Every Successful Diet Has 1 Common Ingredient: Goals

Aug 06, 2022

Every successful diet has 1 common ingredient: Goals

(Photo by Pixabay)

In Dieting vs. lifestyle change: Only one offers long term weight management, we discussed that society has a strange way of thinking about dieting. How we tend to think about "going on a diet" as a means to an end. As something that you'll do for a certain amount of time, usually to lose a certain amount of weight. 

This mentality is a contributing factor to what is commonly known as "yo-yo dieting." Which is a cycle of losing and gaining weight. To create lasting and sustainable changes in your life, you have to change your lifestyle. 

Weight management and self-control is influenced by many different factors in life. From demanding jobs to busy personal lives. From sleep schedule to food availability. Taking all of these things into account is necessary for making changes that you can stick with long term.[204]

Finding your motivation

There are some important tools you will need to successfully make significant lifestyle changes. It isn't as simple as trying to fight against cravings and force yourself to go to the gym everyday. There are scientifically proven methods that can help you set goals. They can help get you through the hard times and keep you from giving up on yourself.

People change their diets for a variety of reasons. It's important to understand what your motivation is. You may want to lose weight, gain weight, or simply improve your health. You may be motivated by morality or medical reasons. Whatever your reason, make sure to form your goal in a positive light. Positive goals motivate you, negative goals demotivate and hurt.

What to keep in mind when making diet goals

Stay positive

Like we said before, it's important to frame your goals in a positive way. Regardless of the specific reason for changing. 

Goals should be about being better or doing good things. Negative goals can focus your attention on what you aren't doing instead of how you are improving.[199] Focusing on your achievements keeps you from feeling like trying to change is a lost cause. We all have a little slip up every once in a while, but that is no reason to give up. 

Visualize the results you want

Visualization has been proven to be a very useful tool when changing your behavior or outlook on life. This is when you try to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel achieving your goal in your mind.

There are different visualization techniques out there, find one that suits your style. Daydream in your head. Write about the future that you would like to see. Spend some time thinking about where you want to be and who you want to be when you get there. 

Click here to read about 3 different visualization techniques.

Research research research

Learn as much as you can about the everyday diet that you have chosen and how it relates to the rest of your life. This is key.

Do as much research as you can about the kinds of foods that you eat. How does your body break down their ingredients and what does it do with them? How does your sleep schedule affect your weight management?[34] [35] Does your diet match well with your body type and your fitness goals?

Click here to read our blog about working with your body type rather than against it.

Set goals

Set goals that are flexible and forgiving. This will help you to manage your self-control in the long term.

Most people don't have the willpower to cut things like sugar out of their lives completely. But you can set up rules for yourself that will help you to reduce harmful or unhealthy foods in your daily diet. Moderation can be easier to maintain than total abstinence. Moving unhealthy foods out of view can be a step towards not buying them at all.

Failure IS an option

Let yourself recognize that it's okay to fail. Failure is an unavoidable part of trying to do anything new. 

The ability to move past failure and keep trying is the difference between reaching your goals or not. There may be a lot of trial and error before you find a system that works for your lifestyle. This is why it's helpful to set positive goals and to celebrate your victories. Don't get discouraged by small setbacks. Keep trying.

So the most important ingredient is…

Setting challenging and achievable goals. 

We've said it before: there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. The recipe for success is some combination of diet, fitness, and sleep. Also time management and anything else that affects your self-control. The system that works for you will be as unique as you are.

Part of a healthy lifestyle should be that you can be happy living it. When you have formed healthy habits in your life, you will see and feel the positive impact that your choices are making. You will be able to enjoy a treat every once in a while without guilt. Everything in moderation.

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