One of the biggest roadblocks to losing weight is the temptation to cheat and indulge in those oh-so-delicious but oh-so-unhealthy goodies – like cookies, candy bars, pizza and french fries. But if you plan ahead, you can more easily beat temptation. Here are 9 simple secrets to staying on track.
1. Plan Out Your Week
Set aside a time (we recommend Sunday) to plan out your entire week. Plan where you’ll be each day so that you know when you’ll be eating and where. Plan time to exercise (we love morning hikes) and plan at least one fun outing with your significant other or with your friends each week.
Planning will make it easier to stick to your weight loss goals as you won’t have to make snap decisions (like getting fast food or eating junk food) and you won’t as easily give into temptation.
2. Speaking of Planning… Meal Plan Your Week
Plan your meals each week, do your shopping, and prepare as much of your food beforehand as possible. You might be saying “I ain’t got time for that!” Think again, check out all these perks to meal planning!
- Planning takes away the factor of indecision.
- Your brain picks what you eat instead of your stomach.
- Meals will be more balanced.
- Less food wasted.
- More money saved.
Planning your week, scripting out meals and doing the shopping and some of the food prep beforehand is an essential part of sticking to weight loss goals.
3. Grocery Pick Up
This tip is so good it should really be number 1, somehow it landed at number 3.
The more trips you make to the grocery store, the more chances you have at grabbing that bag of Cheetos or a bag of cookies. Instead, hop on the computer after meal planning and send in your grocery order & pick up time. BOOM. You don’t even need to take a single step into that grocery store and its aisles of tantalizing temptations. Diet cheating averted! Plus you don’t have to drag your toddler through the store (you know the one who’s always begging for snacks and throwing tantrums.)
4. Plan on Obstacles & How to Overcome Them
Stress can lead to emotional eating, which can be a huge obstacle to your weight loss goals. So plan on having stress! (say what?) Let’s face it, you know you’re eventually going to get stressed out over something… it’s inevitable. Plan on how you’ll respond to these moments. You can cope by going for a walk, turning off your phone and practicing some mindfulness, visiting a friend, picking up a new hobby or even scheduling an appointment with a therapist if you feel like you need it.
Social gatherings can be another big obstacle preventing you from keeping your weight loss goals. For example, if you know you won’t get a chance to eat because you have meetings most of the day on Wednesday and then a company potluck after work, you’re probably going to be hungry once you get there and sorely tempted to binge on all the delicious food at the social. Think about how can you overcome that obstacle. One way would be to pack a healthy snack and eat it before heading to the potluck. After eating something healthy, you’ll feel fuller and won’t be as hungry. At the potluck, you can still eat in moderation, but won’t be tempted to overindulge.
5. Get Support
It’s important to get the right type of support while on a diet. Family, friends & coworkers can be supportive, but they can also be the source of many of your obstacles. There are those who, while trying to be nice to you, will bring donuts or make homemade cookies and insist that you eat them. Be prepared for the donuts and cookies, and knowing, ahead of time, that you’re not going to eat them and that it’s okay to say no.
Try to get your family and friends behind you. Without their support, you’re going to have a tough time – especially if you’re the only one with a weight “problem” and everyone else can eat whatever they want. So don’t be shy. Tell them about your goals. They’re not going to know you need their support unless you tell them.
Get a buddy. Sticking to a diet is a lot easier with a friend by your side. Let’s face it, we all need help. Seek out friends who are also trying to lose weight and are supportive of your goals. You can both encourage each other and be there when things get hard.
6. Brush Yo Teeth
Eating right after you brush your teeth is just plain gross. Most people are good about sticking to their diet till about 4:00 p.m. That’s a good time to brush your teeth. Another time to watch out for is after dinner. To keep from cheating, brush your teeth after dinner, or have a mint… or even a cup of peppermint tea.
7. Drink Water
Every time you hit up the kitchen to get your snack on… drink some water instead. Oftentimes what you mistake for hunger is actually thirst. So drink up. Plus, water has no calories. Woot! This tip works wonders. It helps you get enough water, making you healthier, as well as feel full so you better-overcome temptation.
8. Toss Out The Triggers
Get rid of your temptations. Storytime! One Christmas, standing there in front of me was a plentiful plateful of Christmas goodies that had been giving to me in an act of Christmas cheer. I was left wondering what to do. It was far too many sweets for me to eat by myself and stay healthy, but I felt guilty not eating them. So I asked a friend what I should do with it all. I loved her response “Better in the waste then on your waist.” Just toss it!
We all have triggers – people, places, and things that trigger us to eat either way too much, something unhealthy or eat when we aren’t even hungry. Just eliminate and reduce your triggers from your environment, home, work, school, etc… wherever you find yourself tempted the most. Identify potential temptations or places of temptation and toss them out or avoid them!
9. Healthy Food Swaps
Eliminating temptations may trigger you into thinking about what you can’t have any more! Do some research and find healthy substitutions to your favorite go-to unhealthy snacks.
Here are a few ideas for ya:
- Pizza… instead try making a cauliflower pizza crust.
- Pasta… instead of noodles, use zucchini noodles.
- Ice cream… instead, make yourself some protein popsicles.
Sticking to your weight loss goals all comes down to developing healthy routines. If you use these 9 tips you’re practically guaranteed to be successful. Remember change doesn’t happen overnight. Just take it day by day and enjoy every small victory. Make today better than yesterday. And if you stumble, don’t beat yourself up, just brush yourself off and keep going. You can do it!