5 Reasons Most Diets Fail Within 7 Days

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5 Reasons Most Diets Fail Within 7 Days

When it comes to diets, 2 out of 5 people quit within 7 days, 1 out of 5 will last the month and maybe make it to 3 months, this according to a recent UK survey. Each attempt can yield some weight loss, but the truth is that the short-term deprivation is just not sustainable.

You can look at “diet” two ways and your plan of action will be different depending on which of these two categories you fit into:

"I’m a healthy weight normally, but sometimes put on some seasonal weight."

You’ve gone a little overboard over the holidays – after all, it’s the holidays – and now need to drop a few pounds to get back to your “normal” weight, the healthy weight you usually are. So in this context, you generally have healthy eating habits with some exceptions like vacations, holidays, maybe even stress which result in weight gain. Caloric deprivation – lowering the number of calories you consume every day with the hope of losing those 5 to 15 lbs. – would be a short-term solution that when combined with exercise would yield the result you desire.

"I’ve struggled with my weight all my life."

Here, the plan of action needs to be different. Simply limiting calories may work short term, but the minute you stop “dieting” the weight is likely to return. This is because you haven’t changed your normal dieting habits (what you consume day to day when not “dieting”) and your day-to-day food choices are flawed. The result: you gain back the weight, and maybe even more than you lost! The plan of action here is education, first and foremost. These folks need to gain an understanding of food, generally what a balanced meal looks like, why consuming a can of diet soda can require a half an hour on the treadmill just to work off those excess calories from that one soda. Once you gain an understanding of what your food intake should be and the types of foods you should consume, you are much more likely to sustain a healthy weight. Isn’t this what we all desire? Hiring a dietician to help or joining Weight Watchers would be a great start. The goal is to educate yourself on “how to eat.” This is a fantastic investment with a lifetime of benefits!

Whatever your category, here are some great tips to help you succeed when limiting your calories. Which of these sound familiar? Pinpoint your pitfalls so you can implement strategies to avoid them.

Body Rebellion

If your diet is too restrictive, your body won’t go along. Mood swings, headaches, physical and mental fatigue, stomach upset, and irritability are your body’s way of telling you that you’ve gone too hard too fast. A healthy diet won’t result in any of those. Take a Goldilocks approach – not too little nor too much! Add a healthy snack in between. Yes, you’ll add some calories but you’re also likely to stick with it when you don’t experience the body rebellion symptoms.

Hunger

Chronic hunger can mean your diet is imbalanced or inadequate. In fact, it can actually have the opposite effect: your brain thinks famine and resists weight loss to conserve energy. The fix is simple – increase the foods that keep you full longer like lean proteins (organic eggs, lentils, beans, fish, poultry), fiber (veggies, whole grains, fruits), and good fats (avocados, seeds, nuts).

Cravings

We all have those cheat foods we love… we can’t resist! That’s ok because cut offs are a sure way to fall off the diet horse. Instead, build in those indulgences with a cheat day or instead of buying a gallon of ice cream, on Sunday drive down to Ted Drew’s and get a single serving! You’ve satisfied the craving but haven’t gone overboard. On Monday, get serious again. You’ll avoid the anger and resentment of trying to be “perfect” week after week and you’ll be more likely to stick with your new healthy eating habits.

Social Pressure

You’re probably shaking your head right now and thinking, “Yeah, my family/friends just tell me to eat because I look fine!” This issue is more important than you think. Many people feel guilt or are enticed into eating. Having the support and acknowledgment from loved ones is critical to your success. This is best addressed on the spot. Explain why your goals are important to you and ask for their support. Often the pushy nature is more related with your friend’s own guilt about eating that dessert when they perceive you taking a strong position and passing it over. Address the point in a heartfelt way and loved ones will understand!

Emotions

Are you an emotional eater? Were you given candy or a lollypop every time you got upset as a child? When we let our emotions drown out our rational thoughts, that’s a recipe for disaster. You’re sad or angry so you’ll go get some fast food or you’ll eat the entire container of ice cream to soothe yourself emotionally. But that’s just a temporary fix. Tomorrow you’ll beat yourself up about doing so and the additional pounds will be a constant reminder of your unhealthy coping method. If you’re an emotional eater, counseling can help you get to the bottom of it and provide you with new, healthier ways to cope emotionally. Also, there are countless resources on-line and books on the topic of emotional eating. Go directly to the core of the issue instead of going to the newest diet fad. Again, what you gain from understanding how you process emotions can change your life for the better, permanently!

To learn more about nutrition, diet, and weight loss, contact us here to speak with our Registered Dietician Nutritionist in St. Louis. From nutritional coaching to diet management, our professionals can help!

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, please call the National Eating Disorder Association at 1-800-931-2237.

Read 3481 times Last modified on Wednesday, 27 May 2015 21:03

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