Dieting can be tough for many people. It’s been very tough on me at times so here are over 40 tips and tricks that I have used to help make the process more enjoyable or easier for you. Good luck and remember to follow on Instagram and TicToc @greglenko

  1. Set Realistic Goals
    You didn’t gain all your weight in two weeks, so it’s going to take more than two weeks to take it off. A slow steady pace is where it’s at.
  2. Picture How You Want To Look
    Gaze at yourself in a mirror and imagine how you want to look when you reach your goal. Also, get a picture of someone whose physique you would like to be similar to and put it on a vision board or your fridge so that every time you see it you will be motivated to keep on track. I also have a sign on my fridge door that says, “You’re not hungry. You’re just bored. Walk Away”
  3. Trust Your Body 
    We all gain and lose fat the same way unless there is some sort of underlying medical condition such as hyper or hypo thyroid going on, so if someone else can do it, so can you.
  4. Keep A Food Journal
    Write down everything you eat and drink along with the macros and total calories. It’s the fail safe to stop you from going astray and keep you within your calorie limits.
  5. The Jagged Edge
    Success is never a straight line. Its a jagged line with lots of ups and downs where eventually, and hopefully quickly, the lines going upward take you far enough to reach your goal. Expect to make mistakes and learn from them. No one is perfect.
  6. I Don’t Like Mondays
    Sometimes you have a bad meal or a few of them. Perhaps you forgot to food prep and had a real bad meal. Maybe temptation was too great because someone at work buys pizza for everyone or brings a box of pastries and you just have to have a nibble which turns into a few or more. Don’t throw away your entire day or week etc. because of it and tell yourself you will just start over on Monday, or tomorrow or any other day. I restarted on Monday for almost a year because Friday was pizza day. Just realize what you did. Don’t beat yourself up too much and pick up where you went wrong right away. Odds are it wasn’t as bad as you think.
  7. Food Prep! Food Prep! Food Prep!
    Make your meals ahead of time, weigh them and put them in containers. It saves you a lot of time from having to make your meals every time you have to eat. I make about 4 days worth of meals ahead of time. It also helps  you track your food and let’s you know ahead of time when food is going to run out. Also, bring them along with you because restaurants or cafeterias aren’t going to weigh or measure your food order for you. In fact, bring an extra meal if your going out because sometimes you may stay out longer than expected.
  8. Space and Schedule Your Meals Throughout The Day
    Spacing your meals allows you to monitor your hunger easier and prevents you from running out of food because you know when your next scheduled meal is. Too often people run out of food during the day and reach for the very first thing they can put in their mouth which is rarely something healthy.
  9. Watch a Cooking Show
    Watch a cooking show when you eat. When you’ve been eating the same meals over and over sometimes just changing the spices you use doesn’t help but watching a cooking show can help trick your brain into thinking you are eating what is on the screen your are watching. Two of my favourite shows are Diners, Drive-ins & Dives and Gotta Eat Here on the Food Network.
  10. Green Tea and Spice is Nice
    Cayenne pepper, Ginger and Chili powder can add a nice kick to a meal without adding significant calories.  Studies have also found these spices as well as green tea to have a thermogenic effect that helps burn more fat.
  11. No To Sauces & Dressings
    Sauces and dressings are often loaded with fat and sugar. It’s always best to not use them. Instead for a salad try a teaspoon of olive oil and lemon juice. If you find that you must have some sauce or dressing, Dip your fork in the in it first, then jab the food so as to get some of that sauce flavour and minimal calories.
  12. Get Rid Of All The Junk Food In Your Home
    If you have garbage food around there is a high likelihood that it will end up in your mouth at some point. Once that happens it will set you back and you will have just wasted all that time and effort losing fat before you ate it. Consider junk food anything that’s not part of your diet.
  13. Don’t Cheat
    Be conscious of your willpower. You and only you are in control of what goes past those lips. Who’s going to know if you’re a little heavy-handed on the salad dressing? You are. Only eat what your diet allows—no cheating! Unless you like wasting your time…
  14. Be Creative In The Kitchen
    Diet food can get boring fast, so you need a little imagination. Think about what flavours go together well and season your food with them. One of my favs are a Caribbean Chocolate Chicken that I created on my own. It’s ingredients are ground chicken, Caribbean spice, Cinnamon, Cayenne Powder, Organic unsweet cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of black coffee. It you can see it in the recipe section of this site.
