Keep Yourself Accountable on a Wheat-Free Diet
Your actions follow your thoughts. After you begin to change how you think about food, and wheat and grains, you'll find it easier to change your behaviors. Here are some behavioral changes that can help you shift into your wheat-free lifestyle:
Journal your progress. A journal allows you to measure your progress, analyze your food intake, and keep your wheat-free goals in the forefront of your thinking. As you journal your food intake, you become aware of exactly what you're eating.
Break non-wheat-free routines. When you drop wheat and grains from your diet and substitute those foods with noncarbohydrate foods, you become more satiated with less food, meaning you may need to eat less frequently.
One routine that can be very difficult to get out of is consuming three square meals a day with a snack or two in between. In a wheat-free diet, needing only a couple of meals a day isn't uncommon.
Create an environment conducive to a wheat-free lifestyle. Change is hard enough without the added stress of feeling like your surroundings are throwing up roadblocks every step of the way. Rid your kitchen completely of wheat products and remove all triggers from your daily routine to minimize strain on your efforts to make a lasting change in your diet.
Make sure you have a support system in place; family members or friends who sabotage your efforts (intentionally or otherwise) can make the process that much more difficult.
Find an accountability buddy. Having someone to hold you accountable helps solidify your commitment and strengthens your personal responsibility to the goals you've set.
A good time to find an accountability buddy or group is when you're facing a major change, and revamping your diet to exclude wheat and other grains certainly counts. Being held accountable works best while your desire for change is high. It strengthens personal responsibility, and personal responsibility boosts motivation.
Accountability characterizes your commitment and determines your level of ownership in completing the task at hand. With accountability, the impetus is on you to get it done, not on someone else doing it for you.
Ask a trusted confidant who holds your best interest at heart to be your accountability partner. Ideally, it should be someone who's ready to take the dietary plunge at the same time. You'll each be more likely to be sympathetic to each other as you experience similar challenges.
If you can't find a person willing to go at the wheat-free challenge with you, consider a professional nutritionist, wellness coach, or personal fitness trainer. If you're paying your accountability partner for his professional services, not living up to your end of the bargain can get awfully expensive.
Here are a few things your partner can do to see that you stay strong with your dietary commitment:
Act as your encourager
Brainstorm new and different ideas with you
Celebrate your victories with you
Help you stay focused on your motivators and goals
Push you to go outside of your comfort zone
Report to your accountability buddy daily or weekly with an update of your progress. You can do it by e-mail, text message, or telephone, but make sure it happens.