A diet's a diet. Yes, they start off fun, exciting and full of hope. Then somewhere around 3:59 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, they all suck. So what's a go-getter like yourself to do?
Here are 10 tips to keep your focus.
1. Create miniature vision boards
Grab a few flash cards and write two reasons or goals for your diet on each of them. Then, add a few magazine clippings that illustrate your vision. Place the cards where you need them during your day—dashboards, cubicle wall, bottom of your desk drawer. Keep your focus in front of you.
2. Have a friend or two you can contact
Having a friend you can reach out to when you need to vent or release frustration is therapeutic. They should also be available for late nights, too.
3. Help others
Encourage your neighbor, uplift them, and compliment their success. In seeing the positive in others you will see it in yourself too. This helps greatly with improving your self talk.
I love fitness shopping. It's inexpensive too—no really. Give yourself $5 to $10, and challenge yourself to go to a store and get as much healthy products as you can. It could be socks, tomatoes, vibrant nail polishes, tiny notepads—great for journals and food diaries—healthy cookbooks, hand sanitizer, food storage containers, etc. Get creative and have fun with it.
Now, your mind is working on your diet and not tempting you with fatty snacks.
5. Cheat! Yes, cheat!
Plan a cheat meal. Commit to your program and set a time limit. I just came off a two-week shred. I dropped 8 pounds and at the end of those two weeks, I had one cheat meal on Friday night and one on Saturday night. Now my focus is back on kicking booty all next week, and then cheating again!
6. Throw yourself a curve ball
Diets get boring fast, but you have the power to make it interesting. If you want pizza, then have pizza. Tell yourself, however, "I'll have pizza tonight, but only 300 calories, all food groups have to be present and it has to taste so good that a non-dieter would ask for seconds."
Pizza night just became a little more challenging.
If you're successful with the challenge, treat yourself. "If I am successful, I get to have/do ______(an item/activity of your choice)."
7. Insert divine intervention
Find an inspiring message, article, movie, meditation, or music that connects you to that inner peace and joy, and stir up that determination you had originally.
8. Write your feelings down
It will help you not to eat them.
You knew it was coming! At least I waited until number nine.
The benefit of exercise on your mood is reason enough. Feeling better keeps you desiring to do your best. A healthy diet paired with physical activity will get you the desired effects quicker than just doing a diet alone.
10. Eat a cookie
Seriously. If all else fails, and you are about to pull your hair out, you're foaming at the mouth and your colleagues are held up in a room and keeping you at bay with a shotgun, eat the cookie. Accept it. Take responsibility for the conscious decision to stop all progress for now and just enjoy the cookie. Drink a glass of water, and then restart. It's OK.
Next time, though, eat half the cookie.
More: 7 Healthy-Lifestyle Tips
Reach your goals in a fitness class.