  15. Stay Out Of The Kitchen
    Pretend it’s mama’s kitchen and she’s cooking a holiday meal. Get in and out as fast as you can before your doomed. Eat, put the dish in sink, and leave. There is no need to hover if you aren’t supposed to be there.
  16. Don’t Punish Yourself
    If you fall off the diet and really, really blow it, shake it off and get back to where you left off.  Your body will adjust over several days and you’ll go back to normal.
  17. Don’t Micro-cheat your Macros
    Micro-cheating is when you have little tiny bits of extra food throughout the day. Sometimes it’s while you’re portioning your food. Other times it may be one small piece of food with carbs. If you do this throughout the day those micro-cheats will add up and before you know it you are no longer in a caloric deficit and you could actually be at a surplus without knowing it.
  18. Allow Yourself A Treat
    All diet and no fun can make be really rough. No more than once a week indulge a little as long as its not near an event like a wedding or family gathering where you are bound to be eating off diet. That said, your basic long-term “diet” won’t be too affected by a good hearty burger and small fries.
  19. Yello For Jell-O
    Sugar-free Jell-O is sweet and tasty without the sugar, super easy to make and fairly low calories so if you need a little sweet its one of your best bets but like all things these small calorie dishes can add up quick so its best to avoid them altogether. That said, read the label. I buy a single serving box that contains only 5 calories while others contain up to 40
  20. Eat Sea Weed
    Sea Weed Snacks are great when you are craving a little crunch. The brand I buy contains 1 gram of carbs per package and a total of 25 calories. That said calories will quickly add up if you eat too many or make it more than the odd snack.
  21. Be Kind To Yourself
    Self-generated positive reinforcement can do wonders for your attitude as well as your willpower. That’s why many affirmations work.
  22. Eat Carbohydrates with a Low Glycemic Index
    This means carbs that are slow-burning, such as; whole grains and sweet potatoes. These will keep your blood sugar stable. Sugar found in most fruits, fruit juice, and other sweet foods will cause large spikes in insulin levels. Insulin spikes enhance fat storage, plus your body’s blood sugar levels will crash and leave you wanting more sugar.
  23. Don’t Grocery Shop When You’re Hungry
    Don’t shop when you are hungry. Just go to the store with a list and stick to it without wandering the store looking for what else you might be able to have.
  24. Always Read Labels & Do the Math
    A lot of the nutritional information has been manipulated to make you think something contains less or more of something than it actually does. Tons of sugar is consumed when companies indicate only 4g of carbs in big letters on a box but on the nutritional information it indicates per 1/4 tsp and you’ll end up eating 10 tsp when you consume the product.  Those so called “protein bars” are a prime example of when a company markets a product as a protein bar because it has more protein than a chocolate bar but also just as many carbs. Read the label and do the math and you will have a much different picture than the label claims.
  25. No Sugar Tonight
    Sugar is sugar regardless of what form it takes. Some people think that natural sugars found in fruit or even honey or maple syrup are okay. When it comes to weight loss they are NOT. Your body reacts to all sugar the exact same way. It doesn’t matter whether it is processed or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose or any other kind of sugar such as xylitol. Don’t be fooled. Just stay away from it.
  26. Stay Away From Bulk Foods
    You may just want a small amount but you always end up putting a little more in because you tell yourself “A little more won’t hurt” but it adds up and it does hurt you.
  27. Don’t Negotiate For It – You Don’t Need It
    Sometimes you want to eat something because it tastes good or better than what you have planned. Don’t negotiate with yourself in order to eat it. If it’s not in your diet you don’t need it so don’t entertain the thought of it. As an example;  I once asked my couch if I could use sundried tomatoes in my salad instead of regular tomatoes. He simply said, ‘No, you Don’t need it.’ It just makes sense because there are a lot more calories in sundried tomatoes than regular tomatoes. They take up less space on a plate so you tend to use more and often they’ve been soaking in oil as mine would have been.
  28. Don’t Taste Test
    When you’re cooking you can “taste yourself” right off the map. Adjust the amount of seasoning when you eat it and remember it for next time. All those little taste tests add up. I’ve been guilty of it myself when trying new seasonings on chicken. Before long I had an extra protein meal in me.
