5 Reasons Why You Can’t Stick To A Diet

4 min read
5 Reasons Why You Can’t Stick To A Diet
Whether it’s a New Year, New You or a 6 week ‘get ripped’ plan, fad diets never fall out of fashion. There’s a reason why the diet industry is valued at $2 billion. This reason is that, for most of us, a diet is something we stick to for a few weeks before falling off the wagon to then repeat the weight loss – regain cycle.

This article shares 5 reasons why you can't stick to a fad diet and what you can do instead.

1) It’s too restrictive

You’ve cleared out your kitchen and replaced everything with a potentially very narrow range of foods. The chances are you’ve eliminated a lot of the things you’re used to eating and introduced a lot of foods you’ve never tried and might not even like.

The more restrictive the diet and the further from what you’re used to eating, the less likely you are to sustain it.

Avoid eliminating the foods you love completely - begin with small changes to your existing habits:

  1. Try to measure your food a couple of times to have a better understanding of your portions - most of us underestimate how much we eat
  2. Adjust your portion sizes gradually
  3. Introduce more vegetables and whole foods
  4. Substitute some higher sugar, higher salt and higher saturated fat foods with healthier options over time

2) You feel hungry all the time

Any heavy calorie-restricted diet means hunger pangs. While it’s fine to feel a little peckish just before mealtimes, a growling stomach, headache and dizziness in an afternoon meeting is going to send you running for sugary snacks. It’s also going to affect your concentration, energy levels and mood, which will hurt your performance at work and exercising.

It’s important to notice that sometimes we confuse hunger with other feelings. If you’re feeling like eating, ask yourself: are you bored, stressed or sad? Eating is often emotional - a lot of us eat when we are not hungry so be mindful of why you’re reaching for a snack and when you do eat, focus on really enjoying every mouthful.

If you’re feeling like eating, ask yourself, are you bored, stressed or sad. A lot of us eat when we are not hungry so be mindful of why you’re reaching for a snack and when you do eat, focus on really enjoying every mouthful.

3) You feel tired

When you restrict calories, you feel low in energy. And if you go to bed hungry, you’ll find it harder to sleep, compounding your tiredness. This is going to affect mood and performance both at work and during exercise.

If you’re really feeling the fatigue, it could be a good time to reconsider your strategy. Make sure you’re eating a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats from a wide variety of foods. Eliminating whole food groups, like grains, will only make your life miserable and delay your long-term goals, as it can result in deficiencies, increased tiredness and even more cravings.

4) Initial weight loss plateaus

Starting a restrictive diet often leads to rapid initial weight loss, much of which includes water and lean muscle—the very tissue we aim to keep. This will lead to a lower number on the scale.

As time goes on, weight loss tends to slow down or stop altogether as our bodies work hard to maintain weight and we start to feel hungrier. In addition, the monotony of a strict diet can also lead to a gradual return to previous eating habits, causing weight loss to stall or even reverse. This is the reason we work with our clients on maintenance plans after they achieve their body transformation.

It's important to remember that the scale only provides a limited perspective, offering just a single piece of the overall progress puzzle. Your weight could remain the same, if you're losing fat and gaining muscle, for example.

Other options you can consider is to take a DEXA scan to provide more detailed insights. Alternatively, consider taking regular progress photos from different angles (front, back and side) in the morning, on an empty stomach, and after using the bathroom.

5) You change your life to a diet and training plan

Many people will adjust their way of living to fit into strict diets or extreme training plans. This tends to not be maintainable long-term and can cause social isolation due to less available time or deliberately skipping social gatherings to avoid temptation.

It's important to understand that it's being good consistently - with your nutrition and training - that leads to great results. Aim for 80% consistency. Moreover, understand that maintaining social connections is essential for your mental health and the relationships of those important to you - going out for a meal occasionally won't compromise your long-term goals.

Want our certified nutritionists to review your plan? Let's have a chat.

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