In my previous article “Which type of diet is truly the best”, I spoke about the importance of keeping an open mind in the quest for the right diet and how fanaticism often blinds us from finding the truth. But what can we do to make our diets work more effectively?
In this article you will learn 6 ways to make your diet work. These 6 ways are often the missing ‘ingredients’ that cause most diets (or nutritional plans) to fail.
Let us take a look at each one of them:
Table of Contents
We all have different needs based on various factors. We also react differently to certain foods. In addition to those, a lot of people are battling allergies that make consumption of certain food choices impossible.
For a diet to work you need to pay extra attention to OUR needs and to get exactly what is best for us. But how can we know what is best for us? The answer lies in the next ‘ingredient’ below.
Your body should be the guide, so make sure you listen to it. If eating a specific food or food combination makes you feel bad, sluggish, resulting to frequent runs to the toilet, rashes or flashes, erratic heartbeat etc., then any of these are indications that this food is not good for you.
If it doesn’t agree with your system, don’t put it in your system. That’s it! Stick with what works.
Nutrient portioning and ratios
So after you found the foods that are appropriate for your case, using the right amount of each nutrient will help you establish the proper balance for your diet. Basic nutritional rules do apply in this case in order for you to find the proper ratio of carbs, protein, fats, mineral, vitamins and water.
Don’t be surprised, water is a ‘food’ just like ‘air’. Failure to provide your body with both nutrients will lead to fatigue and eventually death.
Proper monitoring and logging
Assuming that you know what is right for you and that you have a plan in place, once you start then you need to monitor the progress. Food logs or meal diaries are exactly what you need here.
Note down everything you consume daily along with portions, ingredients, quantities and times of meals.
This should become a daily habit and must be done throughout the entire program. If you miss a day, you will miss the week, and the month.
Food logs are an amazing tool to help you understand why or when something does not agree with you (experimentation never stops).
Lifestyle adjustments and physical activity
Athletes, working professionals and older people with sedentary lifestyles have different needs and they must follow the diet that fits exactly those needs.
If you spent half your day in front of a TV, carbs should not be the center of your diet. Focus on eating a lot of fresh vegetables with healthy dressings and some animal protein or vegan protein. (and whatever you do, stay away from soy products as they can disrupt your hormones and make things worse)
On the flip side, there are people who are ‘too busy to eat right’. Your nutrition must never take the backseat because of your busy lifestyle. There is no excuse for that and these adjustments need to be in place for the diet to be successful. A scenario I often hear is that one of the busy professional who is all day in meetings and eats from the vending machine. A good adaptation to the ‘vending machine diet’, would be a couple of fresh fruit and perhaps a few low carb protein bars. (still not the healthiest diet but it beats eating candy bars and drinking coffee).
People who are busy need energy, there is no denying that. But if you combine busy lifestyles (which also are heavy on the stress side) with a lot of carbs, you get the same result with the sedentary lifestyles mentioned earlier. Build your diet around healthy fats and good proteins first and get the rest of your carbs from fresh fruit and veggies.
Adherence and consistency
These two can be summarized to one phrase: ‘just stick with it!’
You will never know if your diet works for you if you switch diets every 2 months. For proper results, you will need to follow a full diet circle which usually consists of 1-2 months of experimenting, 2-3 months of doing the actual diet and 1-2 months of maintenance. This is perhaps the most important aspect of a diet and this where all diets fail.
By not ‘remaining loyal’ to your diet principles, you will lose the opportunity to see results (even if they are just around the corner) and therefore you will lose your motivation and desire to follow the diet. And then you will quit. And then you will blame the diet for it.
Are you following these rules? Just try to observe yourself next time you start a new diet. If you stick to these principles, whether on your own or with the help of a professional coach or nutritionist expert, you will be able to see results and reach your goals.
Do not give up, no matter what!
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. Putting together this article took a bit of time but it will only take you a second to click on the Share buttons below and show your support to this blog.
Also if you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!
by Nick Sigma
C.W.C, E.H, YRT-200