The Difference between Diet Success and Failure

8 Tips That Really Count

I’ve been experimenting with diets and exercise regimens for the last 19 years.  In that time, I’ve heard countless theories, read multiple trendy diet/fitness books, worked with several trainers and nutritionists, and experienced multiple dramatic physical changes.  After nearly two decades of experience, here my top eight dieting lessons to live by:
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  1. Keep your goals realistic. Dieters should not try to (or expect to) lose 10lbs per week. Achieving long-term physical health is a lifelong journey not a quick sprint. Set a realistic goal of losing 2lbs per week. The results will appear sooner than you think!
  2. Make it competitive. Find a friend, coworker or spouse to compete against. Set realistic and healthy goals and make a wager. The winner gets to pick a shirt the loser has to wear for a day.
  3. Pick a diet that works for you. There are literally hundreds of diets on the market(DASH, Jenny Craig, The New Sonoma, Atkins, Slow Carb, The Mediterranean, and on and on). But every dieter has a different lifestyle, a different guilty pleasure, a different metabolism… Do your research and speak with your doctor about the diet option that is most realistic for you. Just because a diet is trendy doesn’t mean it’s a fit.
  4. Keep a food journal. The amount and types of food people consume each day are often surprising. A food journal also gives dieters a last chance to make a better food choice. Documenting before you eat helps prevent binge eating. A photo food diary works even better because it’s faster and easier to manage.
  5. Inches over pounds. Many people gauge progress based on their weight alone. However, weight can be a tricky indicator of diet success because muscle weighs more than fat. As dieters gain muscle and lose fat, they may discover they are losing inches but not losing weight. Keep a measuring tape handy and don’t despair… You’re making progress!
  6. Small quantities more frequently. Prevent your metabolism from thinking it needs to store food (as fat). Five small meals a day are better than three large meals a day. Teach your body that food is always just around the corner and your metabolism will have no problem staying in high gear naturally.
  7. Keep supplements in check. Supplements may help you achieve your goals faster, but they often come with a price. Be weary of impacts to your heart and your overall wellbeing. Consult a doctor before adding supplements to your regime and ask yourself, “what happens when I stop taking these?” The long run, healthy approach is the all natural approach.
  8. Diet over exercise. Exercise is critical to overall health and wellness but if you had to focus on one or the other, dieting will get you better results faster. Always keep exercise in your life but realize that cheating on your diet will have a bigger impact on your weight goals.

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