By now a significant percentage of the world is aware of the benefits of a healthy diet. There have been innumerable TV Shows, ads, podcasts, billboards, and other forms of advertisement that create awareness, advocate, and publicize this well-established practice. However, with hordes of people starting diet plans with each passing day, several end up frustrated and ‘sore diet losers’. If you consistently struggle with following through with your plus size diet plans, here are a few notes that may be of help.
The inherent problems in our approach and conduct of diets lead to the high percentage rate of diet-failures around the world. These situations are not unique or extraordinary in any way but common amongst those who suffer continuous setbacks in their dieting journey. There is no such thing as a ‘get healthy quick‘ dieting scheme, however, there are quick weight loss and quick weight gain diets that have erroneously gained momentum. Herein lies the predominant reason for most diet failures – the gravitation towards drastic short-term instantaneous results as opposed to the healthier inclination towards a long-term, sustainable and gradual change in results.
Before embarking on your next diet, take a moment to reflect on these 10 reasons why your next diet is likely to fail and make the necessary adjustments beforehand.
Table of Contents
The 10 Reasons Plus Size Diet Plans Fail
1. Failure to Create Healthy Eating Habits
Most diets offer a stupendous amount of variety when it comes to healthy food choices that you can swap for the usual soda or fries you would typically gravitate to. This is beneficial as one can keep track of their food consumption over the given period. However, what most diets and dieters fail to address is their eating habits in the long term. Focus is simply put on what they are advised to eat and not to eat, only for the duration of the diet. After this, many slowly gravitate back to their old unhealthy eating patterns which include:
- late-night snacking
- skipping meals
- king-size dinner portions
- a glass of wine or some booze ever so often
- ‘absent-eating’ – where you eat while watching TV or on your phone
These habits may take a while to wan off and can only be overcome by intentionally replacing each one with a new healthy habit that is practiced consistently. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
2. Not Prioritizing Health Knowledge
Amazingly, a large number of those who embark on dieting lack the requisite knowledge of what their body needs or does not need. A majority are misinformed and therefore practice archaic dieting options which have gradually been rubbished and proven wrong by medical professionals. As Dr. Hyman states, the adage, ‘carbs in, carbs out’ is outdated and no longer accurately represents the importance and role of carbs in our bodies.
This philosophy has led to numerous diets advocating for a ‘no-fat’ and ‘low-fat’ diets and the widespread practice of counting calories. However, good carbs and healthy fats are wonderful for your body. Science has proven that the consistent supply of good carbs and healthy fats enable the body to perform at optimum. Fats help to fill you up for longer, therefore, curb any cravings or propensity to overeat. Carbs, on the other hand, fuel your body with energy to enable you to do more in the gym or during your home workout. The indiscriminate reduction of fats and carbs in your diet, will slow down your metabolism and gradually lead to unhealthy weight gains.
Additionally, you may periodically experience bloating, aches, loss of energy and general body slump at the onset of your diet. Periodically, exposing yourself to information on diets and general health can help you curb all these challenges without spending a dime.
3. Setting Unrealistic Goals
Many diets brag of drastic weight loss or weight gain within 5 days, 7 days, or in 2 weeks! However enticing this may sound, these goals are virtually unrealistic to achieve, especially if you want to lose weight the healthy way. As reports indicate, there is often a spike in weight loss in the first few days of dieting which gradually plateaus as weeks pass by. The drastic loss of weight is primarily the loss of water from the body and not necessarily fat. Once this happens, the body then begins to deplete its fat reserves.
If you set out to lose 30 lbs. each week, this may be a stretch but perhaps possible in the first two weeks. Thereafter, the goal will be impractical to maintain as the weight loss curve begins to plateau. This means that each week thereafter you may lose fewer pounds and thus never attain your goals.
4. Lack of Patience
Dieting does take a toll on the body. The body is forced to re-condition itself to the new portions, frequency of intake, and the addition or reduction of certain nutrients. The adjustment may not happen within a day or week but may take several weeks. During this phase, the body undergoes several changes and for some people, the results may not be as obvious. Quitting at this point, on grounds that the diet is not working is not only unfair to yourself but also detrimental to your body. This is because it will need to re-condition itself back into the former norm. The constant adjustments will eventually work adversely and curtail any weight loss efforts.
In addition to being patient with your body, you need to be consistent and stick to your diet plan. The unwarranted ‘breaks’ or constant ‘cheat days’ may serve you no good. Also, hopping from one diet to another simply because you do not see immediate results, will curtail your fitness goals.
6. Starving Yourself
Food deprivation and fasting have been incorporated into numerous diet guides. This practice encourages one to go hungry for a given duration of time to burn more calories. Whereas there is some truth to the rationale, there are more side effects than there are good results, if care is not taken. Some of the side effects include irritability, lack of energy, frustration and the incentive to quit.
Proper dieting does not advocate for the drastic cutting off of all foods especially those that you love. Feeling hungry throughout the day will ultimately make you lose enthusiasm to continue with your dieting plan. Moreover, not being allowed to occasionally indulge in your favourite pie or pudding may also demoralize you and make you despise the diet altogether.
