After the end of year indulgence of Christmas many of us choose to eat and drink a little healthier in January to help shed the excess weight. Some people choose to cut back on the alcohol, others cut out the meat, and some go the whole hog and aim to change their diet entirely. Now we’re about halfway through the month the temptation to quit is likely starting to increase – and you may have a small slip-up already – but you don’t have to give in. To help you get through to the end of your January diet here are few helpful tips that could make a difference.
Be Wary of Snacking
Many of us are likely aware of how snacking can covertly cause us to rack up the calories, but its not an easy thing to cut out entirely. However, by choosing the right foods you can minimise the impact it has on your caloric intake. If you do have a snack, aim to choose something that is going to have a little effect in terms of calories but plenty of nutritional value. Simple things like raw carrots and hummus are tasty and can be eating in a reasonable quantity without piling on the calories. Additionally, be sure to check the back of any pre-packaged snacks. Often products that are marketed as ‘healthy’ or ‘natural’ can be more calorific than seemingly unhealthy snacks.
Cook Your Own Meals
It may sound obvious to cook your own meals while on a diet, but you may be surprised on how beneficial it is – and how often people choose not to. Rather than choosing the ‘light’ ready meals to keep the calories down you can simply cook a meal from fresh ingredients and get a more satisfying portion size with just as few calories. By having total control of what you put into each dish you make you’ll never lose track of what you’re eating. Additionally, by cooking more often you’ll get a better understanding of how to flavour your dishes using herbs and spices that don’t add more calories. You could also end up saving money, especially if you cook in bulk and have leftovers.
Be Public About Your January Diet
You may want to avoid boring your friends and family about your January diet, but talking about it can actually help you stay on track. By publicly acknowledging your progress – or lack of it – it can have the effect of maintaining your motivation as you can share positive progress next time you talk about it. This can be even more effective when you get involved with a group that is also partaking in a January Diet campaign. Because everybody is invested in each other progress they’ll react enthusiastically when it’s going well and spur each other on when it’s not. It’s often said we’re our best selves when people are watching, this rings true when it comes to sticking with a diet.
Remind Yourself of the Benefits
At this point during the January diet the food is beginning to lose its appeal and the temptation to quit is higher. This is especially true when you hit a plateau and you begin to wonder if it’s worth it. However, it’s important to remember that even if the numbers on the scales have stopped going down for a week they will start dropping again with persistence. Additionally, if you’re cutting out things like alcohol you may be notice smaller things like improvements in your skin and a better sleep. The changes are incremental and difficult to see on a daily basis, but by reminding yourself of your starting point, where you are currently, and where you can end up you can stay motivated.