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6 Key Tips for Starting Strong and Staying Consistent on Your New Diet


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Starting a new diet can be both exhilarating and daunting. As someone passionate about health and wellness, I’ve explored several different diets from keto to a whole food plant-based approach. While I’m still searching for the optimal diet for my individual needs, there’s a lot I’ve learned about starting a new diet.


Whether you’re aiming to boost energy levels, shed a few pounds, or improve your overall health, the key to a successful diet lies in a thoughtful and sustainable approach. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to start off strong, what to keep in mind, and share tips and tricks to help you stay consistent and reach your goals when starting a new diet.


Starting Off Strong


1. Craft a Plan Tailored to You


Before diving into the endless diet options, take a moment to reflect on your personal goals and establish your why. What does a healthier you look like to you? Do you want this change to be temporary or a complete lifestyle change?

 

Whether you’re trying to shed a few pounds, boost energy levels, or address specific health concerns, articulating your goals is a great start that will help set the tone. Research different diet approaches and find one that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences. If you’re a carb enthusiast, explore low-carb options; if you enjoy variety, consider a balanced approach. Setting clear goals and choosing a path that excites you will increase your chances of staying committed for the long haul.

 

2. Arm Yourself with Knowledge


Now that you have your goals in place, it’s time to understand the basics of your chosen diet. Whether it’s plant-based, keto, DASH, paleo, or an individual plan based on a specific condition, familiarize yourself with nutrient-rich foods that align with your goals.

 

For example, if you’re leaning towards a plant-based diet, learn about protein sources like beans, chickpeas, quinoa, nuts, and seeds. Explore recipes that not only go along with your chosen plan, but also excite your taste buds. To keep your meals interesting and satisfying, consider experimenting with different herbs, spices, and cooking techniques.

 

As habitual humans, change can be overwhelming. It’s easy to go back to your old ways because it’s what you know and that’s what’s comfortable. Remember, the more you know about the why and how of your diet, the better equipped you will be to make informed choices and overcome potential obstacles.

 

3. Seek Support in Similar Circles


Whether you’re seeking support from family, friends, or coworkers, starting a new diet is much easier and enjoyable when you’re not going in alone. Bonus points if your partner also commits and supports this change of a better you. However, if this isn’t the case for you, seek out a community of like-minded people who shares similar dietary goals. Joining online forums, social media groups, or even attending local meetups can help create a sense of shared experience to help you stay motivated.


For instance, when I attempted the ketogenic diet for the first time, I found valuable insights through Dr. Berg on YouTube and his website. There are a ton of free resources on how to start, recipes, courses, tips and tricks, and a large community of like-minded individuals. While my approach or the diet itself didn’t work out for me, the community was strong, and it was helpful tapping into the community when obstacles came up.

 

Similarly, when I tried out a whole foods plant-based diet, Rip Esselstyn, who owns PLANTSTRONG, was my go-to. His community includes shared recipes, podcasts, challenges, coaching programs, and events.

 

Having a good support system not only offers encouragement during the challenging times that will inevitably arise, but also opens the door of knowledge and advice that could enhance your journey. Just know, you’re not just changing your eating habits, you’re joining a community of people who are on a similar, inspiring path.

 

Practical Tips on Staying Consistent


Healthy food in multiple glass storage containers

1. Ease Into the Transition


One of the biggest lessons from the last two diets that I’ve tried is that I don’t fare well with drastic changes overnight. I had a goal of giving both a ketogenic diet and a whole food plant-based diet three months to see if it would help with my acid reflux and overall health. Unfortunately, for both, I only lasted seven days, and got flare ups. Had I eased into these restrictive diets I wasn't used to, I believe I would have been able to commit without as many problems.

 

 If you’re tackling a new restrictive diet, and is vastly different than what you’re currently eating, start by incorporating small modifications to your routine. Swap out a couple regular meals with an option from your new plan each week, instead of making drastic changes. Gradual adjustments will help make the transition more manageable and give your palate time to adjust to new flavors without feeling overwhelmed.

 

2. Discover Healthy Alternatives


Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean bland meals. Try to seek out nutritious substitutes for your favorite foods. Swap refined sugars with natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia. Experiment with whole grains like brown rice or quinoa instead of consuming refined foods. If you’re looking to take out or limit your meat consumption, try adding lentils, chickpeas, or tofu to your meals for your protein. Incorporate nutrient dense vegetables in creative ways to enhance flavor and textures.

 

Keep an open mind, try new ingredients, and be patient. It takes time for your palate to adjust. However, redefining your palate with healthier choices that align with your dietary goals will help create a positive relationship with food. This will make it easier to stay committed to your new diet.

 

3. Master the Art of Meal Prepping


There’s nothing worse than when you’re in a rush to get out the door in the morning and have nothing in the refrigerator to pack and eat for lunch. If you’re early into a new diet, not having a plan will make you more likely to eat out and indulge in food that could derail your goals. This is why meal prepping can play an important role in staying consistent.

 

Dedicate time each week to plan and prepare meals that will last a couple days in the upcoming week. Not only will it save time, money, and reduce stress, but it also ensures you have healthy, portion-controlled options readily available that will help you avoid overeating. Try and create a diverse menu for the week, experimenting with different flavors and recipes to prevent monotony with meals.

 

Additionally, invest in quality storage containers to keep everything fresh. My favorite containers now are the Freshlock glass containers by Pyrex. Having pre-planned, balanced meals on hand minimizes temptations to make unhealthy choices when hunger strikes. By making meal prep a regular part of your routine, you will make it easier to stick to your new diet and achieve your health and wellness goals.

 

Final Thoughts


Tackling a new diet is both personal and transformative. It requires commitment, patience, and a holistic approach to health. By setting clear goals, educating yourself, finding like-minded communities, and starting gradually, you’ll create a solid foundation for a successful dietary transition.


Remember to celebrate the small wins, whether it’s a successful week of sticking to your meal plan, achieving a fitness goal, or noticing positive changes in energy levels. Be flexible with any setbacks that come up, and regularly reassess and adjust your approach if you need to. It’s not about perfection, but progress.


Are you starting a new diet in the new year? Comment below!

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