How to Set Realistic Expectations for Your Diet Changes
It happens every year. You get motivated in January to change your lifestyle. You vow to cut certain ingredients out or maybe add healthy ingredients to your diet.
Flash forward a few weeks and you’re realizing how difficult your resolution actually is, but you’re hanging in there. You’re starting to feel some changes, but it’s not quite what you had hoped.
Flash forward a few more weeks. You’re tired of being hungry all the time. You’re tired of having to say no to eating out. You’re tired of spending so much time on food prep at beginning of each week.
Maybe you slowly start making compromises and cheating your resolution or maybe you throw your hands in the air and give it up all together, but either way you’ve found yourself in the exact same cycle as last year.
So how do you make changes that last? The key is to set realistic expectations – to ease into the transition slowly. We’ve got some tips on how to do just that so that you can see healthy and lasting changes in your life.
Take it slow
Diet changes are ultimately lifestyle changes and lifestyle changes take time. If you go from eating everything and not having any limits on your diet to cutting out entire food groups and trying to make huge changes all at once, you’ll likely fail. Take it slow. Start by cutting out one thing and then once you’ve got that down move on to something else. Be patient with the process!
Celebrate your victories
You are working towards healthy changes that will lead to a happier and most likely longer life. This is huge! Set up some milestones for yourself and when you reach those, celebrate! Maybe you’ve cut out dairy for a full month, treat yourself to a new toy or day at the spa.
Just be cautious not to treat yourself with food, that can often be counterproductive to your goals.
Remember that it’s a process
Sometimes diet changes can feel like two steps forward and one step back. Don’t be discouraged. It’s a process. You’ll constantly be refining what your best, most healthy lifestyle should look like. Lean into the process and don’t give up!
If you stumble, get up and keep going
It’s tempting to feel like you should just give up altogether if you slip up, but don’t give in! Just because you’ve compromised on your commitment that doesn’t mean you can’t get back on that horse. We all make mistakes. If you fall, get back up and keep going.
Sometimes finding the strength to keep going requires accountability. Whether you’re leaning on a friend who is making the same changes you are, relying on your family, or finding an online community, don’t go it alone! It takes a lot of willpower and discipline to do what you’re doing. There’s no shame in asking for help.
We’d love to hear about your journey towards leading a healthier lifestyle and making those lasting diet changes. Let us know about it in the comments below!