The importance of a healthy diet in addition to your regular fitness routine, cannot be overemphasized. In other words, it’s not enough for you to hit the gym every other day or jog a couple of miles every morning, you also need to watch what you eat, in order to achieve your fitness goals.

A lot of people find that although they’ve somehow managed to stick to their gym and fitness routines religiously, they fail to see any significant improvements in their bodies. And with each passing week, they only seem to be drifting even further away from achieving their set body goals.

This problem is more often than not traced to the fact, that although they’ve perfected a fitness routine, they continue to maintain an unhealthy diet, which is detrimental to their fitness goals.

Asides from obesity, several diseases ranging from hypertension to diabetes have been linked to unhealthy diets.

However, understandably sticking to a healthy diet is easier said than done. In the course of your daily routine, you’ll find that you are often faced with several deterrents to your diet. From meetings at your favorite coffee shop, to birthday cakes brought into your office, you find yourself constantly faced with easy pretexts to fall off the diet wagon.

And so, in trying to stick to your diet, you find yourself trying both orthodox and unorthodox ways to stay on it. From daily reminders on your smartphones to creating cheat days as a ‘reward system’- which is counterproductive by the way-. You continue to make these tweaks and add-ons to your diet until against all odds, you end up falling off it.

However, sticking to your diet, can be a lot less daunting than you even realize. Although they may seem insignificant, these 7 small lifestyle changes are bound to make all the difference in the way you diet and help you hit those dieting goals you set in your New Year’s resolution easily.

Getting enough sleep: The Natural Sleep Foundation in a two-year long study, found that the average amount of sleep an adult needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle is about 7 to 9 hours. Another research study shows on the other hand that the average Canadian adult only gets about 6 hours of sleep. You might wonder how the amount of sleep you get at night, will affect your fitness and health goals. Research shows that people who sleep for shorter hours, tend to crave high fat or carbohydrate laden foods later at night, and generally eat more than people who sleep longer.

Mindful eating: Mindful eating, simply put is being fully aware of the smells, flavors and colors of your food. This helps with portion control. While mindless eating like having your lunch while working on a project or watching a T.V. show causes you to unknowingly consume more food than your body needs, mindful eating keeps your brain, and stomach in perfect synchronization, so that they immediately let you become aware when your body has had enough food.

Drink more water: Yes, we know you read this everywhere, but simply drinking more water can help you to not only stick to your diet, but to also realize positive results from it. It’s pretty easy to forget to drink enough water in a day, on an average you should consume no less than three litres of water every day. Water not only increases your metabolism, but gives you the energy boost that prevents you from reaching out for that can of Coke. Carrying a bottle of water everywhere, also helps to cut down on the amount of sugary or caffeinated drinks you’ll usually consume in a day.

Use smaller plates and bowls: This simple change to your crockery, gives you, even more, control than you might realize over the size of portions you consume. The logic behind it, is simple enough – smaller plates and bowls equals smaller portions.

Never skip breakfast: Starting your day with a proper breakfast gives you the right boost of energy you need to stay away from junk food during the day. As a rule of thumb as regards portions, it’s advisable to have a large breakfast and smaller portions for lunch and dinner.

Rearrange your kitchen: Keep all snacks and food, which are high on calories, fats and carbohydrates of sight. Move all the greens and fruits to the forefront of your fridge and cabinets. That way the next time you are feeling peckish or wake up looking for a midnight snack, you’ll find yourself reaching for the apple right on the cabinet top, instead of rummaging through the back of your cabinets for a bag of Doritos.

Have structured mealtimes: Having a structured mealtime stops you from snacking unhealthily during the course of the day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is the timeless meal routine most people stick to. You can link your meal times to daily activities you are certain will happen. Like having breakfast right after you shower, or having dinner right after getting in from work.



Toketemu is a freelance health and lifestyle writer who is equally as passionate about writing, as she is about fitness.