Top 5 Tips to Make Your Diet Resolution a Lifestyle Change
You ate too much damn pie. Now you want it to all go away…alongside those other twenty pounds you added to your
once svelte frame this past year.
Last year you did the same thing. You ate grandma’s chocolate-covered fruit pie and then tried to diet it off. Your effort lasted up until about February, but you still failed - and boy did you fail!
It all came back, but this time with a little extra on your backside. So here you are, needing to diet once again.
The problem with diets is that they are transient, short-term strategies. If they do work, when you go back to eating “normal” - you guessed it - your backside blows up faster than Kim Kardashian’s.
In this article I will list the top 5 ways to turn your diet into a lifestyle. Why a lifestyle? If you know a vegetarian, you know their commitment isn't short term. It's a lifestyle. It isn’t just, “Well I won’t eat meat this week until I hate cows again.” It is there to stay.
You want to learn to lose fat and keep it off for good. Here is how it's done.
Tip #1 - Think Long Term and Slow Down
For the most part I have my clients lose 1-2 pounds a week. The reason is simple. This is a great pace that allows your body to adjust, and it also keeps you from hitting walls.
What is a wall? Imagine if you just cut 50% of your calories and then two weeks later you STOPPED losing weight. What then? If you dropped weight too quickly there are no variables to play with. You would literally have to starve to lose weight. If this process takes longer, so be it - it is a LIFESTYLE!
Tip #2 - Food Choices Matter; Take Them Seriously
I know it is not the cool thing to say anymore, but you will have trouble overeating if you are consuming most of your calories from voluminous foods like vegetables, and getting in adequate protein and healthy fats. Eating this way also helps you to avoid what are called “trigger foods”; foods that cause you to lose self-control after tasting them.
Examples of whole, natural and healthy foods are listed in the section at the end of this article. Please make sure to study each section.
Tip #3 - Don't Deprive Yourself; Use the 80/20 Rule
Don’t deprive yourself. I know this seems like it contradicts the previous tip, but NOT allowing a treat here and there will do more harm than good. It will lead to binging and regular cheating.
I like the 80-20 rule. Eat the right foods and stick to the plan at least 80% of the time.
If you are on a diet that involves counting macros, I recommend fitting in a treat like a cookie once in a while. If you are running a specific meal plan, allow yourself a free meal once a week.
For more information on free meals, check out the bonus section at this end of this article.
Tip #4 - Don't Panic - Stick to the Plan
Don’t panic. If you have a free meal and you gain too much, just get back on the plan. If you cut back too much for a day because you want to rush results and place that above embracing a new lifestyle, you will just end up suffering for no reason.
When embracing a diet as a lifestyle, you shouldn’t be afraid to go to a wedding or out with friends without packing your food in a Tupperware. NO, be somewhat normal.
Fitness should enhance your life, not take over your life!
Tip #5 - Exercise at Least 5 Days Per Week
Exercise multiple days each week and do what you enjoy. If you like weight training, do it! If you like Crossfit, DO IT! But make sure you get at least an hour of physical activity 5-7 days per week.
Make exercise a part of your life, and as routine as brushing your teeth.
Boom! There You Have It!
There you have it. Being fit and healthy is a lifelong commitment and not just a phase. It is something you never give up.
So remember, don’t diet… LIVE!
For a GREAT lifestyle option, see
my book HERE!
Bonus Section A - High Performance Nutrient Selection
- Grilled boneless/skinless chicken breast
- Grilled lean fillet mignon or lean sirloin
- Grilled lean roasted turkey breast
- Grilled halibut, salmon, cod, whiting, etc.
- Albacore tuna (canned in water)
- Reduced fat cottage cheese
- Egg whites
- Plain oatmeal (LOW SUGAR)
- Whole wheat pancakes
- Whole grain/wheat toast, bread and bagels and crackers
- Whole grain cereals: Wheaties, Honey Bunches of Oats, Cheerios, Special K
- Baked yams/sweet potatoes
- Whole wheat/grain pastas
- Baked potatoes
- Black, pinto and kidney beans
- Brown rice
- Corn tortillas
- LOW FAT granola
- Dry roasted nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, cashews)
- Peanut butter, almond butter
- REDUCED FAT butter spreads
- Benecol light butter spread
- REDUCED FAT dressing
- Sunflower seeds: can be added to salads for additional GOOD FATS
- All steamed vegetables with NO BUTTER added
- Green leafy vegetables
Bonus Section B - Free Meals: Do This Once a Week
You get ONE weekly free meal per week. Make this ANYTHING you want. Just one meal, within an hour, no buffets.
We do not call it a “cheat” meal because it is on the program! Cheating is when you DON’T follow the program. The free meal will help keep your body on its toes, rev up metabolism and also keep you SANE with yummy, not so healthy foods.
But we have seen many people OVERDO it, or not do it at all. Both of these can have negative ramifications. If you go to a buffet, you can eat MUCH more than normal - to the point of gluttony. This can even lead to swollen ankles, bloated abs, and a 12 hour date with the porcelain princess.
NOT having a cheat meal can be just as bad. When dieting, the free meal acts to stimulate the metabolism. When you eat 100% clean for an extended period, the low calories become maintenance and fat loss stalls.
This is where the free meal can kick your metabolism straight in the glutes, and help you to get tight and firm.
The FREE part also stands for FREEDOM. The freedom to eat without guilt, without a food scale, and without counting. It is psychological freedom at its finest. ENJOY it.
Take someone on a date. Eat an ice cream cone with your dog. Or if you really want to get freaky, get some honey and whipped cream and…never mind.
So back to the RULES. The “Rule of Three” represents three courses. But we are NOT allowing trips to the buffet as a free meal. Sit down at a restaurant or enjoy home cooked yummyness! The three courses are:
Course 1: Salad OR Soup OR Appetizer
- You may have any ONE of these.
- Appetizers are usually meant for two. You can even get fried stuff. Any appetizer works. Just eat half of it or split it with someone. Don’t take it home!
- For salads, just get any old salad you want and eat the GOOD DRESSING! You know, the creamy stuff that is “bad” for you!
- Soup is GOOD. Get any soup on the menu. A bowl, not a pitcher!
Course 2: Main Course
- Anything on the menu. Fried food, pizza, calamari, burger and fries, chitterlings, latkes, s’cargo, pork n’ beans, chimichangas, meat pie….you get the point!
Course 3: Dessert
- Let them eat cake! Rock it out. Apple Pie ala Mode, cheesecake, fried bananas, banana splits. Just order dessert!
This should satiate you and not leave you feeling BAD. The rule is that if it is not the last meal of the day that you should be able to eat your normally scheduled meal after it. If you cannot, you overdid it.
There you go. Now have a good time and fit in with the “average” people for once!