How to Stick to a 30-Day Diet: 9 Ways to Increase Your Willpower

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As I prepare to embark on another 30 day diet, my goal is to have the willpower to lose 10 pounds and stick to my diet for one month. I’ve done it before and I know it isn’t easy. I know it will take some sacrifice and there will be some tough days ahead. But I also know it’s a very attainable goal. Sticking to a diet is not impossible if you know how to train your mind.

I’ve learned some things over the years about weight loss and I’m humble to the process. Making the right food choices and following through rigorously are two different things. Each one is critical to reaching your goals. But in order to succeed on a healthy weight loss journey you will need more than just good choices and average follow through. You will need to harness your own willpower and learn methods to strengthen it.

Ask yourself this question – on a scale of 1-10, how will you rate yourself in resisting your temptations to meet your long-term goals?

We know it’s difficult. But, at the same time, not impossible. All you need is self-discipline and willpower.

The food lifestyle is a vicious circle which mostly starts with eating all the unhealthy junk foods that are loaded with carbs and fats. You tend to follow this unhealthy lifestyle until your body alarms you to wake up, for good.

Following a healthy diet is recommended for everyone – regardless of age or fitness goals. Once you adapt to this healthy lifestyle, you will not only experience weight loss but will also safeguard yourself from various types of diseases. But again, the main hurdle that the majority of you may be facing is – how to stick to a diet. How to carry on this healthy eating routine for a long time?

Well, as they say, every problem has a solution, and so does this.

This article is all about motivating you to stick to your diet and ways that will help you to increase your willpower. So, are you ready for a motivational tour today?

Let’s get started!

How to Stick to a Diet Successfully: Top 3 Tips

Ask Yourself – What Motivates You the Most?

Asking questions to yourself will give you a clear idea of what you want versus what you need to do. Begin with why. Why do you want to shift your focus to healthy eating and dieting in the first place? Is it weight loss? Is it for some health reasons? Do you just want to fit into your favorite clothes again?

Whatever it is, your motive behind this should be strong. You should be passionate about achieving that. Others will be there to inspire you at every step, but it’s you who will have to make it happen. So, staying motivated to reach your goal is the first thing that you’ll need to hold on to your diet for the long-term.

Figure out what this one singular motivation is for you and put it into the forefront of your mind each day when you step out of bed.

And once you have settled on that driving motivation, its time to set your plan in motion.

Setting a Diet Plan

Some tips for planning:

  • SMALL MILESTONES: Start by setting up little milestones – this is one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated. Achieving these little milestones will make you happy. Once you achieve the first, you’ll have the zest to go on to the next and then the next. Maybe its a half pound per day of lost weight? Maybe it’s a one mile walk at lunch time every day?
  • WRITE IN A JOURNAL: Write your diet journey somewhere – if you like to maintain a journal, fair enough. Start writing your daily routine and what you did differently today to help you reach your goal. This will help you keep a check on what you’ve been doing or what you still need to focus on. Even if it’s only two or three short sentences per day, these written words will keep you focused on your goal and true to yourself. Below is the best selling 30 Day Diet Journal on Amazon. It will help you track all of the important components of your diet and it will help you get organized for a better chance of success.
30 Day Diet Journal can help you stick to your diet
30 Day Diet Journal – Includes Meal Planning, Sleep Planning, Water Intake, Grocery Planning and Daily Weight Loss Goals – Click image to Check Price
  • FIND THE RIGHT MOTIVATION: Post some motivating quotes near your computer screen or make a health-focused to-do list. Maybe your list will include living longer to see your grandkids someday – it can sound crazy, but it can be anything that creates serious and focused motivation. A sticky note with these messages on your fridge, mirror, or pinboards; basically, somewhere that you have to see it every day will remind you of your targets and will keep you going.

Don’t Try for Perfection, Focus on Consistency

You don’t need to be a master or a guru to succeed. Sometimes it is more about holding onto it and not letting go of your motivations and goals. The latter is applicable even here. Don’t aim for zero mistakes; it could end up hurting you. No one can be perfect on a diet for 30 days. I know I’ve never been able to do it. If you are rigorous, focused and if you are willing to forgive and learn from your own diet hazards, you will have a much easier time losing weight. Instead of trying to be perfect you need to simply aim towards consistency. Having a routine each day is the key to sticking to a diet.

How to stick to a diet of eating vegetable smoothies.

