Sticking to a diet is never easy. When you eat a certain way for so long, to abruptly change it means to destroy a habit you have had for the majority of your life.

There have been periods in my life where I struggled with dieting,  my consistency was nothing like it is today.

I have compiled a list of tips and tricks that I have gathered over the time I’ve spent dieting to help all those struggling to diet.

Create an environment where you can’t cheat.

Hands down, this is the most effective and easiest way to stick to a diet. When there’s nothing unhealthy in your home, your chances of sticking to your diet are increased dramatically.

In order to get Junk food, you will have to leave your house. This requires a lot more effort and gives you more time to think about the consequences. This is especially effective because most people crave unhealthy food at night when most stores are closed.

Secondly, you avoid the common trigger of seeing a really tasty treat. The number one reason I used to binge was because my mum would leave cake or cookies on the @#$%ing bench. At night, when I walked through the kitchen to the toilet, it would stare me right and the face.  “One bite won’t hurt”, (clue: it’s never just one bite).

You’re probably eating more than you need too.

For a long time, I made the mistake of eating more than I needed. I believed I needed to eat till I was stuffed in order to be satisfied. My meals were large but I ate less often.

When I did eat, I would eat my food incredibly fast, not allowing my body any time to tell it me it was full. I soon realised I could eat a portion 1/3 of the size and 20 minutes later I’d be just as satiated as I was with the big meals.

On top of this, after eating a big meal, I would be hungry 2-3 hours later. After eating a 1/3 of the portion, I would still only be hungry 2-3 hours later.

Eat slower and eat less.

Sweet foods are a trigger.

The easiest way to control your appetite is to avoid sweet foods when possible. Sweet foods are the easiest to overindulge in because the taste is so addictive.

Every time I used to have a sweet meal, even something as simple as protein oats. I would crave more when it was done because the flavour profile was so enticing. Alternatively, when I had a bland meal like chicken and rice, I would be much more content after finishing it.

When I’m still hungry after a sweet meal I ask myself ‘would I eat a plate of broccoli right now?’ If the answer is yes, then I’m definitely still hungry. If not, then it’s just sugar cravings.

Drink lots with your meal.

My biggest problem was not having a full feeling in my stomach after a meal. I found the best way to fix this was to skull 1 or 2 big glasses of water before the meal. After finishing the meal, my stomach would be super full, leaving me very satisfied.

Low-calorie foods to fill your belly.

Here is a list of the foods I’ve used to cure my empty stomach without putting a dent in my daily calorie consumption.

  • Veggies – super low calorie and very fibrous which creates a full feeling in your stomach. Warning: overeating veggies will give you a temporary bloat, this will subside in a few hours. Embrace the full feeling bloat provides.
  • Popcorn – Gives the illusion you’re eating heaps when really its 90% air. Nice low-calorie food to snack on while you work. Adding butter to your popcorn significantly increases the calories.
  • Protein fluff  – Follow the link to find out more. I always feel insanely full/slightly sick after eating this.
  • Pickles – I never used to like pickles. However, a whole jar has less than 100 calories. In times of insane hunger, I like pickles.
  • Volumized oats – cook your oats, add more water, cook them again, and add more water. Rinse and repeat until you have the desired volume. This caps out at about 1 Litre of water per 100g of oats.
  • Cauliflower/courgette oats – Further volumize your oats. Boil cauliflower and/or courgettes, blend and then add to your oats. Tastes almost identical.
  • Weight watchers jelly – 30 calories, large volume
  • Calorie-free drinks – Naturally flavoured tea’s – Healthy.  Sugar-free drinks – Unhealthy but tasty.
  • Scrambled egg with added egg white – Add egg white to your scrambled eggs for extra volume with very little calorie increase.