The biggest obstacle to a successful diet plan is our ability to continue on the same course over the long haul. Most people think successful dieting has to do with breaking through plateaus, and that is part of it. I think the biggest obstacle is simply sustainability.
We need a plan to maintain, sustain and break through, for at least two years, with the most ease of effort.
Here are some tips on how to sustain your diet over the long haul. Please feel free to share your tips.
Walk in shade.
When out for a walk on a sunny day, move to the shaded portion of the path whenever possible. Or, if cold outside, move to the sunny side. Walk in five to ten minute increments rather than trying to schedule an hour at one time of the day.
Make easy meal plans.
Do not orchestrate your week around elaborate meals if you are “too busy to diet.” Buy food easy to heat and go. Buy portions you can eat without a lot of preparation. I buy bags of frozen veggies and then make meals of them. I buy single-serving tuna pouches and throw the tuna on veggies for lunch. I place bread, cooked chicken, pickles and baby carrots in my lunch bag and use it for two meals, elevenses and tea.
Be prepared to hydrate!
Have several bottles handy for water, constantly filled, chilled and ready.
Make lunches easy.
Have extra seal-able containers for lunches and snacks so you never have an excuse to eat out instead of staying on your diet. Keep plenty of lunch food on hand. Choose easy option for preparation such as tuna in pouches or ready to eat salads.
Use a scale to measure food.
This is so much easier than trying to use measuring cups or spoons. When making my cereal and almonds in the morning, rather than pulling out a measuring cup for cereal or counting the almonds, I let the scale do the measuring of 14 grams of cereal and 14 grams of almonds, quick and easy. When making a smoothie at bedtime, I put the blender container on the scale, reset, then scoop in 113 grams of Greek yogurt, reset, add proper weight of fruit, reset, etc. When making a peanut butter sandwich, I put a piece of bread on a plate on the scale, reset, then use a knife to add 16 grams of peanut butter. Easier than using a spoon. Very quick.
Here is the scale I use, you can purchase one just like it here.
Save a meal for bedtime.
Avoid the late-night snacking debacles that kept me gaining weight for so long. Your body will thank you for the extra sustenance for the overnight fast. By the way, did you know the term “breakfast” means exactly what it says, breaking the fast?
Walk for your quiet time.
God is not an excuse to stop being active. Sometimes He will ask you to “Be still and know…” But keep in mind, He is always ready to walk with you and talk with you.
Photo credit: National Park Service