Having a physique goal is great, but is every season a time to diet? Let’s dig in on the top 4 things that you should manage before going into a dieting phase.
Top 4 Things to Do Before a Dieting Phase
Going into a calorie deficit to lose weight may seem simple, but not if you don’t have your metabolism, hormones, and mindset prepared for it. Otherwise, what may seem simple may actually backfire. Does this apply to everyone? Absolutely not, nothing ever does. But these factors are important for all to consider and manage.
Start from Where you maintain your weight
Starting off your dieting phase should come, hopefully, from a maintenance phase. This means that for the past few months (at least 8 weeks) you’ve been eating at your maintenance calories (where you maintain your weight- TDEE). This not only ensures that your metabolism is at a healthy rate, but your hormone levels are balanced. When you begin your dieting phase- it will be much easier and you’ll be able to slowly drop calories (bonus- more food!). The goal should always be to keep calories high while seeing progress.
When you manage your stress, you are aiding to the function of your thyroid and adrenals. BUT, when stress is high weight loss can not only stall but sticking to your plan becomes a million times harder. What can you do to manage stress? Choose non-calorie ways in the form of self-care- walking, reading, exercising, meditation, yoga, breathwork, writing, and so much more! Whatever works for you is what matters.
This one relates to the dieting phase as well, as managing hunger in all stages helps you not only stay on track but make better food choices and avoid overeating. When you eat, are you comfortably full? What I mean by this is that your meals are not only satisfying (no more hunger) but also satiating (reducing cravings and keeping you full for longer). The goal with any diet is to ensure that you are choosing foods that not only keep you full and satisfied but accomplish this with the least amount of calories. This may mean focusing more on nutrient-dense foods and less on low calorie processed ones.
As a coach, I’ve heard the sayings “I can’t control my cravings”, “I have to keep certain foods out of the house”, and “I need to quit junk food as I can’t control myself” all the time. But when we dig deep, we find that the food is never the issue but instead our thoughts around them. Are you labeling food good vs. bad? Are you restricting foods heavily out of your diet? Are you labeling yourself when you eat less nutritious foods? Constant cravings can come from a variety of things, but the two most common ones are from not consuming enough nutrients (micronutrients, fats, and protein) and heavily restricting certain foods. Honor your cravings by fitting them in when you have them (in moderation). It’s a lifestyle, not a quick fix.
What matters above all?
With hunger, stress, sleep, and calories managed before starting your dieting phase, you’re all set! But don’t think that it stops as soon as you go into a calorie deficit. The best thing you can do is decrease calories in increments ( for ex. only decreasing calories after 2-3 weeks of consistency), focus on consuming enough nutrients and keeping a healthy mindset along the way. Your preferences, personality, and lifestyle all matter when choosing a dieting protocol that works for you!
Need accountability, support and a dieting protocol that works with you? Head on over to www.tiffanymoule.com to get a custom macro consult (or custom macros with training!)
Health & Mindset Coach