We all know it can be challenging to eat right and exercise – and dieting can be even harder when you’ve been doing everything right and the scale does not budge. Here are a few tips for sticking to your plan when you need a little extra motivation.
Find a Buddy
Studies show that when you have a diet and workout buddy, you’re more likely to succeed. It makes exercising and eating healthier more fun when you have someone to go to the gym or cook with. Also, it adds a level of accountability to both yourself and your buddy.
Set Reasonable, Attainable Goals
If you want to lose 20 pounds, set your goal lower in the short-term. Try, “I’d like to lose one pound in the next two weeks,” instead. It’s much more attainable in the short term and you’ll have the satisfaction of results to keep you motivated. Need more help sticking to your health goals? Here’s a useful article.
Re-Set the “Tape Recorder” in Your Head
If you say, “I don’t enjoy exercise,” replace that with, “I like to exercise, I feel great when I exercise.” By doing so, you will motivate yourself to get moving. The hardest part is starting. Once you get in a habit, you won’t need to convince yourself to work out or eat healthy, because you will see and feel the difference.
Watch Out For Triggers
Are you an emotional eater? Do you tend to crave foods when stressed? Most of us are overeating for a hundred different reasons. We are eating due to boredom, irritation and frustration. When you start to feel this way, step out into the open air and walk. The mini-blast of oxygen will vanquish tiredness and mental exhaustion. Leave your worries behind and be in the moment. Look at the birds. Be thankful. Let go, breathe deeply and relax.
When you skip breakfast, your metabolic rate slows down and your blood sugar drops. As a result, you become hungry and have less energy. This sets you up to impulsively snack in the morning – often on high-fat sweets – or to eat extra servings or bigger portions at lunch or dinner. When you eat breakfast, your body feels nourished and satisfied, making you less likely to overeat the rest of the day.
Walking is Great Exercise
Begin by walking briskly for 15 minutes, then turn around and walk back, voila! A half hour of exercise under your belt! Walking is a great way to get your daily physical activity, but if you want to take it up a notch, check out this article on how to exercise right 4 your type!
Keep a Food Diary
It’s simple, write down everything you eat and drink in a notebook, computer, or on your phone. You may be surprised at how the calories add up. A food diary creates a conscious awareness of food intake and eating patterns – do you binge on carbs at the end of the day or generally “need” something sweet after lunch? By writing everything down, you have a sense of accountability for everything that passes your lips.
Plan Your Meals in Advance
The quickest way to stray from your diet is to wait until you’re famished to decide what to eat. Make a weekly meal plan, buy your ingredients in advance, and get cooking. Meal-prepping takes out factors that can lead you to fail, like fatigue, running out of time and extreme hunger. Find great recipes for your blood type here, or in Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s Eat Right for 4 Your Type Personalized Cookbooks.
Eat Slowly & Mindfully
Sit at a table, not on your couch, and never in front of the TV or in your car. Set your fork down between each bite while you savor your food and swallow. Enjoy some dinner conversation, and then have another bite. Practice a slower pace at meal time. So often we’re pressed into hurrying through meals by other responsibilities. Schedule meals so that you have time to relax and enjoy your food. Stop half way through your meal, drink some water, and ask yourself, “Am I full?” Just like changing any other habit, learning to slow down at meal times takes practice and hard work.
The larger the plate or bowl, the more likely you will be to fill it up. Trade in those large plates for small, six inch dishes. When serving yourself, remember that a standard three ounce portion of meat, poultry, or fish, should be the size of a deck of cards. A one cup serving of vegetables is about the size of a tennis ball. If you’re eating out at a restaurant, order an appetizer as your main course along with a simple salad.
The Blood Type Diet App
If you have a smart phone, use the Blood Type Diet app (available on iOS and Android) for a handy list of foods that are Right For Your Type. There are also several free apps that help to track calories and exercise, like MyFitnessPal. But remember, free apps will not allow you access to Blood Type Diet Food Lists, family lists, or shopping lists. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can use a notebook to record what you’ve eaten during the day. We have a printable template here. Keeping track of your food intake keeps you accountable and makes you more aware of what you are consuming.
Curb Those Cravings
If you’re really craving something, indulge – but just a few bites. Craving chocolate? One small piece of good quality dark chocolate will satisfy your craving. If you want more than a bite, try substituting something BTD friendly. If what you’re craving is something sweet, check out these Blood Type friendly recipes!
Finally, if you mess up and go completely off the rails, just remember that tomorrow is another day, begin again and move forward!