It’s the start of a new year once again. It’s a time of new beginnings and resolutions. People list down and list the things they want to accomplish and change and hope for the best that these things finally come into fruition this year, because guess what? They’re also last year’s New Year resolutions!
And while we might not know what all of the items on our list are, we know what one of them is, and that is to go on a diet and finally lose some weight. Well, allow us to help you out with that.
Sorry to disappoint you, but diets don’t really fail.
The first thing you need to do, though, is to keep an open mind, especially in accepting that most diets out there don’t really fail. In fact, they’re effective. If not, then why are so many people reporting that they are?
It’s not the diets that fail, but us.
Today, we are going to list down seven reasons why diets don’t work and what you can actually do about them! Let’s get started.
Reason #1: The Diet’s Not for You
Each one of us has different nutritional needs. Each of us has different responses to diets, different allergies to food, the list goes on. Each human is unique, after all. So what has worked for that model you’ve been following on Instagram, or that reality TV star, might not work for you. In fact, a study was made to look at the connection of our DNA to the type of diet we’re eating.
What to Do: Consult Your Doctor First!
Don’t just start altering your eating habits and meal plans without consulting your doctor. It’s your health we are talking about here. You only have one body, and it might be perfect right now, but you still need to take care of it!
This also serves as disclaimer for this article. We will suggest a variety of ways in this list to make your chosen diet more effective. Take each advice with a grain of salt and if you have any doubts, ask your doctor about it. With that out of the way, let us now move on to the next reason.
Reason #2: External Motivators
Now before your eyes pop out of your head and tell us that you have enough motivation right now to climb Mt. Everest in a day, hear us out. We believe that you have the sufficient motivation right now. In fact, that’s the reason you’re reading this article right now—because you really want to make this work. But how long does your motivation last? Will it be enough to last you the long months of dieting and exercising?
Motivation also doesn’t come solely from within. It also comes from the environment you’re in and the kind of support system that you have. And according to one study, this environment is a great determinant to your motivational behavior in regards to healthy eating.
What to Do: Create a Positive Environment
First, take a look at your computer and your phone. Does it have the necessary information that you need in order to help you through this endeavor? Did you know that there are meal-planning and exercise apps that you can download?
Open your social media accounts. Announce to the whole world that you are going on a diet and schedule a time to post updates regularly. Delete negative comments. Unfollow restaurants and food-related accounts. Follow accounts that offer recipes of your chosen diet instead.
Stand up and put your DVD collection of the complete Masterchef series in a faraway dungeon. Instead, search for motivational shows on Netflix and schedule a time for watching them. There are exercise videos on YouTube. Create a playlist of them.
Search for a home exercise equipment (like this one on amazon) and invest on it. Don’t wait until you have the perfect pair of shoes. Don’t sign up for a gym membership if you’re not a hundred percent sure you’re going to follow through. Start creating changes TODAY.
Finally, go to your fridge. Get rid of all the food that your diet restricts. Be mindful of hidden calories (we’ll talk about this in a while). And create a grocery list that is composed of food you want to ideally eat (we are also going to talk more about this later on, so just keep on reading!).
Now, how do you feel after doing all these things? Awesome? That’s great! Because you’ve just created a positive environment that will take care of you after all your motivation burns out.
Reason #3: Hidden Calories
Next, let’s talk about hidden calories. These are the calories that hide within the depths of “healthy” food products, sauces, dressings, and other condiments that usually go unchecked.
What to Do: Create a Food Diary and Read Product Labels!
Do you know how much sugar your ketchup has? How about your favorite fruit juice that you drink every single morning? In fact, there are studies that show that the sugar content in fruit juices are so bad that they are a leading cause of type 2 diabetes here in the United States.
Create a food diary and audit each item to see how much of these calories go inside your body undetected and mess up with your cravings and diet. Don’t forget to read product labels thoroughly as well. Be ruthless. After all, you only really need to do this once. Once you have found a good brand with a clean ingredients list, all you need to do is repurchase and replenish later on.
When in doubt, the best way to go is to make these things from scratch.
