Medically Reviewed by Vincenta Faulkner, RD, CNSC, CCTD
Even though a diet can be challenging to stick to, we know how important dietary discipline is to our overall health. When we are on a diet, we’ll want to consider what foods we are putting in our bodies.
However, diets are so much more than what we eat. How and when we eat paired with the effort we put into preparing meals also factor into building a diet plan.
Learn about how you can easily stick to a diet plan with some helpful tips from Zizi.
How Can I Stick To My Diet Better?
The more planning you put towards your diet goals and desired results – the stronger your commitment to the diet becomes.
It’s also important to diversify your approach to the diet. Include a broader scope in your strategy. Take a holistic approach to your diet. If you falter in one area, you’re less likely to throw your hands up in defeat if you’re still invested in other places.
There’s no one surefire way to stick to a diet. When you stick to a committed diet, you’ll be one step closer to reaching your dietary goals.
We’ve compiled some research-backed strategies that foster good dietary practice to help you stick to your dietary goals, and it will probably be a combo of these that helps you succeed!
Meal Prep Your Food
Doing meal prep for the week is your secret weapon for dietary success. Why? Having your meals planned out days in advance can take the pressure off. When you have breakfast, lunch, and dinner ready to go within a short period of time, you can stay on top of your diet with accessible, filling meals immediately available next time your stomach growls. Now that’s fast food.
You won’t have to dread cooking after a long day or resorting to faster, not-so-healthy food options. Having food ready to go in the fridge or freezer eases that decision to commit to the healthier option over the unhealthy choices.
Meal prep successes aren’t just a matter of opinion, either. Studies have demonstrated that forethought in making our meals can positively affect our health. One study concluded that meal preppers had more food variety, more delicious food options, and lower rates of obesity.
Make a Grocery List
A grocery list can help you stay dedicated to your meal prep plan. In the same way, meal prepping gives you an easier, more accessible diet to follow for the week, making a grocery list can help you stay on track with your dieting plans.
Your grocery list is your trusty means of keeping honest with your diet — before you’ve even entered the store, you know what you’re going to get.
Studies have shown that the simple act of making a grocery list supports healthier eating habits, a lower likelihood of high BMIs, and reduced risk of obesity in high-risk individuals in environments where healthy food is less accessible.
Every little bit helps in your dietary mission.
Supplements Can Help Fill Gaps in Your Diet
While fat-burning supplements don’t yet present conclusive evidence of their efficacy, some supplements can be helpful to individuals on their dietary journey by helping to fill nutrient gaps.
Supplements have been proven to support all parts of our health depending on the key ingredients — vitamin D supplements can keep our bones strong and reduce bone loss, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils have been shown to help people fight heart disease, and vitamin C may help bolster your immune system and keep you healthy.
If you’re going on a diet or adapting a lifestyle that cuts any kind of food group, it may be helpful to take advantage of supplements that can work to fill those gaps. For example, B12 is an essential vitamin primarily found in animal products, so unless you’re eating a lot of nutritional yeast or buying intentionally fortified foods, you may want to consider taking a B12 supplement if you’re a vegan or vegetarian.
Supplements can be very beneficial to our overall health. Using supplements to bolster our diet where we aren’t getting enough nutrients allows us to control what we consume, which really is what a diet is all about.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Diet, as we understand it, is all about food. Incorporating an intermittent fasting routine rounds out our diet, so it’s more than just what we eat, but when we eat.
Intermittent fasting is structured; occasional fasts are meant to calibrate our metabolism, detoxify, and more. Consistent, healthy eating is a proven way to support the way our body processes food. But just as important are structured moments where we don’t eat, allowing our body to digest and reorient itself.
A budding practice that’s rooted in traditional practices, intermittent fasting has given modern researchers reason for optimism with its promising results. Studies have shown a decrease in insulin levels and blood sugar when practicing intermittent fasting.
Drink More Water
Hydration is key in any diet, but there’s more to this advice than its simplicity suggests.
Some researchers theorize that even mild dehydration may confuse the brain into thinking it’s hungry. Something is missing in the body, and the brain is eager to address that, confusing its thirst for hunger. This phenomenon can lead to overeating, or eating junk food as an effort to curb the so-called hunger.
Healthy hydration levels have also been shown to increase our metabolism, which may help prevent hunger pangs that lead to overeating.
Consider Your Activity Levels
While your diet is a huge part of your health, having a solid exercise routine also plays a part. Exercise can be challenging to reintroduce into our lives, even after only a short break from it.
Making two big changes at the same time might seem like a huge burden. Contrary to what most people might think, making a dietary change in conjunction with an exercise routine can actually work to boost overall motivation. Talk about doubling down!
One study examined four different groups of participants. The first group was taught to introduce dietary changes and exercise simultaneously. A second group learned the diet first and began their exercise regimen months later. A third group learned the exercise regimen first and learned the dietary lessons months later. The fourth group were taught neither dietary practices nor exercise routines but were instead exposed to stress-management techniques.
Of these four groups, the first group who started dieting and exercising simultaneously, proved to be the most resilient and effective in maintaining their new habits.
One informs the other. A fulfilling exercise session may inform our decision-making in adhering to our diet and vice versa. While it may be intimidating, taking both diet and exercise head-on appears to be a proven way to keep up with both.
Connect With Family and Friends About Your Diet
We’re stronger together. When you have a network to encourage you to stick to a diet, you have a trusted external resource to help you stick to your goals. Having a cheerleader there for you is a great way to get that extra push.
Our social ties affect our likelihood to alter our diet. When it comes to the people in our social network that have the biggest effect on making dietary changes, spouses are our most reliable resource for keeping us honest, especially when the diet is undertaken together.
Zizi Can Help You Stay Committed
Any outside encouragement or helping hand makes all the difference in sticking to your dietary goals. Our goal here at Zizi is to help people make dietary changes to lower their cholesterol. As you probably know, sticking to a diet that lowers cholesterol isn’t easy.
Zizi is here to help you follow through with all your health goals with supplement packs, exercise courses, and even at-home cholesterol test kits so you can monitor your progression on your own.
Better healthcare starts with better access, and we hope to help.
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