There are no shortage of diets out there. No-carb, no-sugar, no-meat, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem – you get it. Maybe you’ve tried them all, maybe not, You probably have that friend who swears by one of them, but you can’t seem to get it to work for you. Every person is different, which means that simple following the numbers set by a magazine diet article might not fit you. Here are the 10 dieting tips you need to follow to make sure that whatever diet you choose fits you, not the other way around.
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1. Never Skip The Protein
No matter if your diet encourages getting protein from meat or from other sources like nuts or beans, protein at each meal is key to keeping up your energy – and keeping you from losing your self-control and downing a sugary soda. Eating more veggies are great, but don’t simple cut out all your protein just to eat more spinach.
2. Decide On Your Calorie Limit Carefully…
Don’t choose a calorie count to stick to based on other people’s rules. You’ve probably heard the standard 1,500 calories for women and 2,000 calories for men, but each person has a different metabolism and energy level and you have to adjust your calories in order to match what you absorb and burn off. A good rule of thumb? Take your weight, and add a 0 onto the end.
3. …But Don’t Get Too Hung Up On It
Some diets require you to count the calories on every single bite you eat. That’ll make you crazy, and make you feel guilty if you go over by even a tiny bit. Stick to the number as close as you can (even try keeping a log written down to help you remember), but if you end up eating a few more chips than what’s in a single serving, relax.
And sometimes you can’t help but go outside of your regular routine, like when you’re on a road trip or staying at someone else’s house. No diet works if you’re stressing yourself out all the time over calories.
4. Don’t Ever Go Hungry
Ever. Dieting often means cutting back on certain foods, but that should never mean going hungry. If you find you’re often hungry on a diet plan, then you need to make some adjustments. Going hungry will only lead you to overeat or snack on something that you’ll regret later.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
This is one of those dieting tips that is really universal to any diet plan. Drinking a lot of water won’t only subside hunger cravings a lot of the time (turns out that many times when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty!), but drinking a lot of water will actually help you digest better and keep your metabolism regular. Have some with every meal, and whenever you think of it the rest of the time.
6. Eat When You’re Hungry
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This is the flipside to the rule about never going hungry. It seems simple, right? Even if the diet you’re on tells you to eat at certain intervals throughout the day, if you’re not hungry, don’t eat. It’s similar to the rule you’re probably heard about only eating a meal until you’re full. Just because there’s food, doesn’t mean you have to eat everything.
A common test is this: If you’re not hungry enough to want to eat an apple, you’re really not hungry enough to eat that brownie.
7. Let Yourself Indulge Every Once In A While
This might seem contradictory to every diet, but here’s the truth: If you feel deprived of your favorite foods on a diet, you’ll crave them and be more likely to indulge on them when you’re tempted. If you have a little of your faves each day or once a week (like a little dark chocolate after dinner, or a scoop of ice cream on Saturday night), you won’t feel like you’re always missing out, and will be more likely to stick to your diet the rest of the time.
8. Never Ever Ever Grocery Shop Hungry
This isn’t just one of the best dieting tips, it’s a great rule of thumb for your budget too! If you grocery shop while hungry, you’re way more likely to buy food that’s way off your diet. And then once you’ve bought it, you’ll feel guilty for not eating it. But then once you eat it, you’ll feel guilty for going off your diet! It’s a vicious circle. Just do yourself a favor and eat BEFORE you shop.
9. Walk It Off
It’s pretty common knowledge that simply eating well won’t help you lose weight – you have to combine it with exercise. And even if you have a regular workout regimen, try squeezing in a 10 or 15 minute walk right after every meal. It’ll help with digestion and metabolism, and it’s a great way to burn a quick 100 calories.
10. Don’t Skimp On Sleep
This one is actually proven by science. The less sleep you get, the way your body processes insulin gets disrupted, which actually causes more insulin and lipids to get stored in your body – and that’s when you get that frustrating body fat that never seems to go away. It can also cause other serious issues like diabetes. It seems like a stupidly simple way to improve your diet, but it’s true. Get more sleep!
What other dieting tips do you swear by? Tell us in the comments below!