As humans, we are sure to have temptations at some point so don’t just ignore it. You may be prepped up biologically to stay on your diet schedule strictly, but in tempting situations like a gala dinner event or a happy hour you will find additional challenges. So give yourself cheat days and cheat meals. It will allow you to stay the course for longer and it will slowly bring you toward consistent healthy eating.

It’s simple. You don’t need to hibernate or stop living your life. It’s okay to listen to the occasional temptations and have cheat days. You should not forget to enjoy your life even while on a strict diet.

Indulging a little occasionally won’t work against you. In fact, it can help you sustain your diet schedule for the long-term.

Once you are focused to stick to your diet, the next thing to consider is – your willpower. It plays a major role when you have long-term diet plans. So, how can you increase your willpower? Let’s find out!

9 Interesting Ways to Help You Increase Your Willpower

1. Set Clear and Realistic Goals

Having an end target in mind should be your first step. As said earlier, if you set up milestones for yourself, it’ll help you stick to your diet plan easily. But be sure that the goals set are measurable and attainable. If your goals are not specific, you’ll not be able to keep track. Besides, there will be no motivational factor involved. You’ll simply make your journey difficult.

EXAMPLE: My goal is simple and its timebound with small milestones: Lose 10 pounds in 30 days. 1 pound every 3 days. I will walk 2 miles every day (approximately 35-40 minutes). And I will plan on 2 cheat meals per week to keep my sanity and motivation.

By focusing on small steps, figure out how you’re exactly planning to attain the small goals, and make sure to pat yourself on the back once you achieve them. Doing so will help you hold out for a little longer – and that is what you want.

2. Plan Your Diet Lifestyle

How to stick to a 30 day diet

If you are planning to begin a healthy diet for the long-term, it is crucial to plan a roadmap for it. A recent study claims you can double your chances of sticking to a diet if you have a pre-planned diet strategy. What are you going to eat? How are you going to arrange it? How are you going to cope with your occasional temptations? When will you have cheat days? What will you eat on your cheat days?

Plan each and every detail. Consider even handy food options – you can grab those whenever you feel hungry. Keep your fridge stocked with the healthy food that you can eat with zero guilt. Plan a weekly menu so that you don’t have to think much about food choices on your busiest days. Make lists BEFORE you go to the grocery store and treat your diet the same way you treat your career. Pay attention to the details and be prepared.

You can find many great ideas for your weekly meals in the following articles:

3. Consider An Intermittent Fast to Kick Off the first 5 Days of Your Diet

If you have never heard of intermittent fasting or you think Fasting is too extreme or too difficult, think again. I have found an incredible diet hack called Prolon. Prolon is created by some geniuses at the University of Southern California and it has become a not so secret weapon of many in Hollywood. It is the first diet that allows you to eat small amounts of food while you are fasting. I know this might sound too good to be true. We have written an entire overview of the Prolon fasting mimicking diet here: Ultimate Review of ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet (along with a discount code!). This diet has been proven to help with health, cognitive functioning and weight loss. We highly recommend you at least read about the process and results.

Prolon can help you stick to your diet

4. Indulge in Different Activities

The way your mind works can sometimes be your enemy, especially when you’re dieting. You’ll constantly think about food, and be ready to develop all types of cravings – everything will seem to work against you. That’s how a human mind works. But we also have a solution to it. Just keep yourself busy.

Studies say that keeping yourself busy can aid in strengthening your willpower. Keep your mind active, occupied in some interesting activities. Do what you love. And also, try to indulge in things that demand you to be creative. Enjoy your days as much as you can. If you don’t have any activity on hand, spend time with your family and friends or go for a long walk. Simply put, keep yourself busy. It will keep your willpower intact.

5. Learn to Cook

If you’re on a diet, you should focus more on homemade healthy food. After all, the first rule is to cut back on eating all the junk food that is loaded with calories, sugars, carbs, and fats. So, that brings you to another adventure – cooking. Start sharpening your culinary skills as a means of sticking to a diet. Get creative with the foods that you love and that fall under the category of ‘healthy diet.’

Teach yourself with the help of thousands of recipes that you can find on the internet today. You’ll also have an idea of what you’re eating with all the calorie details that you need to keep track of. It’s fun. Once you master this art, you’ll not only be able to cook your favorite diet meal, but you’ll also end up saving money and learning something new. Who knows, it may even become your new-found hobby! If you really want to take it to the next level, start a healthy cooking food blog.

