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Wellness

What Makes A Healthy Diet So Hard To Stick To?

The research points to an inverse relationship between adherence to a dietary pattern and self-esteem.

Dieting isn’t for the faint of heart, which is why the first step to a long-term healthy diet strategy is getting healthy and sticking to it. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health surveyed more than 8,200 adults to determine the impact of a healthy diet and the prevalence of problems with it, and found that people who don’t follow healthy eating habits face significant health risks. Here are the top 7 problems with a diet, according to the data: Weight gain, a lack of satisfaction with diet and feeling full, increased anxiety, feelings of anger, problems regulating appetite, and feeling fatigued. In other words, there are problems. If you’re not eating what you should, even the most healthy diet is not going to make you feel full and satisfied.

What can I do? We can try to fix the problems with a healthy eating (obviously) but it all depends on our goals. If you are wanting to be healthier but not necessarily leaner or slimmer, there’s plenty we can do . We can find foods that can help us feel fuller and make us more satiated.

A Healthy Eating Plan

When people start their weight loss plan and start dieting, they tend to focus a lot more on what they should not eat. It’s easy to fall into this pattern—when you look at the calorie counts on food labels when it’s dinner time, you think to yourself, “I should probably eat less.” A better approach is to find out what you should eat every day.

This means putting your priorities in context:

The best way to stay on track is to set up a calendar with your diet rules on it. By breaking out all those food groups and days of the week, you will become more aware of what you should be eating and feel more able to stick to your eating plan.

Here’s a simple weekly plan I’ve found works best:

Meal 1: Vegetable (including salads and fruit) – 200-250 calories

Meal 2: Whole grain or beans – 150-200 calories

Meal 3: Legumes – 100-150 calories

Meal 4: Chicken – 150-200 calories

Meal 5/6: Fruit – 30-35 calories Protein/Fat: Fish – 150-200 calories Chicken – 500-600 calories Green beans – 80-100 calories Pasta – 200-250 calories

Meal 7: Oatmeal – 150-200 calories Protein/Fat: Eggs – 150-200 calories Vegetable – 200-250 calories Potato – 50 grams

Meal 8: Brown rice or pasta – 150g protein/ 30 calories Vegetable – 200-250 calories Fruit – 40-50 calories Protein/Fat: Brown rice – 150-200 calories

Meal 10: Whole grain or bean – 150-200 calories Protein/Fat: Fish – 150-200 calories Chicken – 450 calories Vegetable – 200-270calories

Meal 11: Legumes – 10-20 calories Vegetable – 200-250 calories Brown rice – 150-200 calories

What if we were to eat less than our guidelines? Do you have a healthy eating plan just waiting for us? When is the right time to eat less, in order to lose weight? That depends on your goals, how much you weigh now, and who you are meeting with. Here’s what I recommend:

A 1,500 -1,800 calorie deficit? Use this schedule and stick with it . Most people’s weight loss can begin when they hit that 1,500-1,800 calorie mark for the day. If not, take a lunch break and reevaluate your situation. 

A 1,800 calorie deficit? Start with a smaller deficit. If you hit that 1,800 calorie mark, start with a 5-10% reduction on your caloric intake. If you’re feeling hungry, you might want to take a smaller-carb breakfast.