Biggest struggles to sticking to a healthy diet
Posted on June 11 2018
As much as I wish I could effortlessly reach the size and weight of my dreams, I am aware that maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes a little effort on my part. However, with obstacles around every corner, it can feel like a challenge to stay on track with my diet and fitness goals.
We have all heard the quote “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Planning healthy meals and organising time to exercise is the only way to get things done as I juggle work and family time.
What are the most common barriers to sticking to the diet? What struggles do I hear people say stop them from reaching their weight loss goals? In this article, I’ll share my thoughts and tips on how to keep motivated and stick to your diet.
Barriers to sticking to a diet
Setting achievable goals
The list fanatic in me freaks out when I don’t have everything planned, so I know that I can rely on myself to write down all of my goals and meal plans for each week.
The most difficult thing is picking achievable goals that feel right because as soon as something goes off track (and that happens all the time as life gets in the way) then I really struggle to get myself going again.
Whilst it can be satisfying to write a huge to-do list each week, the chances are you won’t be able to achieve even half of it. I think the trick is to be realistic with your goals so you don’t set yourself up to fail.
Getting support from others
It can be really hard to stay motivated if your partner, family or friends do not support you on your weightloss journey. Or they stick their nose up at your healthier food choices.
My husband (wow, I can call him that now!), Nick, is totally on board with healthy eating. I’ve somehow become the luckiest woman alive by marrying a chef, which of course does mean there are some seriously tasty meals floating around our house. However, there are days when we are both feeling uninspired and all we want to do is nibble a cold meat platter and drink wine on the sofa.
If you’re struggling to maintain your diet or fitness around certain people, it can be tough. My advice would be to remember why you started: that you are choosing a healthy life for yourself.
Staying on top of your sleep is so important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Have you ever noticed how when you’re tired, you crave sugar and carbs like nothing else? Add in a newborn baby or toddler into the mix and you’ve got a ticket to ride the Sugar Town Express.
Until Harper was born, I don’t think I fully appreciated the gorgeous thing that is sleep. I’ve noticed what affect a lack of sleep has on my motivation to eat well. Because, let’s face it, if you’ve been up all night with a crying baby the last thing you want to eat in the morning is a fruit salad. Pass me the bacon buttie.
So, try your hardest to be well rested and you’ll feel loads better during the days and be less tempted to eat rubbish!
Drinking enough water
I’m dreadful for forgetting to drink enough water but I know how important it is for keeping healthy and your body and skin happy.
There are so many hidden calories in the drinks we consume plus all kinds of nasties like artificial sweeteners if we try to go for the low sugar options.
Drinking more water is a daily goal of mine, which is why I love including the H20 counter in the planners because it helps me to visualise how far I’ve come and what I’ve got left to drink.
Fitting in exercise
If you follow me on Instagram and watch my Stories you’ll see me talk about exercise a LOT. It’s mainly because I’ve been beating myself up about not getting enough of it.
Recently I re-joined the gym (one where Harper and Nick can come along too) and have been getting back into the swing of it. I know that it’s not rocket science to understand why, but it does feel good to exercise and of course I always feel good as soon as I’ve done a workout.
Making a routine is important and working exercise into your life in a way that will be sustainable. If you are not a morning person then you’ll never drag yourself out of bed to go jogging at 5am. I go mid morning once I’ve dropped Harper off at nursery and can have some time to myself.
Gym classes or running may not be for everyone, but there are other ways you can include exercise into your day such as walking the dog (yes, it counts!) or 10 minutes of yoga before bed.
Making healthy food choices
Knowing what is good for you and what you should try to avoid is such a big learning curve. There’s such a lot of information out there these days that it’s quite easy to get inspired.
What is tricky though is avoiding those foods that pretend to be healthy and are actually secretly full of sugar and other bad things. When you’re busy or lacking motivation, reaching for ready made or convenience foods is just so easy.
Simple, fresh and delicious is what I’m searching for - I want to eat food that is good for me but doesn’t make me feel like I’m scrimping on flavour or variety.
Eating out / socialising
You don’t want to feel like your life is on hold because you are trying to make healthier food choices or lose some weight. Restaurants and takeaways can feel like they’re out of reach as soon as you commit to a diet. I love eating out and wouldn’t want to deny myself that treat forever, so I just have to be smarter about what I order.
Sticking to vegetarian dishes is a good way to save some calories or go with chicken breast if you want a meat option.
Avoiding the office cakes or biscuit barrel when the mid-morning munchies hits can also a test of willpower. Again, planning ahead saves the day. If you organise yourself healthy snacks to nibble on you'll be less likely to give in when a colleague passes around that lemon drizzle cake... Well, I did say less likely...
Sticking to a diet
What is your experience of keeping on track with your diet? What are the things that get in your way and make it harder for you to be focused on your healthy eating and exercise goals?
Share your thoughts in the comments - or drop me a line on Instagram!