Planning and prepping is only half the battle to maintaining a new, healthy lifestyle. Timing, being realistic and patience are all things that have to be considered when planning and implementing a new diet. If you know the basic steps and phases to starting a new plan, you will be more successful.
Here are the phases I’ve seen proven to work in order to start a new diet plan and lifestyle:
You can find a wide variety of diets online that you can try out. If you’re lucky, you’ll actually stumble upon one that works for you. However most of the time this isn’t the case and you’re left feeling hungry, confused, having digestion problems or even weight gain. Unless you plan to eat Paleo for the rest of your life, diets are only short term “solutions”. Also, consider that you need to put time into planning a new diet and lifestyle, so if you are currently dealing with high amounts of stress in other areas of your life, you may not end up being successful.
In order to be successful, you need to be realistic. You know the eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains is the best way to reach a healthy, achievable and desirable body weight. As Michael Pollan says: Just eat real food. And not too much. Mostly plants.
Another helpful way to look at each meal you should have, you can follow The Gabriel Method and make sure to have these three things at EACH meal:
- Probiotics: kefir, greek yogurt or store bought probiotic pills
- Omega 3’s: ground flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp hearts/seeds
- Live food: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc.
Shop for one week of your meals and set a night to prepare. Some great meal prep ideas are chicken breasts, soups, salads, rice, and quinoa. And here are some snack prep ideas that can all be bought and make in bulk. This is the easiest and most effective way to ensure success in staying healthy.
3. Detox (optional but helpful)
This small detox is more about clearing your mind (and somewhat your body) of all the junk that may be in there. Detoxing for at least 3 days will really help you begin your path to eating a healthy and clean diet. I would focus a detox based on vegetable based juices, water, tea, soups and salads. Cravings and taste buds will slowly start to change and you’ll really notice a difference once you start slowly eating more food.
4. Maintain and Stay Sane
This is where you take what you’ve learned and listen to your body. Notice where you felt full, hungry, or had any digestion/allergy issues and alter your plan. After you’ve past the initial three days of detoxing or simply clean eating, it will become easier day by day. Remember that one size does not fit all and in order to really be successful and start to enjoy the food you eat you will never feel like you’re on a diet again. And remember that it’s okay to indulge once in a while. In the world we live in it’s almost impossible to resist cravings all the time, so just remember to always get back on track.