There’s no such thing as a magic diet. But we can confidently say that the “best diet” is the one you can stick with long enough to get results.
But what if you can’t do that?
What if you keep falling off your diet and are caught in a weight loss and regain cycle?
If you struggle to stay consistent with your diet you’ll never be able to get the results you’re after.
Many people jump on a diet, lose some weight then return to their old eating habits a few days or weeks later and regain everything they lost.
If you’re fed up of losing and regaining the same 5 or 10 kilos of body fat and want to burn it off for good so that you can look and feel great in your own skin, read on!
You're about to learn 5 tips to help you be super consistent with your diet.
WHAT DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH?
Before we can come up with an effective strategy for you to be consistent with your diet we first need to understand why you struggle to be consistent in the first place.
The root cause of your inconsistency will determine the most effective approach for you to follow.
So ask yourself…
Do I struggle to be consistent with my diet due to a lack of results?
Is it because I get bored with my diet?
Do I feel overly restricted when dieting?
Once you’ve answered this question select an appropriate strategy from below.
STRATEGY #1: OVERCOMING A LACK OF RESULTS
If a lack of results is the thing which is causing you to throw in the towel and quit your diet you probably need to take a more aggressive approach.
Creating a larger calorie deficit will lead to larger losses in body fat which can be a huge motivator to continue with your diet.
When you can see and feel your body changing any downsides of dieting such as short term hunger, lowered energy levels and eating less treat foods becomes much less of an issue because your results are motivating you and driving you forwards.
So how can you create a larger calorie deficit?
There are literally hundreds of tactics you could use, here are 3 of the most simple:
1. Skip 1 meal per day. A really common way to do this is with a simple intermittent fasting protocol. One way to do this is to skip breakfast, eat a normal sized lunch, a normal sized dinner and have a snack in-between.
2. Replace 1 meal per day with a whey protein shake mixed with water or skim milk. 1 scoop of whey protein with water provides about 125 calories, which is much less than what most people consume at a main meal such as lunch or dinner.
3. Take your body weight in Ibs (note there’s 2.2 Ibs in 1 kg) and multiply it by 10-12 – eat that many calories per day.
Another thing to take into consideration is how you actually measure your progress.
If your scale weight is the only metric you use to monitor your progress you could be shooting yourself in the foot because scale weight doesn’t show you how much body fat you are losing or gaining – it simply shows you your total body mass which is comprised of many things.
Water, muscle, fat, stored carbohydrates, blood volume, clothing, and the food contents in your gut all make up your scale weight.
So if you weigh yourself after skipping a trip to the bathroom, drinking more water, eating more carbs , fibre or salt, or even after a poor night’s sleep or stressful day your scale weight will be impacted.
It’s possible that you were making progress with your diet but not seeing that progress translate onto your bathroom scales because you were weighing yourself at different times of the day, different times of the month (females), wearing different clothes, or after eating high carb or salty foods which cause you to retain more water, etc.
I always use a variety of methods to track progress with my clients and I advise you to do the same.
Take some selfies, measure certain body parts and consider how your clothes fit, and use these metrics in addition to your scale weight which I advise you record daily and plug into an app such as happy scale or Libra. These apps will show you if your weight is trending downwards or not. Body weight will fluctuate daily so it’s the trend line you should focus on.
TIP #2: GETTING PAST DIETARY BOREDOM
If boredom is what causes you to quit your diet we need to make things interesting and mix them up a little.
In this instance I advise chopping your diet up into different phases.
As an example you could follow a low carb diet for 4-8 weeks, then you could switch into a low fat diet for a few weeks, followed by some intermittent fasting, calorie tracking, etc. in the weeks after.
You could even take some diet breaks along the way where you set a goal of simply maintaining your body weight for 1-2 weeks before dipping back into a dieting phase.
This approach will keep things fresh and interesting and you’ll learn a lot about yourself along the way and including which methods suit you the best.
Remember what I said at the start –there is no magic diet, weight loss boils down to creating a calorie deficit and sticking with
TIP #3: OVERCOMING OVER-RESTRICTION
If you feel overly restricted and deprived when you diet you need to try a less aggressive approach or try including more of the foods you love within your det.
I generally recommend that 80-90% of your calories come from whole, natural foods and the reminder from treat foods – such as alcohol, chocolate, pastries, etc.
By incorporating treat foods into your diet you can reduce those feelings of deprivation and hopefully stick with your diet.
If you’re into counting calories an “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) approach could be a good strategy for you.
Take your body weight in Ibs and multiply it by 10-12 then eat that many calories per day. What you eat is less important than sticking to your calorie target.
People have lost weight eating ridiculous diets – check out the Twinkie Diet, Subway Diet and McDonalds diets as examples!
I’m not recommending you eat a junk food diet, but it’s hard to ignore the huge benefits that losing weight will have upon your health –even if you lose it when eating a poor diet.
My basic advice is to stick to your calorie intake, eat mostly real, whole, natural foods and backfill the remainder of your calorie intake with treat foods.
A twist on this strategy is something I call calorie borrowing. The idea is simple, you just take some of your allotted calories from one day and add them to another.
Let’s say you need to eat around 1500 calories per day to lose weight. Rather than sticking rigidly to 1500 calories per day you can barrow 500 or from one day and add them onto another so that you can enjoy extra food or some alcohol.
Another useful strategy to consider if you feel overly restricted when dieting is to incorporate the diet breaks I mentioned in strategy #2.
Breaking up your dieting periods with a 1-2 week break where you simply aim to maintain your body weight (not regain everything you've lost!) is an effective way to break up the monotony of dieting.
A huge plus of using this strategy is that it teaches you how to maintain your body weight which is arguably the bigger issue at hand – many people lose weight by dieting but far less are able to keep the weight off long term.
Being inconsistent with your diet will kill your results.
To overcome this you’ll need to change your dieting strategy to either create quicker results that motivate you to continue, make your diet more exciting by mixing things up into different phases, or reduce feelings of deprivation by building more treat foods into your diet.
I hope you found this useful.
If you have any questions just let me know!