Jump start your diet for two weeks with these helpful tips.  They may help you get the results you need to stay motivated!

Often when I start new clients on a weight loss plan, they’ll ask if there’s a way to give their diet a bit of a jump start.  I’m usually pleased to hear this – when someone wants to fast-track a new diet, it tells me that they’re committed to the plan and eager to get started.   And, a diet jump start may help you to see some results fairly quickly, which means it may motivate you to step up your weight loss efforts and stick with your plan.

At the same time, if you do want to jump start your diet, it’s important to do it the right way.  It’s generally not a good idea to cut your calories too drastically – for one thing, the nutritional balance of your diet may suffer.  On top of that, you’re likely to be tired and hungry if you don’t provide your body with a reasonable amount of fuel.  And, a diet that’s overly strict might simply be difficult to stick with for more than a couple of days.

There are a few things you can do to safely give your diet a kick start for a couple of weeks. Try these 10 tips to fast-track your diet.

10 Tips to Jump Start Your Diet For Two Weeks

Commit to your plan in writing.

Write down all the reasons and motivations you have for losing weight and getting into shape, and post your list someplace where you’ll see it every day. You might even carry a copy with you in a pocket or in your purse so you can refer to it whenever you feel your commitment starting to slip.

Plan out all your meals and snacks.

Admittedly, this takes some time, but the payoff will be worth it.  When you write out a detailed meal plan, it helps to firm up your commitment – you can consider your own personal likes and dislikes, and really “own it”. When you create your menus, you can also plan out how you’ll spend your calories.  You can also use your menus to create a detailed shopping list and plan for preparing your meals for a few days at a time.

Get rid of foods that aren’t on your meal plan.

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to be eating, it’s important to get rid of all the things that might tempt you.  Go through your freezer, refrigerator and cupboards, and clear out any foods that aren’t on your plan.

Eat five times a day. 

Plan to have three meals and two small snacks, and plan to eat every 3-4 hours.  It makes it easier to eat smaller portions at meals and snacks when you know you’ll be eating every few hours.  Your snacks can be mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or evening – it’s up to you.

Eat all your meals at home. 

Eating out is convenient, but you’ll have much more control if you can prepare everything at home for a couple of weeks. It can be difficult to accurately estimate your calories when you eat out  – you often don’t know exactly how foods are prepared, or the precise portion sizes.   When you assume full responsibility for what you eat, it’s a lot easier to keep track of your calories.

Replace two meals a day with a meal replacement.

Meal replacements come in many forms, including Herbalife® Formula 1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake Mix, other protein shakes and Herbalife® Formula 1 Protein Bars.  What makes them so convenient is that they’re portion-controlled, designed to be nutritionally balanced, and they take the guesswork out of your calorie counting.  Many people find that an easy way to jump start their diet is to replace two meals with a meal replacement shake or bar, then have a calorie-controlled, healthy entrée as their third meal with extra veggies and salad on the side.

Eat the same menu every day. 

Some people find that it helps to eat the same menu every day for a couple of weeks.  Plan out what you’ll eat, how much, and calculate the calories so you’ll know exactly what you’re taking in every day.  When you don’t have to make different choices every day, you don’t have to worry about making any mistakes in your calorie counting.

Eat more vegetables than fruits, eat more fruits than starches. 

For just two weeks, aim to get most of your carbohydrates from veggies and salads.  Keep your fruit intake to just one or two servings per day, and skip the starches.  Vegetables have the fewest calories per bite, but they’re filling and nutritious, so load up on salads and cooked vegetables.  Have your fruit as a snack or add it to your protein shakes.

Start lunch and dinner with a salad. 

When you start your lunch and dinner meals with a lightly dressed salad, you’ll start to fill up without consuming a lot of calories.  Vegetables take up a lot of space in your stomach, so having your salad first can help you control the portion size of your entrée. And, eating in courses also helps you to slow your pace, too.

Start every meal with a glass of water.

A glass of water won’t necessarily fill you up very much – or for very long – but many people find that it does help.  And, since many people don’t drink as much fluid as they should, starting each meal with a glass of water may help to establish this healthy habit.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.