Why diets fail?

How to avoid the common traps

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Simba
Wednesday 4 January 2023
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Have you ever tried going on a diet, only to find that it didn't work out for you? If you're like most people, the answer is probably yes. Dieting can be a frustrating and demoralizing experience, especially when you put in a lot of effort and don't see the results you were hoping for. So, why do so many diets fail?

Why your last diet didn't work?

There are several reasons why diets fail, and it's important to understand them if you want to be successful at losing weight and keeping it off. Here are some of the main reasons why diets fail.

Diets are often too restrictive

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One of the main reasons why diets fail is because they are too restrictive. When you're on a diet, it can feel like you can't eat anything fun or enjoyable, and this can be a major turn-off.

No one wants to feel like they're missing out on the things they love, and this can lead to feelings of deprivation and a lack of motivation. This can make it difficult to stick to the diet and ultimately leads to failure.

Instead of going on a restrictive diet, it's important to find a balance that allows you to nourish your body and also enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.

Diets are not sustainable

Many diets are not sustainable in the long-term because they are designed to be short-term solutions.

While you may see some initial weight loss, it's unlikely that you'll be able to stick to the diet for an extended period of time. This can lead to a cycle of yo-yo dieting, where you lose weight and then gain it back once you go off the diet.

To be successful at losing weight and keeping it off, you need to make changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to in the long run. This means finding a diet that works for your unique needs and preferences, rather than just trying to fit yourself into a one-size-fits-all approach.

Diets don't address the root cause of weight gain

Calorie counting table filled in

Many diets fail because they don't address the root cause of weight gain. For example, if you're struggling with weight gain because of emotional eating, a diet that only focuses on calorie counting is not going to be effective.

You need to address the underlying issues that are causing you to turn to food for comfort, rather than just trying to restrict your intake. This may involve working with a therapist or coach to address any emotional or psychological issues, or finding healthy ways to cope with stress and emotions.

Focusing solely on restricting food intake without addressing the root cause of weight gain is unlikely to be successful in the long-term.

Diets don't take individual differences into account

Not all diets are created equal, and what works for one person may not work for another. Some people may do better on a low-carb diet, while others may do better on a high-protein diet.

It's important to find a diet that works for your unique needs and preferences, rather than just trying to fit yourself into a one-size-fits-all approach. Factors that can influence which diet is best for you include your age, activity level, medical history, and personal preferences.

It's also important to consider whether the diet is sustainable and fits into your lifestyle. By finding a diet that takes your individual differences into account, you'll be more likely to stick to it and see long-term success.

Diets can lead to unhealthy behaviors

Anxious woman picking at a plate of pasta

Diets can sometimes lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as disordered eating and a preoccupation with food and weight. When you're constantly worrying about what you can and can't eat, it can be easy to become obsessed with food and weight, and this can lead to unhealthy habits and behaviors.

To avoid these pitfalls, it's important to find a diet that is balanced and allows you to nourish your body while also enjoying the things you love. By taking a healthy and balanced approach, you are also more likely to see sustained success with your weight loss.

How to succeed at weight loss?

So, what can you do if you want to lose weight and keep it off? The key is to focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes, rather than just going on a diet. Here are some tips for success

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Focus on whole, unprocessed foods

Instead of trying to eliminate entire food groups or follow a strict meal plan, focus on incorporating more whole, unprocessed foods into your diet. These types of foods are generally more nutrient-dense and can help you feel full and satisfied, which can make it easier to stick to your goals.

Find a balance

It's important to find a balance between nourishing your body and allowing yourself the freedom to enjoy the things you love. Don't restrict yourself too much, or you'll be more likely to fall off the wagon. Instead, try to find a balance that works for you and allows you to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.

Make small, incremental changes

Instead of trying to overhaul your entire diet and lifestyle all at once, try making small, incremental changes. This can be more manageable and easier to stick to in the long run. For example, you might start by adding one serving of vegetables to your meals each day, or cutting out sugary drinks.

Don't beat yourself up

It's normal to have setbacks and slip-ups when you're trying to make changes to your diet and lifestyle. Don't beat yourself up if you have a less-than-perfect day, or if you indulge in a treat you've been craving. Instead, focus on getting back on track and making healthier choices moving forward.

Find support

Losing weight and making healthy changes can be easier when you have support from others. Consider joining a support group, working with a Simba health coach or therapist, or enlisting the help of a friend or family member. Having someone to share your journey with and hold you accountable can make a big difference.

Be patient

Losing weight and making healthy changes takes time, and it's important to be patient with yourself. It's normal to have ups and downs so make sure you focus on progress rather than perfection. Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results, and remember that making lasting changes takes time.