How to Set Yourself Up for Diet Success (Includes Dessert)
I did not go overboard on the healthy desserts this week, but I am trying to lose some stomach fat, and complete this step in my transformation journey, so that I can start to focus on other health goals, like becoming flexible and building muscle.
After analysing my own mind and behaviour recently after a week of eating more than I wanted to, I realised that part of the problem was that I did not plan properly. So, I sat down and wrote out my plan for the next week. This has made me feel more confident about the fact that I can lose fat this coming week.
One of the reasons why I feel like planning helps is that you help eliminate decision fatigue. We have to make thousands of decisions every day, including around food, which means that your willpower gets tested all day, and you constantly have to make choices and consider their consequences.
By the time you get home after work, your brain is probably so tired after having to make decisions all day that when you are tempted by something Indulgent like a sugary dessert, you will be more likely to give in.
Imagine how much time you will save in a day if you do not waste fifteen minutes thinking about whether or not you should eat that doughnut, but use the mental real estate towards things that are more productive.
This week I plan on trying to reduce the number of decisions I have to make around food, such as how much dessert to eat (not if I want dessert. Life is too short not to have dessert at every meal, but I keep my desserts healthy).
Planning Sets You Up for Diet Success and Makes it Easier to Eat Dessert
Planning also sets you up for success. It will help you feel less uncertain about what to do in order to help you get closer to your goals. You do not have to go from moment to moment wondering what you should do to help you lose weight.
Planning Reduces Stress
Another benefit is that you do not have to stress about whether or not you are doing enough and doing what is necessary to help you lose fat, gain muscle, or achieve whatever your goal is.
This is something I have experienced personally. I would do one thing that was the opposite of what I wanted to do, such as eating 1700 calories instead of 1500, and then feel like a failure.
Meanwhile, I managed to stick to my keto diet plan for the entire week, had no processed foods, and have been working out and stretching more. Am I really a failure if I managed to stick to 75% of the things I wanted to do this week? No.
If you want to set yourself up for diet success, and even do it in a way like I do that helps me eat dessert, here are a few tips that I believe will help set you up for success:
Plan Your Food for The Week and Shop Once
The more you go to the store, the more you will be tempted to buy unhealthy things.
Plan a Different Route to Work if You Drive Past Your Weaknesses
If you love McDonald’s, and you drove past one on the way to work and on the way back, and then it triggers your cravings, then perhaps there is a different route you could take that will help you have to battle fewer cravings throughout the day. Even though I have been on a low-sugar diet for quite a few years, seeing images of the McDonald’s desserts still trigger me, especially their Oreo Mcflurry. I can resist the urge to buy it, but then I go searching for a sweet alternative that is healthy for me, which often means that my calorie count for the day becomes higher than I would like it to be.
Plan Out Your Meals for The Day
I find that it is helpful if you write out what you would like to eat at each meal and how much. I say “would like to” because you don’t have to stick to it, just aim to eat that way. Life happens, and sometimes, someone invites you out to dinner, and then you do not want your diet to interfere with you living life and spending time with people you love.
Yes, still try to keep it as healthy as possible and as close to the way you want to eat as possible (like low-carb if that is how you want to eat), but you do not have to be a slave to the plan. Plus, you can do what I do, which is adjust the plan and rewrite it. If someone asks me to meet them at a certain restaurant, I Google the menu and decide what I am going to have beforehand, or I ask them what they are going to make for supper when they invite me over to their place, or I allocate at least 700 calories for dinner.
People understand if you say you want to know what they are making, so you can plan your diet around it. It is much better than arriving there and either complaining about how you can’t eat everything, or throwing your diet out the window because you want to be polite.
On days where you do not have surprise plans that force you to adjust, you can rest assured knowing that your meals have been planned out, and that you just stick to that, you are moving closer to your goals.
Confidence partly comes from keeping the promises that you make to yourself. If you can look at your meal plan at the end of the day, and you have managed to stick to it, you can feel more confident.
Prep Meals and Desserts in Advance
Take a Sunday afternoon, and cook your meals for the week in advance. You can freeze half for later in the week, and keep the rest in the fridge.
I especially love preparing healthy desserts in advance, as I always have a healthy treat available that will take care of my cravings.
I hope these tips will help you stick to your weight loss goals and get closer to becoming the healthiest you possible.