We have all started and failed at diets. Usually we fail because we have failed to plan. We usually start diets based upon something someone else has told us about a new “fad” diet. It generally starts with one of the following statements:

  1. You should see so and so, they just lost a ton of weight doing the vinegar (not real) diet
  2. I just lost 10 lbs on the Jenny Craig diet, it’s fabulous
  3. Everyone I know has started losing weight without even trying by cutting out all carbs etc. etc.

Sometimes what makes us panic and start dieting without planning is an event. The wedding of a child where you will see friends and relatives that you haven’t seen since you were 20lbs lighter, or just the fact that you want to look good for the pictures.. A common one is getting the invite to a class reunion and for sure you don’t want to be the fattest one there.

These diets start without thinking; they are a desperate attempt to lose weight fast. They come at all times of the year and all too frequently, right around the holidays.

It is important, when deciding to diet, to first check with your doctor to make sure he or she might have some recommendations. If you have specific health problems and are taking any kind of medication, your doctor may want to monitor you more closely during the period of time you are dieting.

Everyone has special events that are more important to them than others. Some people really go all out celebrating their birthday. Christmas or Hanukah are often associated with lots of good and special food, and for some, Easter is the big event.

For me, the Christmas holidays and summer are the worst times to diet. I actually thought that was it for everyone, because of the New Year’s Eve tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions.

If I am going to diet, it will almost always be successful if I can plan it after the holidays and at the first of the year. This way, I don’t feel deprived by missing out on some special treats over those holidays, and can start without being too tempted right out of the starting gate.

Most of us know it takes at least 21 days to start a new habit. If you can’t have 21 days straight without cheating on your diet, the chances of success are far worse than those who can create a new habit.

Creating the habit is one component, but changing your mindset is another just as important aspect to being successful in achieving your goals. If you are dreading everyday of the diet and counting the days until you can cheat, you are more unlikely to be able to achieve the goals you desire. However, if you envision the new clothes you will buy or the compliments you will get after losing a specified amount of weight, you have a higher chance of success. Visualization of the outcome is so much more positive than thinking about what you are giving up.

Dieting is a lifestyle change. If you start a diet and continue to meet once a week for lunch with the girls, you are more likely to cheat in the beginning, which leads to cheating all the time and not necessarily being able to make your goal weight. However, if you skip the first couple of meet ups and establish a pattern of what you are going to eat and how to order once you are out, you are much more likely to stick to the plan.

Dieting is not fun, but you can create ways to make dull foods special with all kinds of seasonings. Lemon, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, oregano and mint can really make a dull dish interesting and tasty. I personally like to take protein drinks and my vegetables and put them in a blender with ice and artificial sweeter, to change the texture and taste. Add vinegar to spinach when cooking it to take away the bitter taste.

Experiment, and talk to others about how they make food they don’t care for more palatable. Go online and find recipes for healthy living.

The best suggestion I can give you, is to engage a friend to diet as well so you have a comrade in crime. It is always easier to do something like this together so that you can compare notes, go out together where you both are ordering healthy choices, and may just add an element of competition to the mix as well.

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