3 Tips To Stick To A Diet Plan

There’s a saying that the best diet is the one you can actually stick to. The problem is most people rely on willpower to force themselves to stick to a diet, and willpower alone will not work. Just look at how many people make New Year’s Resolutions they don’t stick to!

So if willpower alone doesn’t work, what does? Keep reading to find out three strategies you can use to finally stick with your diet plan for life.

1. Focus More On The Habits Rather Than The Goals

Diets may seem like they’re just a means to an end. The end usually being weight loss, more energy, and better health.

But when a person gets too goal oriented, they may lose sight of a very important fact: It’s not enough to get the results you want, you’ll also want to keep those results! A tragically common occurrence is that sometimes people do indeed lose weight following a diet plan, but then they go back to their old habits lose everything they worked so hard for.

To get lasting results, you need lasting behaviors which we commonly refer to as habits. Changing habits may seem like an uphill battle, but with a 3 step process, even lifelong junk-food diet eaters can transform themselves into lifelong healthy eaters.

First, change your self-image. Tell yourself “I am a healthy eater.” “I eat healthier and healthier food each day.” Or whatever affirmations help you realize that eating well is a natural way of life for you from now on.

Second, realize you’re already “on” a diet. All you need to do is start making substitutions of one dietary choice for a better choice. Water in place of soft drinks or steamed vegetables in place of french fries for instance.

Third, take on changes gradually. Simply choose one dietary habit you’d like to change a month, and only focus on that. Making gradual changes keeps you from getting overwhelmed and ensures you have enough willpower to succeed. Once the new habit is in place, you’ll find you won’t need willpower to make it stick and you can move onto changing another dietary habit.

2. Find Your Motivation

It’s been said “the bigger your why the easier the how.”

While many people have a surface level understanding of why they want to stick to a diet plan, such as losing weight, they may not have stopped to consider “why do I want to lose weight?” Let’s say someone responds, “to look better.” They could then ask themselves, “why do I want to look better?”

You can always keep digging down deeper by asking yourself “why?” to every reason you give for wanting to eat better until you find the reasons that really resonate with you.

It then helps to make a list of all the reasons not sticking to a diet will negatively affect your life. Then create another list of all the reasons why sticking to a diet will positively affect your life. Reading these lists a couple of times a week is a great way to keep up your motivation.

Then each time you’re faced with making a food choice, always be reminding yourself of why you’re making better choices. For instance, a person may state “I choose to eat an apple instead of a candy bar because eating a candy bar will keep me a slave to junk food addictions while eating an apple will make me feel good about myself, help me lose weight, and increase my confidence that I am in control of my life.”

While this is just an example, it helps to insert reasons that are extremely personal and powerful to you and your circumstances.

3. Set Up Your Environment For Success

There’s a saying by Yogananda that “environment is stronger than willpower.” This means that instead of fighting your environment with willpower, use your willpower to set up an environment that helps you succeed.

There are three simple ways to do this.

First, remove all junk food from your home if possible. You should then replace these foods with healthier snacks and healthy meals you’ve prepared in bulk so you always have good food ready in a pinch.

The second thing to do is be careful with whom you spend your time around. Oftentimes the thing that sabotages someone isn’t a dessert, it’s the negative influence of peers. While family, friends, and co-workers may have your best interest at heart, it’s a natural part of human psychology that some people don’t like to see those close to them change, even if that change is for the better.

You may be better off not sharing your goals with those whom you think will give you a hard time for wanting to eat healthier. But since you can’t avoid it completely, if people ask you about your diet, simply let them know you’ve decided to take better care of yourself. Rather than getting defensive, keep the focus on the positive benefits you’re achieving. If possible, try to surround yourself more with the people whom you aspire to be like and let them inspire you.

The third and final thing to do is get an accountability partner. Having someone to answer to is one of the most proven ways to stay on track. Find a supportive person in your life, share your goals and action plan with them, and stay in touch each week about your successes and failures. If you make mistakes (you will), talk with them about what you can do in the future to prevent it from happening again.

About the author

Derek Doepker is the author of the book “How To Stick To A Diet” available on amazon kindle.  He also writes free articles relating to nutrition, motivation, and exercise on his blog for anyone wanting cutting edge health and fitness tips.


Derek Doepker is a fitness expert and blogger at Excuse Proof Fitness. He has been an avid researcher in health, nutrition, weight lifting, and psychology since 2004.

One thought on “3 Tips To Stick To A Diet Plan

  • November 7, 2012 at 8:33 am

    It’s not just his feet that he can’t see – He also has DickyDo DIsease


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *