When you’re trying to lose weight, you quickly start to learn that you are what you eat. Even if you spent a great deal of time creating the ideal workout regimen, your efforts will prove futile if you aren’t eating healthy. The fact is, many studies have shown that consumers are grossly underestimating how much they’re eating. And if you really want to be successful with your workout regimen, you’ve got to have proper eating regimen to complement it. Here are five secrets to eating healthy as you challenge yourself to lose weight and become more fit:
1) Stay Motivated
No matter your age or weight, starting a diet and workout regimen can be draining. There are days where you feel more sluggish than others, and it’s not uncommon for you to feel as if you want to quit. There are plenty of ways you can stay motivated, however. For starters, set aside some time to give yourself a pep talk. It may feel silly at first, but it’s surprisingly effective. You can say the words out loud, or keep a journal and write down motivational quotes and goals.
You should also put yourself in positions to be around other success stories, whether physically or virtually. This might mean recruiting a workout and dieting buddy, or watching reality television shows that show people succeeding at losing weight and leading healthier lives. There are also plenty of forums and online communities you can get involved in to meet like-minded people.
2) Start Meal Prepping
There are many benefits to meal prepping, which will have a tremendous impact on your ability to diet successfully. Meal prepping gives you a sense of control over your diet and reduces the possibility of temptation. With your week’s meals planned out, your chances of eating something unhealthy in a rush, or because you don’t have the time or energy to cook, are greatly reduced. Think of meal prepping as an investment. Not only will your day-to-day dieting life be less stressful, but you’ll save more money in the long run.
If you’re particularly busy and don’t have the time to map out all your meals, there are other options. For example, many models, athletes, and busy professionals use a meal prep service to plan out meals for them. A meal prep service creates a plan that’s customized to your diet and exercise goals, and is based exclusively on your specific plans for weight loss.
3) Limit Your Sugar Intake
Okay, so this one might not be the biggest secret in the world, however, it’s one that’s often ignored and not taken seriously. No matter what diet you’ve chosen, many of them have strict rules on sugar, and there’s a reason why. First of all, if you look at most products—even the most unassuming food products, like marinara sauce or peanut butter—contain sugar. Plain and simple, sugar can have adverse effects, and prevent you from losing weight. It can also increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes, result in acne, accelerate the skin aging process, and much more.
Instead of eating foods with sugar added, stick to foods with natural sugars, like fruits. You’ll also find that many organic foods have natural sugar instead of added sugar. However, keep in mind that, according to the American Heart Association, women shouldn’t have more than 25 grams of sugar per day. Still, you should try and stay away from the cap as much as possible.
4) Choose a Diet—And Stick to It
Having a diet allows you to adhere to a set of dietary requirements. Many people work best when there are guidelines in place that steer them in the right direction. And there are plenty of popular diets out there. It’s important that you research each one and determine which works best for you.
There are plenty of popular diets you can choose from, with one of the most well-known being the keto diet. The keto diet is an old diet that involves upping your fat intake and reducing your carbohydrate intake. This low-carb, high-fat approach makes it easier for your body to break down fat deposits through a process of ketosis.
5) Don’t Sulk Over Screwups
Everyone messes up on their diet and workout routine here and there. If you’re doing your best to meet your diet and workout goals, but find that you’ve slipped up, don’t let it overcome you. If you mess up once, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed and it doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. The key is to picking yourself up and bouncing back stronger than before. After all, punishing yourself doesn’t do anything to inspire healthy habits.