Dieting is the most important or the most certain path to losing fat and getting in shape.
For 90% of the people, it usually looks like this:
Monday to Thursday - Diet
Friday, Saturday - CHEAT days
Sunday - I QUIT!
If this is you, it is because your habits are not conducive to dieting. For long-term (yes, there are no shortcuts) and successful dieting, you need to develop habits that support your goal.
Here are some habits you should develop if you want to get into the best shape of your life (and stay the same):1. Track Your Nutrition
Everyone who successfully diets almost always track their nutrition. Be it through a calorie counting app, on spreadsheets, or even maintaining a journal.
Tracking nutrition is not limited to accurately tracking calories and macros, it could be as simple as tracking portion sizes or even the foods that you eat.
Because, to diet, you have to make some adjustments to your eating habits or routine. If you do not know what are you currently doing, how are you going to change things?
It is the same as having a goal to have more savings but you do not really know where do you spend the money.
Following a meal plan is easy and can work short-term but you cannot be dependent on a piece of paper to tell you what to eat all your life.2. Do Not Fall For Fad Diets
Every now and then, there will be a new trend that promises quick and effective results in a matter of days or weeks.
These so-called magic diets do one of the following:
a. Are not sustainable
b. Are exclusive and restrict certain food groups altogether
c. Are stupid
d. Increase the risk of deficiencies and are unhealthy
e. All of the above
And all of them do not work in the long run. They will give you some short-term result but those results will be short-term as well, meh.
The people who follow these fad diets, they have almost always followed four to five different fads in the past as well. There is a reason they are always looking for the next fad diet.3. Moderation Is The Key
Clean food vs. Dirty food is a foolish mentality to follow with your food and keeps you swinging in extremes.
You are either here or there. And with that, you are severely restricting or outright binging.
None of that is going to help you out. Instead, understand calories and eat the foods that you like in moderation.
This will be a lot more pleasurable and your diet will be sustainable. And you really want that as I told before that if you are dieting and getting into shape is your goal, it is going to take longer than you may have expected.4. There Is A Good Diet Vs A Bad Diet
Good foods vs. Bad foods? Nah. That does not exist as you are not just going to eat one single food in your diet. Unless following a fad. If yes, read #2 again.
But your diet can be good or bad considering the overall nutrition and the overall food choices you are making.
And this is one of the outcomes of the extremities of IIFYM. Just because it fits your macros, does not mean you almost exclusively eat it.
If you are exclusively eating junk, you will experience deficiencies, low energy, hunger, irritability, etc.
Keep a majority of the foods in your diet to be whole, minimally processed and nutrient dense.
Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at email@example.com and follow him on Instagram.