Why Your Diets Fail
Results are not magical when trying to maintain a diet. Many people initially start out very optimistic when trying to lose weight and stay fit, faithfully going to the gym and burning more calories than their calorie intake. When they don’t get the results they want in the time they expect, however, the enthusiasm falters.
Normally, the stricter the diet plan, the least likely it is for the subject to stick to it. On average, people stay on a diet for about six months, even much shorter when diet plans are entirely different from the eating pattern that the person is used to. There are many reasons for failure to maintain a diet, here’s the list of the four most common.
Studies have shown that the following are the four leading causes of failure to stick to a diet:
1. Wrong Diet Choice
Diet plans are not custom made to individual needs; hence, there is no best choice in this area. Lifestyle is a major determinant in choosing the diet plan suited for you. The plan should fit your lifestyle and should not be difficult to follow, initially; otherwise, keeping the diet going for a long time would be very tedious. The ideal diet should be one that the dieter could easily adjust to and stick to like it was his/her normal diet. It should also allow the dieter to enjoy his/her favorite food items from time to time.
Tip for Diet Success: A viable diet is one that you can stick to for a long time, even for a life time. Let your lifestyle determine your eating plan; just make sure that it is a healthy diet plan. People who lose weight successfully are those who are vigilant in minding their lifestyles. It is very difficult to lose weight and keep it off, hence, the added vigilance required for the lifestyle of a dieter.
2. Unworkable Expectations
There is no magic potion for losing weight quickly and dieters who expect to lose weight in a very short span of time are in for a great disappointment. To add to this, almost all dieters expect to lose 30% to 40% of their total body weight and if they don’t achieve this, they easily give up. Setting very high expectations can translate to utter disappointment when these expectations are not met. You are most likely to fail if your expectations are too high, and when you fail, the resulting stress or depression can send you back to your old eating habits.
Tip for Diet success: Achieving the weight that you have set your sights on should not be considered the only reward for your dieting efforts. Losing 10% of your body weight can be very healthy in the long run. The 10% that you lose from your total body weight can work by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as resolve glucose sensitivity and sleep apnea. This also gives you a general feeling of well being.
3. Exercise-less Dieting
Dieting goes hand in hand with physical activity. For a diet plan to work, this should be accompanied with some form of physical activity that you can do for most days of the week. Success in losing weight also requires being physically active, regularly. Of course, other than weight loss, exercise also has other health and psychological benefits.
Tip for Diet Success: Do not limit your concept of exercise to the gym. Exercise can come in many forms; even day to day activities that you enjoy doing can be forms of exercise. Gradually increase your intensity when the activity feels like it’s too easy for you. Pool workouts can also give you the extra benefit of water resistance, plus, the buoyancy from water relieves strain from the joints. How about counting your steps everyday using a pedometer? Just aim for 10,000 steps a day and you’re well on your way. Always make sure to talk to your doctor about your physical restrictions before trying any form of exercise.
4. Static environment
While it is true that a strong will can help in losing weight, such is not all that you need. You also have to create an environment that would encourage your diet plans whether at home, at work, or with friends. If you want to lose weight successfully you have to get rid of temptations in your surroundings, such as not keeping a candy stash or limiting your night-outs where you are bound to consume huge amounts of alcohol. Your family and friends also play an important role in your quest for weight loss; without their support it would be impossible to achieve your goals.
Tip for Diet Success: You need to get your family and friends into your weight loss plan. Have diet-friendly foods and ingredients in your kitchen so that you have what you need to prepare healthy meals and snacks. Pack up on these nutritious foods so that you can grab one anytime you feel the urge to eat. Stay away from temptations.
More Tips for a Successful Diet:
- Be conscious of what you have already achieved. Monitor your progress, give yourself a safe weight range and check on it at least once a week. By doing this, you can adjust your calorie intake whenever your digits go beyond the range you have set for yourself.
- Start with a short, strict diet plan, initially, so, that you get immediate results which can motivate you into losing more. When you are done with this short plan, move on to greater things, design or use a more sustainable diet plan.
- Do not make brash changes in your eating habits. Small, unnoticeable, and gradual diet revisions are more effective. Implement the changes every week and work from there.
- Watch a movie or go to the opera or do something you like, except eat, every time you achieve a goal.
- Break off from the dieting mindset. Instead of focusing on a complex diet plan, think of how you can feel fuller with lesser calories. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein can help you achieve that ‘full’ feeling with lesser calories.
- Go to the root of the problem. Most of the time weight problems are caused by emotional situations like stress. Find the real reason for your weight problem and address this.
- It is normal to regain a little weight once you have successfully lost your pounds. Do not get discouraged. Changing your behavior would be more logical than going on an on-and-off dieting plan. Weight cycling does not lower metabolism or appear to cause adverse psychological effects.