Making a successful dietary change can be a little intimidating. From giving up some of your favorite foods to creating an entirely new eating plan, there’s a lot of change happening at once. It’s not easy to adapt to, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be this scary, nearly impossible to achieve, quest.
You can make a change in your diet and actually stick to it for the long-term if you know how to do it the right way by building the right habits. To help you along the way, I’m sharing five simple steps for making a successful dietary change. These tips will help you shift your mindset about dieting and help you make smarter choices with your eating habits.
1. Figure Out Your Purpose
The first step in making a successful dietary change is to figure out why. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to make a lifestyle change. You may want to look better or feel better. Or perhaps you need to change your diet because your health is at risk. Whatever it may be, it’s good to have a true purpose behind your motives.
Knowing your purpose is going to serve as motivation to stick to it when times get tough. When you’re getting frustrated with your diet or feeling tempted by unhealthy foods, you can recall your purpose. Write it down and keep it in a place where it’s visible to you every single day. This little visual aid will help you regain your focus and stay dedicated to this new change. Plus, when you have this set purpose in mind, it’s going to help you make a change that actually lasts for the long haul.
2. Don’t Think of it as a Diet
Ask anyone and most will say they hate the word, “diet.” It tends to give people bad vibes because they think of it as giving up their favorite foods and going hungry. Not only that, but they tend to view a diet as this short-term thing. Many decide they’ll go on a diet for a couple of weeks so they’ll look and feel better for a big event or something of that nature.
However, that’s not the best way to go about it. If you view your diet as this temporary thing that you’re going to do for a few weeks, you might not take it as seriously as you should. Afterward, you’ll likely undo all of your hard work by going back to your old ways, thus ruining any results you experienced. Instead, you should view your diet as a lifestyle change. It means you’re committed to it for a longer period of time. Making a lifestyle change means you’ll beat those bad habits for good.
3. Try a Meal Delivery Service
Another tip to help you make a successful dietary change is to sign up for a meal delivery service. There are so many options out there that make it easy to eat healthy. And when your meals are all planned out, you’ll be less likely to give into the temptation of takeout or hitting the drive-thru.
A “good-for-you” meal delivery service that actually tastes delicious is hard to come by. However, one great option to consider is a service likeVegetable and Butcher. They deliver freshly prepared meals straight to your door. They’re packed with the nutrition your body craves so you can eat healthy with no stress at all. All of the ingredients are locally sourced from farmers they know and trust. The meals are then prepared by their fine dining chef. Plus, they offer all kinds of dishes, like Tofu Scramble, Coconut-Curry Dal with Roasted Cauliflower, and Kale + Roasted Sweet Potato Hash.
4. It’s Okay to Cheat Occasionally
The hardest thing about changing your eating habits is giving up your favorite foods. No one wants to give up the foods they love the most, but sometimes those things aren’t the best for us to eat on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them from time to time - have a cheat meal on occasion so that you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself. It’ll satisfy any cravings you have, and it gives you something to look forward to when you’re able to indulge a little. Plus, you’ll be less likely to slip-up on your regular healthy eating days.
5. Aim for Healthy Over Weight Loss
And finally, my last piece of advice when it comes to making a successful dietary change is to aim for healthy over weight loss. Instead of obsessing over the number on the scale, focus on how you feel as you eat and after you eat. This change doesn’t need to only be about shedding a certain number of pounds. You should focus on getting results in terms of how you feel and a newfound level of food confidence. Weight loss is just a natural byproduct of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Dan Scalco is a columnist at Inc, Entrepreneur, and Huffington Post. When he's not writing about marketing and entrepreneurship, you can find him blogging about food and meal delivery at FoodBoxHQ.com.