By: Christy Lauren Poole
1)There will NEVER be a perfect time to start
The typical thing people always ask me is ‘when should I start because I have “blah blah blah” coming up or “but I just want to have one more weekend of ‘freedom’”. The bottom line I tell them is ‘Start TODAY’. If you don’t you’re always going to find SOMETHING that will hold you back from starting your diet. Even if you think you’ve found that ‘perfect window’ to hide out and diet, something will always find its way into your life to disrupt your perfect schedule. The point of dieting is to make it enjoyable and manageable enough that it becomes a way of life. So even when you’re in the midst of a diet, you’ll still find ways to stay on track WHILE enjoying the event.
As typical and obvious as this sounds; it really is the best way to start fresh. If you’re lucky enough to have the option to have your kitchen space to yourself, clean out your cupboards and replace all your go to sweets with go to clean eats. Knowing that all the “junk” is out of your house will help you to stay focused and gets your head in the right mind set.
3)Invest in a new kitchen gadget!
While your cleaning house and replacing junk for good food, treat yourself with a new kitchen tool to help make your prep a little bit easier and perhaps more fun! It can be anything from a food processor you’ve had your eye on to make Cauliflower Rice to even as simple as a new spatula to whip up your egg whites. Using something ‘new’ always stimulates your brain mentally to make a positive change and feel good. Making it an item to help you with your diet is a step in the right direction.
4)Explore New Recipes and Plan Ahead
Just like you’ll have to prepare yourself mentally to get your focus on lock, prepare your meal plan to keep you excited and incorporate variety into your diet. The only way to guarantee a diet will ‘last’ the longest is to offer variety for your taste buds. At this point in the game, there are an UNLIMITED amount of Clean Eating recipes, cookbooks, articles, tips and tricks to spice up your diet while keeping your calories low and all your necessary macronutrients in check. Planning your meals in advance weekly will give you something to look forward to that’s not ice cream.
5)Don’t let others try to sabotage your game plan!
I still to this day do not understand why people do this, but they are always trying to offer me sweets when they KNOW that I’m dieting and their favorite phrase is “C’mon just a bite, just try it!!” Just typing that sentence makes me think of nails on the chalk board. Don’t let them dictate YOUR body and what YOU put into it. The facts are, unless its laced with some magical new food group yet to be discovered by mankind, you probably already know what it taste like and can pass.
6)It Will Still be There When You’re Done Dieting
Let’s face it, they’ve been making those ungodly unnatural Twinkies since the dawn of time (actually 1930) and no one is going to stop. There isn’t going to be an announcement after you’ve reached your goal and are ready to change to ‘off season’ or ‘maintenance’ dieting that all the fast food factories aren’t going to shut down and halt all production lines of HO-HOs. So relax. It’ll still be there for you to enjoy once you’ve reached your goal. Wait till you can at least look HOT eating that Twinkie!
7)If You’re Thinking About Dieting You Shouldn’t be Thinking About Food
Whether you’re gearing up for another killer contest prep, or you’re just hoping to lose some body fat the point is, if you’re thinking about the diet you’re not ‘satisfied’ with your bodies current state. Use that thought process to focus on the diet and your new workout routine instead of how good treats taste. Remember: Nothing TASTE as good as being FIT FEELS!
8)Remember What it FEELS Like to Be Lean!
Along with the thought process above, there is NOTHING better than looking at old pictures and remember just how FANTASTIC you felt during your last prep/diet. Your body was a well oiled machine consuming the perfect macronutrient ratio to let you run lean and mean and purr like a 1969 Chevelle. Focus back to a memory when you were dieting that you just felt FANTASTIC and unstoppable; now lock in on THAT and forget the negative thoughts when you hear the word DIET.
9)Get those SKINNY JEANS out!
While we’re looking back at pictures, it’s time to revisit the ‘skinny’ section of your closet to mentally stimulate yourself with those clothes you LOVED to rock while being lean. You know the items I’m talking about. The rigorously colorful tube tops that make your torso look long and mean or the low riding jeans that lift your butt in just the right degree that you swear you could crack a bottle open off your butt cheek. Whatever your favorite outfit was, get it out. And keep trying it on till you fit in it again!
10)Take It One Day at a Time!
Lastly, just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, you’re not going to drop 30lbs in the first two weeks of being back on your diet. Don’t look at how many weeks out you are or how long you have to be dieting for or even how far off track you went this time. This will only set you up for fear and failure. Focus on tackling one perfect day at a time, then another, then another, and before you know it you’ve arrived at your destination. VICTORY!
With these Top 10 Tips, hopefully you’re a bit more confident and motivated to get back on track. You enjoyed your break, perhaps made some impressive gains in the off season, but now it’s time to let that body show us what you’re working with. Like a diamond in the rough, it’s time to shine that puppy up and put a bow on it and give it as a gift to the rest of the world.