  29. Don’t Guess
    Weigh or measure everything first. How many carbs are in that bowl of rice? I asked my client as he was about to eat it. He thought it was okay and perhaps only a couple grams off. I weighed it for him and shocked him with the information that he was about to consume 100 grams extra. An entire second meal of carbs!
  30. Don’t Skip Meals
    Skipping meals slows your metabolism so your body starts to preserve energy and begins to rid the muscle you’re trying to keep. After that, hunger sets in signaling you to eat. Unfortunately by the time this happens you’ve scoured the entire house for any morsel of food and end up overeating or eating the wrong thing. Eating consistently will help you avoid overeating.
  31. Eat Lots of Fiber
    Eating lots of fiber like salads, leafy green vegetables, etc. helps in more than one way;

    • Eating fiber before carbs will help slow down digestion which helps moderate insulin levels and therefore how much sugar is going into the blood.
    • It will also fill you up with good colon-cleaning bulk with minimal calories.
  32. Get Your Rest
    If you don’t get enough sleep you’ll be tired the next day causing your hormones to be unbalanced and you will begin to crave foods full of carbs to give you more energy. In doing so, your sugar levels will begin to spike and crash causing you to crave and eat more every time they crash. Also, if you stay up too late your day will be longer which means you will be craving more food for energy and instead of recovering over night you will want to feed the body causing an increase in your daily caloric intake. Ironically It’s 2:00AM while I’m writing this and I’m fighting my hunger cravings. At least it’s not a work day tomorrow and I can sleep in… if my body let’s me…
  33. Do Your Cardio
    30 minutes on a stair climber or treadmill with your heart rate at 70 percent of VO2 max will keep your metabolism elevated for up to six hours after exercise.
  34. Do Resistance Training
    Muscle is metabolically active—it requires calories. The more muscle you have, the more calories you need to sustain it and the more food you can eat and still bring down your level of body fat.
  35. Measure With a Mirror
    You are your own best critic. Measure your results with a mirror. Regardless of how you look, going to the fridge will be unlikely after you assess your body in a well lit mirror. It never lies whereas a scale can because your body composition will change thus the scale may not be accurate depending on how much fat vs muscle you have gained and lost
  36. Take Pics
    No matter how bad you think you look take a snapshot and look forward to looking better next time. Showing off your progress is a sweet reward, especially on social media.
  37. Avoid Fad Diets
    Use your food wisdom and intuition. A lot of people are peddling their diets as the best one out there. Most are not sustainable even if they do work for a little while. The only way to lose fat is a science as easy as 1, 2, and 3.
  38. Stay Busy
    Many people eat when they are bored. Food can be a source of stimulation that can quickly turn into a bad habit, especially in the evening hours when you are Netflix and Chilling. The most strict dieter can find that a tough one to swallow.  If you have a few carb calories left at the end of the day, dill pickles have a nice crunch and only about 1.5g of carbs depending on the pickle.
  39. Tell People You’re Dieting
    If you tell your true friends and family hopefully they will support you and not offer you or invite you out for pizza and ice cream or show up at your doorstep with you favourite pie.
  40. Talk To Other Dieters
    People in the same dieting boat as you can understand what you’re going through and help you get through it in may ways including, giving you new food prep ideas or just helping you stay accountable. A little weight loss challenge between friends can be a great motivator.
  41. Be Selfish
    Sometimes when you change your lifestyle or habits for the better like not going out for pizza and wings, you meet resistance from those closest to you like your friends and family. They may start to tease you or try to coax you into not changing. There are many reasons for them to do this including the fact that you make them take a look at themselves and they don’t like what they see. By you improving yourself they feel bad about themselves. It actually has nothing to do with you. You don’t have to stop being their friends but you may want to limit your interactions with them knowing they will hinder your progress.
  42. Look Your Best
    Like the commercial from the 1970’s said, “When I look good I feel good and when I feel good I look great!” The better you look and feel the less likely you are to sabotage the diet. Using myself as an example; the better the results I see as competition approaches the more excited I get to become to see the definition in my muscles and the more motivated I am to stick to my diet.

Thank you. Good luck with your diet.
For other health and fitness info remember to follow me on Instagram and TicToc @greglenko