How to Set a Disciplined Diet Plan

Dieting is very difficult, in no small part because there are so many different diets from which to choose. There is no such thing as a perfect universal diet. Dieters need to find a plan that fits their nutritional, lifestyle and even their financial needs. Many dieters ultimately give up on their diet after a short time. One of the biggest reasons dieters stray from their plan is because they are unsatisfied with the results and believe that the diet does not work. Unfortunately, dieting is something that always takes time. Any diet claiming quick or immediate results should be viewed with suspicion. One of the traits that all effective diets share is that they stick to a disciplined plan. There are a few different ways to create a disciplined diet plan.

Setting Realistic Goals

The first step to creating a disciplined diet plan is setting realistic goals. When setting goals, it is recommended to come up with two different numbers. The first is a short-term goal, followed by a long-term goal. Some diets only use a long-term goal, but having both is recommended because the short-term goal helps lead into the long-term goal and it gives the dieter a consistent sense of satisfaction. Since the dieter feels like he or she is always making progress towards his or her long-term goal, it helps a dieter to stay motivated and disciplined.

A common example of a short-term diet plan is losing one pound every two weeks. Two weeks is an optimal short-term goal because the dieter does not have to wait too long for results, and it actually gives the diet enough time to start making an impact. However, part of setting realistic goals means coming up with a fair number of pounds to lose. Losing 10 pounds in two weeks would certainly be ideal, but it is unrealistic to set that as a short-term goal. Dieters who go to the extremes ultimately end up hurting their health by trying to achieve such rapid weight loss. They can also set themselves up for disappointment with numbers that are simply not obtainable.

Dieters can set a larger short-term goal if they are patient and want to celebrate larger successes. For example, instead of setting the goal to two weeks, dieters could make their short-term goal to lose five pounds after a month.

The long-term goal is simply the weight that the dieter is trying to lose. One mistake that dieters make is setting the end goal as their final desired weight. A plan like that only works if the dieter is looking to lose a minimal amount of weight. For example, a dieter that only wants to lose 10 pounds could theoretically make that his or her end goal. If the dieter wants to lose more, like 50 or 60 pounds, it is recommended to use a tiered diet system. The first long-term goal could be losing 20 pounds in a year. Once the dieter sees he or she was able to achieve that weight, they create a new diet plan for the following year, where they lose another 20 pounds.

Understand How to Lose Weight

On paper, a diet sounds very simple. While on a diet, the dieter consumes healthy food and exercises to lose weight. While that captures the essence of a diet, it is ultimately an oversimplification. Understanding nutrition is an important part of dieting, since it allows dieters to identify what type of food is or is not healthy.

One of the most common and dangerous mistakes when planning a diet is skipping a meal, usually breakfast or lunch. The human body needs energy to function, which is why having three meals a day is so important. It is even more dangerous if the dieter is also trying to exercise, because now he or she is burning more energy than his or her body is used to, while consuming less food to stay energized. In addition, cutting out meals just increases the chance that the dieter will lose discipline and eat more for his or her remaining meals.

The key to losing weight is burning more calories in a day than the dieter consumed. When dieting, the dieter needs to pay close attention to the calories on whatever foods he or she eats. It is highly recommended to plan out meals in advance, since the dieter will know exactly how many calories he or she is consuming each day. It is also important to take into account all parts of a meal. There are many soft drinks that are very high in calories, even diet branded brands. Healthy foods like salads can end up being very high in calories if they use certain types of dressing.

Diet Flexibility

Under ideal circumstances, the dieter will stick to his or her goal and always achieve the short-term and long-term goals. It is very rare for this to actually happen, though. Having discipline not only refers to following the diet, but sticking with the diet if something throws it off. Sometimes dieters might end up a few pounds off from their goal weight or they have too many calories in one day. These are all perfectly normal with a diet. The important thing is the dieter does not become discouraged if his or her diet slips.