Dieting down can be tough – the planning and preparation takes time and it can be difficult to stay on track when general life situations occur.
Here are some tips that will make the process a whole lot easier for you!
#1 Don’t allow your calories to get too low
This involves hard work in the off season but is well worth the effort. The more calories you begin a cut with, the less you will have to suffer throughout your dieting phase. There is no reason why anyone should have to go extremely low calorie if you put in the groundwork before you begin to diet.
✓ Build your metabolism as much as possible in the off season and have a good calorie cushion – this will allow for some leeway when it comes to cutting calories. A small cut will go a long way and you will also leave yourself with a healthy metabolism that is easier to build back up when you are finished dieting.
#2 Don’t allow yourself to get too hungry
✓ Don’t leave yourself with really long gaps between meals as this will lead to you craving junk food for a quick energy rush.
✓ Eat before you are starving and you will enjoy your meals a lot more and be more satisfied after them, making it a lot easier to stick to your nutrition plan.
#3 Indulge on occasion but research healthy substitutes
The odd treat off plan is no harm, but it will make your life a whole lot easier and enjoyable while dieting if you can find a healthy substitute that will help you reach your goals – while indulging your sweet tooth at the same time!
✓ Try making some frozen yoghurt or adding some Zero sugar MYSYRUP with some berries to a tub of quark – this will deliver a protein and vitamin boost whilst satisfying your sweet tooth.
#4 Don’t overdo cardio
Although cardio is great for your health and general well being, there is no need to do cardio excessively to lose fat – and too much cardio can actually be detrimental to your fat loss goals.
✓ Getting the balance right is crucial. If you over-do cardio you will also burn muscle which in turn will reduce your metabolic rate. Your body also adapts to the stresses you place upon it; cardio being one of them.
✓ Cardio is a great fat loss tool and should be used as such but with awareness and not to excess. It is also essential to continue to weight train throughout any dieting phase to ensure you keep as much muscle as possible.
#5 Eat your food slowly and mindfully
Take your time when you eat. Your stomach can get full before your brain realises and you may overeat unnecessarily. This is also why it’s so easy to overeat when you are not paying attention to the actual process of eating.
✓ Try and avoid eating meals in front of the television where possible and enjoy eating your meals in the present.
✓ Having a glass of water before you sit down to eat can also help you to feel more full and satisfied with your meal.
#6 Keep yourself accountable
Staying accountable is the key to sticking with both a cut and a training programme. Be responsible for your own decisions and prioritise what you need to do to reach your goals. If you are accountable for your effort and actions you will be successful at reaching your goals.
✓ Staying accountable can involve keeping a journal recording your results or even buying yourself a calendar in which you can record your weight and measurements each week.
✓ Make sure you acknowledge all your victories no matter how big or small!
#7 Be aware there is a difference between hunger and cravings
There is a huge difference between actual hunger and cravings. Most of the time, cravings can be linked to an emotion – such as stress – and we feel we need to eat whatever it is we can’t stop thinking about, and most often this happens to be junk food or calorie-dense foods that won’t help you reach your goals.
Although it is no harm to go off plan every once in a while, it can be an issue if it’s a constant occurrence.
✓ Many people that suffer from cravings have great success creating a distraction that will also signal a reward to the brain: such as going on a walk or taking a bath. There is no need to feel hungry on a diet although cravings can be expected.
✓ If you are dieting and constantly feeling hungry, take a look at your food choices ad see can you include some more high volume low-calorie foods:
Vegetables are a great choice as they are high fibre and promote satiety.
Take Home Message
These are some tips that I use when I am dieting down and they make my life a lot easier.
Try them out and enjoy reaching your goals!