7. Not Getting Adequate Rest and Sleep
Sleep is important in maintaining a fit and healthy frame and facilitates healthy weight loss. Your body utilizes your sleep time to rebuild muscle, burn fat, rest, and rejuvenate. Having less than 7 hours of sleep a day, will deprive your body of the much-needed rest and curtail vital body processes. Gradually with less sleep, your metabolism rate is affected, leading to fewer calories being burnt.
Inadequate rest can also lead to overwhelming stress, anxiety, and irritability. In most instances, this situation leads to the over-secretion of the cortisol hormone which results in extreme mood changes. This has a significant impact on the body and contributes to the development of complications such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular complications, and even weight gain.
8. Not Addressing Frustration and Setbacks
For every person who embarks on a journey, they are bound to experience setbacks and disheartening occurrences along the way. Similarly, when it comes to dieting, these setbacks may be inevitable. Perhaps you fell ill and could not proceed with the diet for an extended duration of time, or you happened to binge-eat for a day or two, or you are discontent with the results that you see in the mirror after weeks of hard work and sacrifice. Being able to press on part the difficulty and adequately handle these frustrating moments is a determining factor when it comes to the failure or success in your diet. Regrettably, many of those who experience setbacks end up altogether abandoning their diets.
9. You do not Practice Meal Planning
Meal planning is an efficient exercise that helps you stay on course with your dietary goals. It helps offset occurrences such as overeating or eating unhealthy junk food. The exercise does this by enabling you to identify, prepare and pre-portion all your meals during the week. Without proper and adequate meal planning, you are more likely to impulse buy and eat foods that have little to no nutritional value simply because they are more readily available.
Preparing nutritious food does take time, energy and a considerable expense. It is definitely not as easy, fast and convenient as ordering a pack of fries, chicken wings and soda from your local Subway or McDonalds. Therefore, it can be quite hectic to prepare meals from scratch every single day. Failure to plan your meals makes you susceptible to order unhealthy foods, especially if you are hungry and too tired to prepare your meal in the evenings.
10. Lack of a Strong Accountability Base
By nature, we are designed to perform better when we are held accountable for what we do and the goals we pursue. Having the right kind of company around you is important to keep you motivated in your dieting journey. Conversely, the lack of accountability or having demeaning or ridiculing company around you may eventually dampen your efforts and dishearten you from proceeding any further with your dieting plans.
With these factors in mind, here is what you should be doing to stay consistent and succeed in your diet goals.
The Path to Dieting Success
1. Define your long term and short term goals – make them specific, measurable and attainable.
2. Identify a Diet Plan that helps you actualize your goals and takes into consideration your specific needs – undertaking a diet indiscriminately, simply because it promises to help you lose the needed weight may not be a wise thing to do. Take some time and identify diets that best accommodate your unique needs whether you are diabetic, vegan, elderly, on a low-budget and the like. Here are a few suggestions:
- The DASH Diet – for people with high blood pressure
- Ketogenic Diet – This is a low carb diet that has excellent testimonials on weight loss. It is also good for those suffering from diabetes.
- The Mediterranean Diet – This is a fun and healthy diet with a wide variety of food options including red wine once in a while.
- The Flexitarian Diet – if you don’t like rigid dietary rules, but a more easy yet efficient approach, consider trying this.
3. Focus on lifestyle changes and not just following through with your diet. According to the Diabetes Council nearly 90% of people who lose weight end up gaining it back in the next 3-5 years. This is because a majority of people who embark on dieting do not change their lifestyles to accommodate and promote their long term diet and fitness goals.
4. Eat till you are full – do not deprive yourself of food as this may in turn force you to crawl up to the fridge at night for a bowl of ice cream or some cake!
5. Portion control – on the flip side, avoid overeating by apportioning your food in advance as you plan your meals. This will help you get all the needed nutrients in the servings and thus abstain from overindulging.
6. Invest in healthy foods – healthy food options may be more costly than the average food options but are worth the investment. Also, eating healthily as opposed to simply starving yourself will help reduce cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, lethargy and general body weariness.
7. Rest adequately – maximize your sleep time by eating 3 hours in advance and not using your phone or electronic gadget an hour before you go to bed. This way you are likely to have a more peaceful and restful night sleep.
8. Remember to exercise – dieting coupled with regular exercise will help you attain your fitness goals faster and maintain them longer.
9. Get an accountability partner, group or scheme – Periodically review yourself and journal your progress. This will help you appreciate your diet journey more and help you keep track with a friend, partner or yourself.
10. Reward yourself once in a while– after all the hard work it is important to unwind once in a while to a plate of your favourite food or snack. This helps incentivize dieting and makes you look forward to hitting your fitness goals.
With the above caution and advice, diet-failure will be a thing of the past. Being clear on why you hate dieting or don’t see results in your diet, will now enable you to do something about it. Remember, thoughts are powerful and can build or destroy your fitness journey. Always endeavour to remain positive and keep a good attitude. That way, dieting can cease to be cumbersome and become something you look forward to!