Coming up with a diet is easy. You will find plenty of diets around the web, in magazines. Some of them are soft, radical, easy or hard to follow, etc.
But really, the hard part is sticking to this change. Change is good, but most of us fight against it, even subconsciously.
I remember trying to achieve my goals about 5 years ago. I was totally convinced that my body was genetically written one way and I was doomed for the rest of my life.
Enters self-convincing and self-discipline.
So the first key is: accept change. Tell yourself, I don’t like it the way it is now, and this is going to change.
The same way that you talk to yourself, we all do it. So just affirm it, vocally. Everyday. Constantly remember it.
This sort of new-age crap-o-scary stuff is hard to believe but it does work. Most people who are overweight see themselves as fat. Believe it or not, they might lose 5 pounds in a week, but they will just gain it all back! Why? Because they see themselves fat! Only that fact works against them.
The same way that you end up where you look on a motorbike, you end up as you see yourself. You are basically reaffirming to your subconscious the direction to take. Who do you think powers your arms, legs, lungs repeatedly while you are busy thinking? Yes, your subconscious runs most of your body.
So a big key to success is changing your own image, from yourself. You have to see yourself better, literally. It’s hard for someone overweight to picture him/herself fit, but it’s not that hard to picture improvement and visualize it.
First you need to believe in yourself that you are going to change and you are doing to do it, one way.
The second part is self-discipline. You need to stick to the plan. Surely, you are going to have hard days ahead, but that’s when you need to reaffirm yourself this very simple fact: things have changed and you are different now.
We all have these moments: “oh yes but it has been such a hard day, I deserve a treat”. No! Why? Because that doesn’t help you, rather the opposite. It’s self-agravation.
Self-discipline comes from within. You can teach it to yourself. It’s basically: how much do you really want to change? Because if you’re not serious about it, forget it. Get serious. Time to do it. Now. Today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better than today.
So, how to stick to the plan?
Time to put the abstract in real life.
This apply to nearly everything that you are trying to achieve.
Every time you go to bed, just remember what your goals are and reaffirm them. Don’t focus on the non-resulting “now”, stay positive and focus ahead. Read the work of Émile Coué if you need a little help. His theories are great.
Set up reminders in ical or google calendar or your phone to constantly remind you to stick to the plan and stay on track.
I used to have that to stick to my 6 meals a day plan. It brings you back on track. Having a strong routine and sticking to it helps the body regulate the input/output much better.
So when it pops up, just don’t think: act, right away.
Allow cheating! This might sound like counter-effective, but in fact it helps.
You see, the body works with momentum, if you have 6 great days and a 7th terrible one, it won’t affect the direction your body is taking. That’s the beauty.
So yes, once a week, feel free to go totally backwards and enjoy yourself. Be sure to stick to self-discipline to not do it more than once a week!
I found out that if go full-on on a diet as of ‘now’, it’s really sad. First, it’s like giving up all the things you like, you get that good-bye feeling, horrible. Second, it’s not a long term plan. You will be on it for about 2 months, maybe a bit more if you are strong, and then boom, jumping backwards. Too hard. And you’re right, it is!
Yes, it’s not as efficient as sticking to it 100% of the time, but realistically, you’ve got to be HAPPY. I prefer a 85% working diet than a 100% failing one.
To be successful you have to bargain on the diet you are getting on. It’s like a gym program. Your first one is always easy and boring. But when you get started, it’s hard!
So adapt the ultimate plan you are after to something more livable in the first day. Adaptation is a key. If you are used to have coke everyday, you can’t just drop it tomorrow. Gradually drop it, count down. Keep some kind of agenda if it helps you.
You will be on a successful diet:
- by reaffirming it constantly, you change yourself inside-out
- by remembering, you help yourself to stick to the plan
- by allowing cheats, you go easy on yourself - you are who you are for many reason
- by making it work for you, because a lifestyle that doesn’t work is hell
I am nothing about a magic diet, I am all about change. Diet has an important part in life, whatever the medias make you think. But a diet, is not part of life, it’s a fashion. You get on a diet, and you drop off it. It just won’t work.
What works is not dieting, but it’s changing your habits. It’s about working towards an efficient lifestyle that is healthy, that keeps you social and happy. That’s what it’s about. It requires knowledge, discipline and belief.
So, Changing lifestyle habits: yes. Super-awesome-magazine diet: NO.
I haven’t covered the “knowledge” part in this post, but I will definitely get on to it in the future. Many websites already provide valuable information about healthy food, right? So it’s not my biggest priority.