No, we’re not saying that you should create your own ketchup or dip every single morning. That would be impossible especially if you have a hectic work schedule. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t dedicate a day of your week for all your “food chores”—and this includes preparing your meals in bulk including your dip and your fruit slices for your breakfast smoothies and fresh fruit and veggie juices.
Reason #4: Careless Grocery Shopping
If you have followed our article step-by-step so far, then you probably have a half-empty fridge. Hence, it’s time to go shopping! But before you grab a cart and start shoving things in there, pause for a minute. Do you have a meal plan already? Do you know which items to get? Strolling aimlessly inside a grocery with no specific items in mind would surely result in a cart with more unhealthy food items, similar to the ones you’ve just disposed of!
What to Do: Create a Detailed Grocery List and Find a New Shopping Spot
That’s why before you go food hunting, one study says it’s best to create a detailed grocery list first. If you want to go a step further, find an alternative grocery store (one that sells healthier options) or a farmer’s market to shop in. It’s difficult to resist the call of pop tarts if it’s staring right back at you and beckoning. So it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Reason #5: Sleep Healthily
You know, grocery shopping without a specific list of items you should stick to is an unhealthy habit. One that is only a part of many unhealthy habits that makes up your daily life. Other unhealthy habits are smoking, watching too much Netflix when you should be more productive, engaging in so much social media instead of sleeping early, the list goes on…
Unfortunately, these unhealthy habits can cause a lot of problems to your diet too. For instance, a study has found that poor sleeping habits can contribute to the risk of obesity!
What to Do: Start Small Healthy Habits
Habits are tricky. You can try and change all of them in an instant, but you can be sure that you will revert back to the old ones after a week…that is, if you last that long. The technique instead is to start small. You don’t have to wake up early at 5am the same day that you cut down on your screen time, stop smoking, and cut down on coffee. That would be terrible!
Instead, choose one habit and make a small change. Instead of snacking on chips, for instance, start snacking on nuts instead. Once you’re already used to this habit to the point that you’re not noticing yourself reaching for those nuts, then it’s probably time to cut your screen time next by leaving your phone outside your room or on your dresser instead of on your bedside table. In time, these small habits will build upon each other and affect your diet in a profound way as well.
Reason #6: Not Putting the Required Work In
We’re already at the second to the last item in our list. We’ve already made a lot of changes and steps so far, and we hope they work to make your diet a success this time around. Of all the items that we’re going to list here, this one is probably the most important. And that’s to exercise!
The primary reason that most people who are dieting fail is because they forget to put the required work to exercise as well. According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the combined effort of dieting and exercise is more effective than just taking on one weight management program.
What to Do: Form an Exercise Routine You Can ACTUALLY Stick To!
Thus, it is very important to form an exercise routine you can stick to. As what we have mentioned above, it doesn’t need to be at a gym, or with a personal trainer. It just needs to be doable. You also need to determine the factors why you don’t exercise. If you lack the strength, then there are energy boosters you can look into to help you out. If you need more help in controlling your cravings, then appetite suppressants are also a choice. Just remember to consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet especially if you have certain medical conditions.
Reason #7: You Fail to Begin
Finally, the main reason why diets fail is because you fail to start to begin with! Don’t find reasons to delay yourself. Instead, try to search for a single reason to start now. That should be enough to get you started.
What to Do: Just Get Started!
Do your research. Create your meal plans. Stick to them one day at a time. Do the exercise required. Stay focused on your goal. And that’s it. We know these are all things easier said than done, but in the end, that’s what it takes to make a diet successful.
Time for a Quick Recap
We have covered a lot of things in this article, so allow us to give you a quick recap of everything we’ve talked about before we part ways. Here are the 7 reasons why diets fail and what you can do:
- The diet you’ve chosen is not for you, so consult with your doctor to find a suitable one that is.
- You always run out of motivation, so create a positive environment to give your willpower a boost!
- Hidden calories throw you off-guard, so read product labels with determination.
- You shop carelessly, so create a detailed grocery shopping list and stick to it.
- Unhealthy habits pull you down, so form healthy habits to replace them.
- You ignore exercising, so develop an easy exercise routine you can follow.
- You just fail to start dieting to begin with, so stop reading this article and just get started!
We hope you have our article helpful. Let us know in the comment section other tips to help in dieting. Stay healthy and good luck!