Starting a new diet? Not so fast
I am ashamed to say that I have tried mostly all diets known to man. I have been on the Paleo diet, Whole30, Atkins, South beach, Master cleanse - you name it I’ve done it. For so long it just felt like I was in this constant battle with my body to achieve this image I had in my mind. I have even gone as far as taken fat burning pills and diet supplements that have wrought havoc on my metabolism and could have caused serious damage.
My pre-diet routine was always the same. I would stuff my face for the days leading up to the diet. I would purchase every book, membership, measuring cup or scale that I needed. I would get so pumped and tell everyone I knew about all the benefits. I would watch countless youtube videos and read every bit of literature I could find about the diet. By the time I started I was on 10 and ready to crush this new way of life, however, only 4 short weeks later my enthusiasm had waned and I was no longer motivated to stay the course.
What happened to all the enthusiasm and motivation? Well I will share 3 ideas you need to consider before starting any diet.
Can I do this for life?
This is by far the biggest reason that I have failed at many of the diet plans that I have started. I am a pretty disciplined person, but within the structure of my day I like to feel spontaneous. Therefore, it was next to impossible for me to consistently meal prep, because while I would buy healthy ingredients, I didn’t like to know what I was eating before the start of the day. It's just not my style.
The same is true for most of us. We all have different quirks and unique things about us, and if the diet or lifestyle change is requiring you to do something extremely out of character chances are you are not going to stay the course.
Overall health or a hot body?
There is nothing inherently wrong with starting a new diet to look great. That alone is why many people begin to diet. However, I find that if that is my sole motivation it will be very hard for me to maintain the initial excitement over time. For most of us it has to be something deeper that will keep us eating healthy long after the vacation that you got fit for is over.
The biggest way I combat this mindset it so look at the longevity of my overall health. I know that eating healthy is going to help me fight cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's; and an awesome side effect is that I will look great too. I encourage you to do some research on your new diet and find all the ways that your choices are making an investment in your future, and you will find yourself sticking to the goal more easily.
Have I counted the cost?
This was always the biggest reason that I fell off of the bandwagon when I started a new diet. I had not counted the cost that this new diet would have on my social life, my family and even my wallet. I was so gung ho that I didn’t consider the long term impact of this way of life. For example when I was raw vegan, I rarely met friends out for lunch because there were few places I could eat. Or when I followed the Paleo diet I just grew tired of eating meat, it didn’t consider that I would feel that way when I started.
So count the cost of the lifestyle change. Image yourself facing the challenges with your new way of eating, setting boundaries with your loved ones and being proactive about your success.
I really want you to succeed at your new way of life. I believe that when we question our motivation and truly understand our why we can make changes that last. What has helped you stick to your diet in the past? What are ways in which you failed to stay on track? Share you comments below I’d love to hear.