How to Stick to a Diet

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Maria Lorenz
Join me on my "I Fit and Healthy" journey! Maria is an Upstate New Yorker interested in all things healthy-living related! She started the "I Fit and Healthy" Blog to document life and her pursuit of healthy living. By day she work in digital media and advertising. By night she’s a first-rate wife and mom of two crazy little girls! She is self-proclaimed addicted to her iPhone/iPad and always on the hunt for the latest health tools and fitness gadgets.

Is there a secret to knowing how to stick to a diet? No. Is there a set of rules that describe how to stick to a diet? Yes. I will get to that in a minute. Let me ask you a question first:  Did you know that your computer may help you amp up your energy, make you more optimistic, and help you stick to your diet?

What is that I hear you say? I need to lay off the strong cheese at night? That is probably true, but it also true that it is natural to feel alert on a sunny day because sunlight raises levels of serotonin, a mood- and energy-boosting brain chemical.

Now studies show that simply “looking at an image of the sun works the same way,” says Sharon Norling, M.D. Switch the background on your computer to a sunrise photo for a burst of get-up-and-go.

How to stick to a diet with a blue sky Whether it is a clear sky or a blue jay, researchers say the sight of blue switches off the brain’s appetite center. The reason is evolutionary: When our ancestors searched for food, they learned that many black and blue things were toxic. Get a screensaver that displays a blue sky.

Just glimpsing your favorite animal – whether it is your pet or another creature – causes the brain to pump out more of bonding hormone oxytocin, making you feel more love. And since animal images also release brain chemicals that create optimism, these images prime you to spot the silver lining in any situation.

How to stick to a diet: The rules Keep in mind that these rules do not always work for everyone, but most people find them helpful.

1. Do not listen to diet gurus or anyone who says they know which diet is the best diet for you. You are the only person who can figure this out. They key is to find a diet that you are comfortable with.

2. Eat complex carbohydrates (give preference to vegetables and fruits, rather than grains), good fats, and protein.

3. The best way to prevent hunger pangs is to eat often. Consume 4 to 6 small meals a day instead of eating 3 big meals.

4. Bacon and eggs (minus hash browns and bread) with a cup of coffee (without sugar) is a perfect breakfast. Take a few fish oil capsules for extra satiety.

5. Strict diet rules which forbid your favorite foods are counterproductive. That’s right, if you want to stick to a diet long term, cheat on your diet once a week. Have a bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup or whatever you crave; it will help you stick to your diet for the rest of the week.


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