How to prepare for a diet
Here are some tips on how to prepare for a diet
Starting a diet can be daunting, especially if you have not mentally prepared yourself for the change. When you’re in the right place mentally it is easier to begin a diet and health program that you will follow. By preparing yourself you can have more luck following the correct diet for you and avoid falling off the wagon.
Understand why you want to or need to begin a diet or lifestyle change. Make a list of all the things you want to change and why you want to change them.
Research the various diet options and decide which method will realistically work for you and your lifestyle.
Just because a diet works for a friend doesn’t mean it’s the correct plan for you.
Consider your schedule. Figure out what eating plan and exercise plan will be logical and easy for you to stick to.
Running everyday may be great but if you’re too busy to keep it up you may want to consider running some days and doing other activities that you can squeeze into your schedule
Keep it simple. The diet and exercise plan that is the easiest for you will probably be more successful than a plan you don’t have time for or don’t fully understand.
Schedule time to speak with a physician, trainer or nutritionist. If you talk to them now you have a better chance of starting your diet on the right foot.
These meetings will help you find the motivation you need and you’ll be able to make smarter decisions.
Make informed decisions about the direction of your plan instead of deciding as you go.
Talking to the professionals early will help your plan to be successful from the start.
Be honest with anyone you speak with. If you hate jogging, can’t cook or have other issues it is better they know so they can advise you of alternate options. Plan your diet on the options that work best for you.
If they give you a generic plan that would work but isn’t for you, let them know. Remember, you’re paying them to help you and not to regurgitate the standard diet plan.
Your insurance or work place may cover the cost of visiting health or fitness professionals. Ask. Many hospitals and health clinics offer free consultations with nutritionist or other health specialist during fitness and health campaigns. #*If nutrition and portion control is your weakness, meeting with a professional can help you understand how to select and prepare your food. The cost up front will be worth it if you are finally able to understand. Think of it as an investment.
Make sure you’re speaking with a real trainer or nutritionist. Ask about credentials. Beware of the minimum wage, sales-based “trainer” that gyms have on staff. If their goal is to sell you a membership you should consider them a sales person and not a real trainer.
Make sure this is someone you enjoy speaking to, who understand and who will motivate you with either knowledge or enthusiasm. If they’re too pushy, you can’t understand them or they don’t offer a custom plan you should look for someone else.
Take notes and keep them in your calendar. You can refer back to these to notes if you need motivation or to refresh your memory on the instructions.
Buy a calendar to dedicate to your diet and exercise plan.
Keep a diary of your eating habits now. You’ll be motivated by your change once you get started.
Use it to keep appointments with trainers, nutritionist and other exercise or diet professionals.
There is software available that can be downloaded to your PDA and your desktop for recording your progress.
Look for a planner or calendar with room to write the details. Check discount centers and dollar stores for a good buy. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Buy something that will be easy for you to carry around daily.
You should record your food and exercise every day. Include calorie, fat or carb count. Take a calculator to keep a running tally.
Sit down with your calendar and decide a good start date for your new diet and exercise plan
Give yourself time to purge the junk from your refrigerator, freezer and pantry
Plan ahead so you can be successful from day one
Plan a shopping trip the days before your diet begins to pick up the foods, protein supplements, vitamins and water you’ll need to have stocked.
Take a good list to the store so you can see your meal plan and get the necessary ingredients.
Check health and fitness magazines or cook books for healthy alternatives to your favorite recipes.
Keep your meals colorful. The more color in your diet the healthier it usually is. Buy most of your food from the produce section.
Stock your your kitchen with the tools you’ll need. Buy storage bowls and containers for your fresh and healthy food to keep it fresher longer. You should have purged your refrigerator and pantry of junk food so you’ll have room to store the good foods. Make sure you have the pots and pans, steamer baskets, etc. to prepare your healthy foods. A grill pan is a great option if you don’t have access to an exterior grill.
Make sure you have measuring cups, and a dietary scale, if possible, so you can get a grasp of your portions. Practice measuring serving sizes and portions before you start your diet so you won’t be slowed down with the new process of preparation. With a little practice you will be able to judge the portions by sight but it’s great to measure for the most accurate result. Of course, you’ll need measuring cups to prepare those new and healthy recipes.
Find your motivation! People diet and exercise for different reasons. Decide what your reasons are and act.
If you’re wanting to lose weight and inches you can hop on the scale. Try on those “skinny” clothes in your closet. Remind yourself what you want to change and how you can go about changing it.
If you’re wanting to have more energy, have better heart health, etc. You should take a good inventory of your current habits and what’s wrong.
Reward success! Think of ways you can reward yourself when you meet small goals.
Avoid buying clothes until you reach your target weight. If your cholesterol drops or you can run 20 minutes longer you can reward yourself with a new bicycle or running shoes.
Think about your reward system before your diet begins. Write your goals on your calendar and stay motivated to meat those goals. By mentally preparing now and scheduling your plan you’ll have a better chance of starting strong.
If you can make it all week without cheating you can reward yourself with a facial, massage or other health improvement. Avoid using a successful week as an excuse to cheat.
Plan your “Cheat Meal” ahead of time. When you decide on a whim that you’ll cheat on a certain meal you’ll likely continue to cheat that week. Know which meal of the week will be your meal to cheat. Brunch on Saturday? Dinner with your family on Thursdays? Decide a day that will be consistent most weeks. In case of a special event, wedding, holiday meal, just adjust your cheat meal for that week and return to normal the next week.
The occasional cheat meal is a way to keep cravings under control and keep your morale in check.
A cheat meal and not a cheat day will allow you one meal per week to go nuts and eat the meal you crave. When a craving starts, just add that food item to your cheat meal wish list. It makes coping with the craving for specific foods easier. By using a whole day to eat poorly you could ruin your progress or set yourself back by weeks. Limit it to one meal per week.
Perhaps plan your cheat meal on your day off, a weekend lunch or if you gather with friends weekly, allow that meal to be your cheat meal.
Having a “Cheat Day” can ruin your progress.
Be as consistent as possible. Plan them for a specific meal on a specific day. It’s easy to plan too many or plan them too often when you don’t have your calendar.
Try out some gyms in your area if you don’t already have a membership.
Consider if you will be traveling there from work or home and look for a gym that makes going easy
Look at gyms around the time you will be attending. If it’s too crowded, a meat market, poorly staffed or too difficult to reach in traffic you may want to consider another location.
Call and schedule an appointment with someone at each of your gym options. Consider what is important to you. Weigh your likes and dislikes.
Most gyms offer you a free visit and a session with a “house trainer”. Take advantage of the complimentary offer but remember these “trainers” are usually sales people with limited training in exercise.
Weigh your options and decide on a gym that is right for you.
Get signed up and make a few low pressure trips to get familiar with the equipment and facilities before your diet start date. When you do start your diet you’ll be familiar with the gym, less lost and can keep your motivation to continu
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