Our bodies physiology hasn’t changed much over the last few thousand years. The laws of thermodynamics (calories in vs calories out) still apply to our bodies now as much as they did many years ago.

Even with this in mind, there are new diets, programs and shiny new fitness fads being released on a daily basis. They are all based on the same principles (including my own program) but are adding their own bells and whistles to it.

Before you jump into the next diet plan, there a few things you need to consider. This is going to prevent you from going balls deep into something and getting popped out the other side with limited to no success.

Here are my 5 things to do before you diet:

Find Your ‘Why’

Your ‘why’ is what drives you and motivates you. There are going to be times throughout a program or restrictive diet that you are going to ask yourself “why am I doing this?”. If you don’t have a solid answer for yourself, the chances of you staying on track are slim.

Your ‘why’ is unlikely to be superficial. It is usually much more deep rooted than that and can be associated with confidence, self-worth and setting an example for your family. So ask yourself, “why do you want to go on this diet?”. The answer is not to lose weight or build muscle, it is much more than that.

So, why are you going on this diet?

What do you Want to Achieve?

Without fully understanding what success or failure looks like, there is no chance of reaching it. Get detailed, specific and deep into the nitty gritty of what you want.

Goals should be SMART. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific.

For example, instead of saying I would like to lose a few pounds over the next few months, maybe…probably….we’ll see. A SMART goal would like this: I want to lose 3 inches off my waist by October 3rd 2019.

What does success look like for you? Also, define what failure would look like, as this will prevent it from happening.

How are you Motivated?

There are two types of motivation, and understanding which one you are motivated by is important.

Intrinsic motivation – This is when you are motivated to do something because it is rewarding and satisfying for yourself.

Examples of intrinsic motivation are exercising to help clear your head or going for a walk to relieve stress.

Extrinsic motivation – This is when you are motivated to do something for a reward or to prevent punishment.

Examples of extrinsic motivation are exercising to get 6 pack abs or going for a walk to hit 10,000 steps on your Fitbit.

Being either intrinsically or extrinsically motivated instead a good or bad thing, but it’s important to understand which one is motivating you. Do you want to lose weight/build muscle for the physical attributes or do you want the physique to feel a sense of personal achievement.

What is motivating you to make change? Is it intrinsic or extrinsic?

Do you Really Need to Diet?

Is now the right time for you to be dieting? Are you ready mentally and physically to committing to a period of time with restrictions in place? If you have a crazy social calendar over the next few months or you have a big project on at work that is going to pull you in many directions, it may be time to commit to those things, rather than trying to lose 5 pounds.

By making sure you are choosing the right time, you are going to prevent unnecessary failures and stop yourself getting disheartened when it all goes tits up. I’m not trying to talk you out of making a positive change, I just want to make sure you are choosing to right time to make that positive change.

Take Your Baseline Measurements

Decide how and how often you are going to measure progress. Make the measurements easy and repeatable. You could take progress photos, measurements, weigh in on the scales or measure strength. By taking a baseline measurement you are going to be sure if you heading in the right direction or if changes need to be made.  

Decide which measurements you are going to use and set a reminder in your phone.

I hope these tips have helped you before you start your next diet or phase of dieting. Please don’t just throw yourself in the deep end and hope for the best. Take the time to ask yourself some questions and decide if it is right for you.

If you need help with your nutrition strategy, then get in touch today and let’s have a chat. Contact me here, and I will be in touch.