At the beginning of your diet, you are probably excited about your new venture, and in a hurry to get those pounds off. Dreams of smaller jeans and a healthier body may be running through your mind, and things go well for a few weeks. Then, suddenly, you fall off your diet and your really aren’t sure what happened.
Diet boredom may have been what happened. Symptoms include longing for chocolate, envious glances towards those eating foods you used to enjoy, and sneaking bites of off-limits foods when no one is looking. When this starts, it means the boredom has set in, and you are faced with a bigger challenge than you thought.
This happens most commonly, at least in my personal experience, when food choices are cut down way too far. This may be something you have done to yourself as a result of following a fad diet, or it may have happened because you didn’t plan things out very well. There is a reason for the saying “variety is the spice of life,” and this should extend to your diet as well.
Narrowing your food and snack items to too short a list is the surest way to run into diet boredom. You can’t cut out your favorite foods or you won’t make it. If your favorite dish is lasagna, and you strike it out completely, your diet is doomed.
Snacking A Better Way
Many nutritionists suggest a dieter eat every few hours instead of just having the three traditional meals a day. This means you need to come up with a wide variety of snack items that you can live with so you don’t encounter diet boredom.
If you are bored with the traditional pretzels and rice cakes, mix it up a little. If you like the rice cakes, by all means have them, but make sure you buy a few different flavors so you don’t get bored and reach for a candy bar instead.
There are more low calorie options available to you than you may realize. Go alone to the grocery store and be prepared to spend some time wandering around the aisles. Make a long list of possibilities you can choose from each week. Remember to read the labels very carefully when compiling your list.
Some examples might be pretzels, fresh fruits, vegetables, popcorn, salsa, granola bars, low fat muffins and cookies (pay attention to serving size), dried fruits, and trail mix.
Don’t forget about cereal. There are a great number of healthy cereals that are sure to keep diet boredom at bay. Don’t let the term ‘healthy’ throw you; many of these are great tasting as well as good for you. Don’t rely on just one kind; buy a few different boxes at one time so you can rotate. Watch serving size and use skim milk. Cereal is a great late night snack when you feel like you just have to have something.
Giving up on your favorite meals is a one-way street to diet boredom. What you have to do is find healthier ways to prepare your favorite dishes rather than give them up completely. Sometimes just having smaller portions is a great improvement.
Your family may argue with you when you mess with your favorite recipes, and start substituting healthier ingredients, but just remember a healthier diet will benefit them as well.
Another way to keep diet boredom at bay is to try different things. Variety will help you stay on course with your diet, and open up a whole new world of foods to your and your family. Look online for some new recipes, or browse through the menu at your favorite restaurant. Many restaurants have a low calorie/low fat menu items that are not the same old boring diet foods. Applebee’s, for example, has some great items you can recreate at home.
Don’t forget your vegetables. If you have never been a fan of them, give them another try. I discovered in my late twenties that I actually like broccoli. Try to get fresh vegetables, because they are by far the best tasting ones. If you can’t find what you want fresh, consider frozen. Frozen vegetables tend to taste better than canned.
Birds Eye has new steam-in-the-bag vegetables that are absolutely wonderful. If you want fresh and crisp, but don’t have a steamer, this is the way to go. You put the entire bag into your microwave and out comes great tasting veggies in a matter of minutes.
Dieting is hard, no doubt about it. Take a step beyond just buying good foods and shoving them in the cupboard. Make sure they end up on your plate, and give them a fair go before you decide you just can’t do it. Most importantly, if you fail, pick yourself back up again, and try to figure out why you got bored. Your next attempt may then be more successful.