January is traditionally the time of year when millions of people decide to start a new diet. The vast majority of people who start the year with a new diet plan have fallen off the wagon by the time February rolls around. If you are one of the many out there who have tried and failed at some extreme diet plan, or even at a relatively tame one, don’t beat yourself up about it.
If you want to try and take control of your life this year by working on yourself, then here are some ways to do so without following a diet.
Aim For Healthy
When it comes to dieting, you need to take some time to consider why you are tempted to do it. If your aim is to lose weight to change your appearance, then you might be putting not only your physical health at risk but your mental health as well. The best thing to aim for is to improve your health.
With healthy as your aim, it takes the pressure off meeting unreachable goals. It keeps the focus on you and off society’s expectations. Getting healthy doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. You don’t have to compare yourself to others or aim for body shapes that have been photoshopped. You can be you, just healthier!
The great thing about aiming to get healthier is that there are so many little changes you can make to get there gradually. With each step you take, you are going to be reaping long term benefits. Going on a diet is about changing how you look for the short term. Getting healthy is about changing how you feel for the rest of your life.
Don’t Obsess About What You’re Eating
One of the major pitfalls of dieting is that it makes you hyper-aware of food. If you have a big list of foods you can’t eat, then that becomes all you can think about and every time you resist temptation, you use up a big chunk of your self-control.
Instead, just eat in moderation and think about how good it feels when you make a healthy choice. It doesn’t mean you have to banish the biscuit tin, and you can still have treats, but focus on how much better you’ll feel by choosing food that makes you feel good both inside and out.
The only thing you should try and stay aware of is how much calorie-dense food you are eating. These are things that have loads of calories but don’t fill you up. Try, instead, to focus on healthier, sustaining foods that keep you fuller for longer such as protein-rich sources.
Avoid Frequent Weigh-Ins
Weighing yourself every day is far too much. Obsessing over the scales isn’t healthy. If you are feeling really brave, then just get rid of your scales altogether. You don’t need them. How you feel is the best guide. If you are less sleepy, have fewer aches and pains, and you look in the mirror and feel good, then you’re on the right path.
If you really can’t bear to part with your scales, then limit your weigh-ins to once or twice a month. That way, you can see the trends in your weight and not the daily fluctuations which are completely normal.
Set Small, Achievable Goals
New year resolutions can be problematic. The reason a lot or resolutions get broken is that they are just too big. If you want to lose weight, then pick lots of small milestones. Aim for a small amount of gradual weight loss. Not only is this weight loss healthier, but it also the kind of weight loss that lasts.
A great goal is to lose about 1 pound/ ½ a kilogram a week. Gradually chip away until you reach your goal. And remember that if you are including exercise as part of your improved healthy lifestyle, then this might mean your weight goes up when you build muscle. Just remember that the scales aren’t telling you everything.
Be Kind To Yourself
You are human, we all are, and this means we are prone to messing up. You are going to have a day when you eat terribly. Now that you know it’s going to happen, it’s not the end of the world when it does. You don’t have to throw in the towel and give up on yourself if you have a setback. Forgive yourself. This can be really hard to do, but it is so important for your mental health and to keep you on the right track.
Get Enough Sleep
While it might sound odd, sleeping more might help you lose weight. If you regularly don’t get enough sleep, then your appetite will be higher. Try getting an extra hour of sleep a night, and you might find that with no effort at all, you begin to lose weight.