6. Work Out Daily

Working out is mandatory for people of all ages, no matter what their fitness goal is. Simply put, it is one of the easiest ways of leading a healthy life. Generally, exercise is taken as something good for bones and muscles. But that’s not all. It is equally important for your mind and it is proven to strengthen your willpower. The more you push yourself physically, the more your mind will respect the journey you have embarked on.

Start exercising daily, and you’ll find a difference in just a couple of months. It will make the parts of the brain that control your willpower stronger, denser, bigger, and better connected. This will enable you to focus on what you really want without any distractions.

7. Get Enough Sleep

How to stick to a diet - get enough sleep

Try having a sleepless night to see how distracted you can get. Lack of sleep can be a diet killer. Yes, sleep plays a vital role in keeping you energized for the next day. If you don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep, your willpower begins to weaken as the impulsive centers of the brain tend to be overactive and overtired. How to stick to a diet when your brain lacks sleep and willpower?

So, a good night’s sleep is very important to regulate the systems of the brain perfectly. Along with sleep, another practice that strengthens the systems of the brain control your willpower is meditation. It’s not difficult, just begin with meditating for only 10 minutes a day. This will take your willpower to another level. There are several great mobile apps that can get you started with meditation. Try them out. Some people have found that meditation is the absolute key to sticking to a diet.

8. Use Technology to Your Advantage

It’s 2020. The era where you can get apps for almost each and everything. So, why not take their advantage? Use different tools that can assist you in your fitness journey. It can be anything – a fitness tracker that gives you an insight into your workout or a food tracker that reveals all your calorie intake for the day.

Technology is the biggest gift to mankind, so using it resourcefully can help you stick to your diet regime easily. If you are not a tech-savvy person, go old-school. You don’t need any fancy accessories for this. Just a paper and a pen, and your fitness journal are enough.

Some of my favorite tech aids are fitness bracelets, sleep monitoring apps, meditation apps, run tracking apps and most recently I’ve begun testing my blood for food sensitivities with the Everlywell kits.

Food sensitivity test
A food sensitivity test can help you finally understand which foods simply do not work with you body’s metabolism and biology. Click here to check the price.

9. Indulge (a bit)

One of the most difficult things that people face while dieting is cutting back on sugar. Sugar is addictive, and you crave it more when you are dieting. As said earlier, you don’t need to aim for perfection. Be consistent with your diet schedule, but at the same time, don’t be too harsh on yourself. It is totally okay to indulge what you crave occasionally.

Craving a chilled drink? How about grabbing a diet soda or a lightly-sweetened iced tea? It should help satiate your cravings up to a certain extent without going overboard. So, indulging a bit cautiously won’t harm, and it won’t break your diet schedule either.

That’s why planning your diet lifestyle is important. Incorporating these cravings in your diet from the beginning will help you follow your diet pattern without feeling guilty for satiating your cravings occasionally. Sometimes the very key to sticking to a diet is giving yourself an occasional break. There are even low carb sweet snacks and desserts, so you don’t have to worry about ruining your diet at all.

Do Unplanned Cheat Days Affect Your Willpower?

Even if you have pre-planned everything, there will be a time when you’re going to have cheat days that you didn’t plan. What will you do in this scenario? Will you give up or punish yourself mentally for breaking your willpower?

Well, the answer is – NO! You should not give up or punish yourself. Don’t hit the gym to work out more and burn those extra calories and don’t skip your next meal. Simply return to your diet plan. It’s as simple as that. Most diets begin to fall apart after an unplanned cheat meal or dessert. Successful dieters learn to forget about their unplanned cheats and leave them in the past. One time of unhealthy eating won’t ruin your entire diet. Just take a deep breath and get back on track.

How to Stick to a Diet: Final Words

In the end, it’s you who can be a game-changer for yourself. Sticking to a 30 day diet is a very attainable goal. Stay motivated with these 9 powerful ways to ensure dieting success. Aside from your own mind, nothing can stop you from reaching your goals. Remember, you’ve got this! And once you emerge out as a winner you’ll already be an inspiration to many who are struggling with their own willpower. Motivate them with your fitness journey and inspire them with what you have learned. Good luck.


Anne Haliday has spent her career in the food industry both as a chef and a food critic. She is passionate about health and nutrition and has spent years studying food and it’s impact on our health. In her free time Anne can be found kayaking or practicing yoga.

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