Dieting at any time of year has its challenges, from summer barbecues to feasting out at those Christmas parties. But Autumn is a challenge in it’s own right - as the days get shorter and the temperature drops, staying fully motivated can prove a little tough. As it's the season for heartier meals and lovely warm coffees, the challenge is real. But there's no reason why this should put you off. Here are some fresh and realistic ways you can get motivated for the ultimate autumn diet that will have you looking and feeling great...
1.Set a date (and stick to it)
It may sound like an obvious suggestion to make, but setting a start date is a crucial way of making your diet wish a reality. Thinking about making changes is good, but without a date it will merely float around as an idea (an idea that may never manifest!). So get the diary out, and take into account plans you’ve got coming up which involve eating out and drinking. While it’s true that “there’s no time like the present”, some people find it easier to have one final blow out or one final free night to eat, drink and be merry. It’s been said that Mondays are a good day to start your diet, as it’s the weekly fresh start after a weekend of freedom. Perhaps start on the nearest Monday to the day you’re ready this. Is today Monday? Take it as a sign :) In seriousness, the day you choose doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as just choosing one. No more delays, get the red pen out and circle a start date now.
2. Create a photo diary
Visual documentation of your progress is one of the most powerful (and the most rewarding) ways of watching your weight loss journey. It can also help if, (for example), you haven't lost so much actual weight, but you have started to change shape and tone up. A photo diary will show this in broad daylight. The camera never lies! It's also great to have photos as motivation when you are tempted to fall off your diet plan or you don't feel like working out. Once you start seeing progress, this is more positive reinforcement to keep going. You don't have to show anyone your photos, they can be your own personal collection, but we think you're likely to be showing them off to everyone, especially when there's a visible transformation.
3.Plan meals in advance
Ok, so this one does take some effort, but it's effort worth making because it's also one of the most effective ways of staying on plan. Just cutting out certain foods (for example, a lot of people drop white carbs such as bread and pasta to lose weight) is a good method until you are hungry on the go - and you grab a supermarket sandwich, leading to regret and a negative thought process. If you have a plan set up, and you are organised enough to have your work lunches planned out in Tupperware boxes (yes, again, it's a lot of effort, but you'll be glad you did it in the end)...forward planning pays off. Always.
4. Don’t worry about the slip-ups
Following on from number 3, we are all human, and this level of organisation might not be realistic every single day. It's ok to slip up every now and then, the key is not to punish yourself for it. Giving yourself a hard time for mistakes actually increases the chances of you making more mistakes, because you'll create what psychologists call a negative feedback loop (the negative thought creates the bad eating, and the bad eating creates a negative thought). It's a trap! Bad days happen, you might cave and have a super double cheeseburger on a Friday night. Don't sweat it, start again tomorrow.
5. Focus on the positives!
Your thought process has a lot to do with your ultimate success. If dieting feels like a chore, and you are focused on what you are missing out on (cakes, white bread, that lovely glass of chardonnay with Sunday lunch), you are sadly destined to fail. Try to switch your mind into a positive train of thought - focusing on what you will gain from your diet, for example
- more confidence in your body
- feeling good shopping for smaller clothes
- better nutrition
- Getting back into those jeans you love
and so on...You can even write a list like this and stick it to your kitchen cupboard, to look at when you need a little boost or reminder. A positive focus has a lot to play in long term success.
6. Stop looking for that perfect diet
There are SO many diets out there, and it’s not uncommon for a tremendous amount of time to be spent “shopping around” specific diets. This can easily become a form of procrastination, as all the time you spend looking for the right one, you could have started your diet already. If you are not sure which diet is for you, start by at least counting your calories with an app like MyFitnessPal, and measure what you are putting into your body.
7. Say hello to Lo-Dough
There's no better way to ensure a successful weight loss plan,than saying hello to Lo-Dough. It's a low calorie, high fibre, virtually carb free bread and pastry alternative, which allows you to eat pizza, pies, puddings and desserts amongst many other things. For example, you can have a delicious ham & mushroom pizza for 170 calories. Dieting isn't all about missing out, it's about eating smart with the right foods, and Lo-Dough is at the top of the game for this.
Try Lo-Dough now from £5 and see for yourself.