Why Do Diets Fail?

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Most of us have been inspired by the latest weight loss diet to start this journey and improve our health. Some have achieved success, while others gave up within the first month. As someone who has been on multiple diets and researched tons of health and fitness material, let me say that all ‘Diets fail, if not today then tomorrow.’ This might seem a fatalistic proclamation, but hopefully you’ll realize what I’m saying by the end of this article. There are several reasons why popular diets are not the all-enlightening answer to weight loss and more importantly maintaining a healthy body. Let’s discuss some of them and review possibilities in light of this information.

1. Setting unrealistic goals

The reason why most diets fail is that we set unachievable goals and get disappointed when we don’t reach the initial milestones. The weight gain we are faced with took years to build up, however we want to lose weight within a month or two. This crash diet has tremendous implications for your health and I mean that in a negative manner. Focusing on the small things can help and even a minor substitution like soda for water and green tea can lead to upwards of 20 pounds lost within 6 months.

The diet mode is focused on consuming healthy portions of specific foods 3-5 times a day. Meanwhile, the body is used to working around rewards and hence you don’t need to feel bad about consuming treats like chocolate once a week. Ideally this should happen from the second week to consolidate the gains of the first week. Weight loss should be given time and the ideal number is 1 pound per week. If you force yourself, you might lose five times that amount in the first few weeks but rest assured that its coming back later. Moderation is the key to sustaining a diet.

Diets that are scheduled for tomorrow don’t see the light of the day. If it’s worth doing then plan ahead and start right now. Adhere to a realistic weight loss plan and consider exigencies and how to minimize their negative impact. Most importantly don’t give up due to initial failure(s).

Binge eating

Moderated portions of fibe, good fats and protein are essential to a successful diet. The problem with execution of most diets is that you end up feeling hungry. The body is deprived of the usual carbohydrates and hence your mental wellbeing is plagued by fatigue, headaches and an array of health problems. At the end of the day you resort to binge eating and wipe away your gains with a single blow. The usage of fiber, proteins etc. provides you with a feeling of satiation and you don’t need to resort to unwanted indulgences. Don’t starve yourself, instead eat healthy at regular intervals.

Science decides your diet

Eliminating all fatty foods and reducing food portions damages the metabolism. When the body is deprived of food, it elicits food cravings and slows down metabolism. These characteristics are ingrained in us and self-starvation does not deter them. Consuming high carb foods leads to slow metabolism and increase in hunger.

The breakfast meal is really important and processed food stuff should be replaced by protein intake. Dinner time is critical and the body’s digestive mechanism should be allowed to process the last food intake 3-4 hours before sleeping. The normal appetite should be appeased with the help of fresh foods. Biochemistry should be taken into consideration and lower insulin and blood sugar needs to be balanced. This means a balanced dietary intake of protein, fat, vegetables, fruits and moderate consumption of beans. Insulin spikes are decreased by consuming protein and fiber.

Don’t skip meal planning

You come home tired from studies/office and don’t have time to cook anything. What happens next is something we want to forget, but unfortunately a bag of snacks or carbonated drink etc. is nearby and we end up consuming them. We all fail sometimes and that’s why meal planning is a crucial factor in successful diets. Ideally our fridge/pantry should be comprised of healthy and fresh foods only, but it takes time to change habits and other family members are involved.

The best time to plan meals is Sunday as you can shop and cook meal servings to cover the whole week. Also you can prepare portions of meat, yougurt, vegetables, dry fruit etc. as per the diet plan. Bringing out the grill 2-3 times a week is not practical and hence you should cook meat on one convenient day. The shredded chicken can be slowly cooked in the crockpot during daytime and when you reach home you have a base meat that’s ready to eat. Plan meals ahead and stick to them.

Optimize your time and money

If we analyze exercise by using a cost/benefit analysis then we might be put off by the arrangement of exercise equipment, the cost of a trainer, healthy food expenses, finding time for exercise and a bunch of other stuff. Rest assured, that there’s an alternative for everything and you just have to think smart. Let’s analyze each mentioned point and find an efficient and effective alternative.

Buying exercise equipment or getting a gym membership is something that varies from person to person. For me, the least cost incurred while exercising at home is the best option. In today’s world that’s very easy because you have complete workout programs like Tabata at your access. The only investment is a $20 yoga mat and you are good to go. Time is important and here you have 20 minute daily workouts that equate an hour spent in the gym. If weights are required then your laptop bag or a filled water bottle will suffice.

There is a lot of food-related advice on the internet and for this purpose a visit to the nearby Nutritionist/Dietitian will do wonders for you. Based on your body type and nutrition requirements they can provide a diet plan that’s tailored for you. 40 U.S. states make it compulsory for insurance to compensate diabetic patients for these meetings. This is a one-time investment and you can discuss low-cost healthy food options. There are a host of certified trainers like Athlean X on Youtube, which offer complete guidance on exercise. Select 1-2 qualified trainers and follow their guidance.

Are your eating the right diet:

If we need to name three things that decide a prosperous life then they are healthy eating, portion control and physical activity. The eating part comprises 70% of the effort and if you don’t make the right choices an hour worth of daily exercise won’t get the desired results and may lead to a diet failure.

The desired food intake is comprised of protein, fiber and good fats. When we hear the last name i.e. fats we tend to avoid it all costs. However, science shows that low-carb fat leads to an increase in metabolism and improvement in weight loss. This fat ideally resides in avocados, nuts and Omega-3.

Sugar intake needs to be reduced if the diet is expected to succeed. Also you can’t cheat by relying on artificial sweeteners as they result in food cravings and some studies have showed they can lead to Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Pure honey in limited portions is a safe option. Do remember that dieting is a lifestyle choice and you need to carry on these healthy choices after the weight loss is achieved.

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At the beginning of the article I mentioned that all diets fail, today or tomorrow. The second portion is worth paying attention as research suggests that most people gain back their lost weight in three years. One of the reasons for this reversal is that we don’t make healthy diet and regular exercise a lifestyle change. Sustaining weight loss is harder then losing weight. After we achieve the initial weight loss goals, we should plan about how we should maintain our weight for the next 3 years. This means maintaining a regular exercise routine and diligently maintaining healthy food choices. Once a week we can treat ourselves, but this should be the exception rather than the norm. Hopefully most of the bases are covered and you have a better diet and exercise plan in hand for your next weight loss effort.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comment box and I’ll get back to you asap.

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