Why Diets Fail?


Have you ever tried to follow a diet and failed miserably? Has it happened only once or many times? Read the following to identify the reasons why diets fail and ways to cope with this.

Hunger – 

Starvation or indiscriminate fasting is NOT dieting.  Its punishing, because the body views dieting as a form of starvation. When you eat much below your desired energy intake for a long time, your metabolism slows down and tries to fight back. You plateau and stop losing weight.

Muscle Loss –

Not all weight loss might be healthy, you might just be losing muscle or water weight due to crash dieting and doing copious amounts of cardio. Also if you have a restrictive diet, lacking protein and micronutrients, it will affect your muscles.

Hormonal issues-

The hormones that regulate our hunger and satisfaction waver making it harder to sustain the diet and hence weight loss. Researchers say fat hormones, such as leptin and adiponectin, are of interest because they may aid in promoting long-term weight loss. 

No physical activity –

Make exercise, activity and movement a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. In case you have very busy schedules, try and exercise first thing in the morning before the day consumes you

Just like your food, pick activities that you can stick to, and not things that will peter out after a few weeks of initial enthusiasm. You don’t need to be spending hours in the gym or hiring a personal trainer. Even a relaxing walk or jog while listening to your favourite music, a dance class or a yoga session can be a good starting point. Also, stay active throughout the day.

Sleep Deprivation
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of our well-being today. We should aim to get adequate restful sleep every night, which may range from 6 to 9 hours for different individuals. It is during this time that the body repairs and recovers. Essential hormones that also aid weight loss are at play only during sleep. Not getting enough sleep can have a detrimental impact on your physical, mental and emotional health.

Stress might feel like a default response to the challenges of a modern lifestyle, but constant stress can pose serious health problems. Stress causes an increase in cortisol and adrenaline levels which influences blood pressure, heart rate, eating habits, sleep patterns, blood sugar, fat metabolism, and immunity. Long-term stress can also increase your risk of heart attack or stroke and contribute to depression. You can manage stress by adopting some of the above healthy habits, and by making conscious efforts to relax. Breathe deeply, enjoy your favorite activities and spend time with your loved ones. And ask for help, by speaking to those who care for you, or a trained professional.

Feeling deprived-

Further, the idea of taking extreme steps such as quitting certain foods can often lead to one feeling low and disappointed. It is important to be in tune with your specific needs, and not feel deprived. The same plan might now work for everyone. Nutrition need not be complicated, and crash diets are not sustainable. Its not all about “bad” foods and “ good” foods.

Getting discouraged/ Emotional state

Eating and living healthy, or trying to manage weight should not be a punishment or a sacrifice. There is no one size fits all definition or path to good health. It is a combination of different small steps that add up to big results over time. Health is a lifestyle.

Replace the unhealthy foods you turn to for solace- chips, chocolate, dessert, alcohol, fizzy drinks…. with new ones that make you feel and look good- strawberries with cream,  peanut chilli, sprouts chaats, fresh lemonade….. Find ways to move and exercise that makes you feel good in your skin.

Getting side tracked / Unintentional non compliance

People get frustrated and think the diet is not working, when in actuality, they are not following the diet precisely. It’s Unintentional Non-Compli犀利士5mg ance because you are still eating “diet-friendly” foods, just too much of them or at the wrong times.

 Bites, Licks and Tastes.- don’t count as meals but add to the calories! Stop these mindless habits.

All or Nothing mentality/ Unrealistic expectations

Once you achieve your weight loss goal the work is not done. You must consolidate the weight loss by maintaining your weight for at least a year and establish a new weight set point. People’s weight yo-yoes because as soon as the weight comes down they don’t work on maintenance, they go back to old behaviors and see the weight creep up again.

Deepa Kamath

Senior Nutritionist at Navitae

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