Hi BodyRockers, Do you start every Monday vowing to lose weight only to find yourself falling off the wagon before the week is over? You're not alone. A recent report found that few people manage to keep their healthy eating resolutions for more than a few days. We asked the experts how to stay motivated. . TAKE IT SLOWLY The main mistake people make when they start a diet is to change too much too soon This only sets you up for a fall. Don't set yourself unreasonable targets such as losing 10lb in one week. Instead make one small change at a time, such as swapping your afternoon muffin for a couple of pieces of fruit. If you're realistic with your goals you will be much more likely to achieve them. . PLAN FOR SUCCESS Never come home to an empty fridge. You'll end up relying on convenience food. The answer is to plan. Work out a week in advance what meals to eat and buy the ingredients. If you can take your lunch to work with you every day as this takes away temptation. Also when it comes to planning think of the long game. Say to yourself, "In three months I will..." Weight loss takes weeks and months not days. Prepare yourself mentally for the journey and remember that the first week is always the hardest. . EAT A BALANCED DIET Don't cut out any food groups or restrict your calorie intake too much, Your body needs enough calories to get through the day. Eat three proper meals a day. It's a myth that skipping breakfast aids weight loss. Aim to have something that's around 400 calories and keep it as low in sugar as possible. Porridge, seeds and berries are good. Add cinnamon for extra flavour. For lunch eat something grain-based to keep your energy levels up. Try pearl barley, brown rice and quinoa with some lean protein such as fish or chicken without the skin. Add green leafy veg, butternut squash and grated beetroot to give yourself a vitamin boost. The only time of day you should think about reducing your carb intake is the evening as you tend to burn less than in the daytime. Have a big stir fry with vegetables and prawns. Letting yourself go hungry will only make you more likely to reach for something unhealthy so snack on nuts and seeds or avocados. . LISTEN TO YOUR BODY For a diet to work you need to stop responding to your external environment and instead listen to your body and its internal signals. Don't just eat as it's time to eat but eat when you're hungry. It's also important to reward yourself for your hard work. If you set yourself a goal, no matter how small it may seem, treat yourself if you manage to achieve it. Never reward yourself with food. The key to a successful diet is to train your brain to stop making pleasure associations with food. This can take time as often these associations are ingrained since childhood. Buy yourself a magazine instead, have a bubble bath or put your feet up and chat to a friend on the phone. . Source
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