1. Write it down. There is something magic about writing down what you eat. Suddenly you are accountable, even if it’s just to yourself. It’s amazing how quickly you can clean things up just by taking this little step. There are many apps available these days to help you (Lose It and My Fitness Pal) but a good old fashioned note book is just as effective.
2. Structure. Making a plan and putting yourself on auto pilot is a huge help. This includes figuring out what your caloric or macro nutrient requirements are to achieve your goal. It takes a little work up front, but once it’s done you can just plug your data into your food selection and portion sizes. There are more diets out there than you can shake a stick at. You want to find one that can help you figure out what your requirements are and help give you the structure you need. I am a big fan of is Enter The Zone by Barry Sears
3. Have a goal. Having a weight or body fat percentage you want to get to are great ways to give yourself a target and be able to track it over time. Just looking in the mirror can get frustrating. Trust me, your numbers will give you support before the mirror will.
4. Plan and prep ahead. Making your diet work with your lifestyle is one of the biggest reasons I get for falling off. Planning AND preparing your meals the day before is a great way to circumvent these issues. A cooler and an ice pack can make almost everything “to go”, but if you haven’t baked your chicken the day before, I can guarantee you won’t do it in the morning before work.
5. Be patient. You didn’t put your extra pounds on overnight. It’s unreasonable to think you can take them off overnight. It’s all about stringing together weeks and then months. Expect to start feeling better in about 3 to 4 weeks. Expect to start seeing changes around 6 (if you’re being strict). Understand that the more you cheat, the longer it will take. Don’t judge yourself. Just keep chipping away. When you start seeing changes, you will find yourself much more motivated.