It's no secret that actually sticking to the diet is the hardest part. Fitness is 80% diet and 20% exercise, so if you're wondering why you're not making the progress you'd like, look no further than what you're eating. To keep yourself from becoming a slave to your cravings, implement these tips below.
1. Brush Your Teeth
This tip is old school, but effective none-the-less. When you think you might succumb to your cravings, brush your teeth. You won't want to eat right after brushing, which will give you time to snap back to your senses.
2. Drink Black Coffee, Tea, or Pre-Workout Powders
The caffeine in coffee, and some teas, acts as an appetite suppressant. Also, black coffee is a great pre-workout if you're sensitive to caffeine. One cup can boost your energy and help you have a more intense workout. If you're an avid coffee drinker, then you may need to take it up a notch to pre-workout powders. Flavored pre-workout powders are a fitness industry staple. They give you a boost of energy while curbing your appetite.
3. Don't Buy Junk Food
If you don't bring junk food into the house, you will have to make extra effort to get it. In that time, you can talk yourself out of your cravings. If you're unable to control what food comes into the house, then try taping a motivating picture to your cabinet or fridge. If that's not an option either, or if you have roommates, buy a mini fridge and stock it full of the foods included in your diet. Then avoid the main kitchen like it's a crazy ex. If you have your own office at work, a mini fridge stocked with your healthy foods is also a great asset.
4. Don't Take Home Leftovers
When you go to a restaurant, only eat until you feel full. Then, do not take home any leftovers. Anything you haven't eaten stays right where it is.
5. Don't Make Your Cheat Meals At Home
Unless you've been craving your homemade mac and cheese, try to only eat cheat meals outside of the house. Keep your home a sanctuary for all the foods included in your meal plan only. If you must make that mac and cheese, make single serving dishes.
6. Have A Power Hour Cheat Meal
If you love the concept of a cheat meal, but your cheat meals tend to slide into cheat days or weekends; do a power hour instead. A power hour is essentially a cheat meal with the mentality that you eat whatever you want in one hour. After that, you're done. A successful power hour satisfies any cravings you had for the last week. Remember, only eat until you feel full, and don't bring any leftovers home
7. Don't Eat Snacks Out of the Package
Unless your fingers have eyeballs, when you eat directly out of the package, you lose the mindfulness of your portion size. So instead of eating directly out of the package, grab a plate or paper towel and portion out your snack. Seeing how much you're eating keeps you accountable and helps your brain stay in sync with your stomach.
7. Pre Log All Your Meals for the Day In Your Calorie Tracker
This may be the single most effective strategy I have for shedding pounds. Plan your meals. Think of your meals as a map and at the finish line is your goal body. As long as you follow that map you will achieve your goal. So start off your week or day inputting your all of your meals into your calorie tracker , and follow your plan completely.
8. Don't Stay Up Too Late
The more hours you're awake, the more calories you consume. A study from Northwest Medicine found that late sleepers consumed on average an extra 248 calories per day between dinner and late night meals. So get your beauty rest.
9. Drink Sparkling Waters & Club Sodas
The carbonation in sparkling waters or club sodas can trick your stomach into feeling full and will curb your appetite.
10. Chew Gum
This is an especially helpful trick when you have a sweet tooth and are in between meals. Chewing fruit flavored gum will satisfy your sweet tooth and curb your appetite due to the orosensory stimulation. Although it's just a piece of gum, the act of chewing and swallowing tricks your brain into thinking you're eating more.
11. Team Up With Your "Mean" Friend
If you have a friend that's tough but fair and also trying to get in shape, then team up. Having someone to empathize with and help keep you motivated will do wonders.
12. Get Braces (Just Kidding!)
Sorry, but I just had to. Apparently getting braces is the best of all ways to stick to your diet.