (if that is your long-term goal). Factors for becoming healthier include the amount of sleep you’re getting, stress levels, menstruation and more. So long as you don’t put too much pressure on yourself to reach your goals before you’re ready, you should be able to achieve your desired outcomes and maintain your healthy practices in the future.