As most of my clients know, I am not a fan of the term "diet." For me, it means that you are depriving yourself of some type of food for a short period of time, and to me that is a recipe for failure. Instead I like my clients to use the term "nutrition plan" because I want them to learn that they have control of what type of foods that they eat. In addition, I also want them to understand that they need to learn how to exercise that control so they can achieve the weight loss goal(s) that they have set for themselves.
Nevertheless, the following article does a fine job of identifying five of the most common reasons that your "diet" is not working and it also offers some practical suggestions to help you remedy your situation.
The five reasons include:
1) Body rebellion
"Drastic or too-strict diets can trigger mood swings, headaches, physical and mental fatigue, irritability, digestive upset, and brain fog."
How to fix it: To correct the "too few calories and too little carbs" approach most people have an "intuitive response that’s right on target, such as building in an extra snack, increasing portions, or adding back some fruit." Therefore, to succeed, try the "Goldilocks approach – not too little, not too much, just right."
Chronic hunger generally indicates that "your diet is imbalanced or inadequate, which can cause your body to conserve energy, and resist weight loss."
How to fix it: "To lose pounds and inches without perpetual hunger pangs, include healthy foods that boost satiety and keep you fuller longer, namely those high in lean protein (organic eggs, poultry, fish, beans and lentils), fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, lentils), and good fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, and extra virgin olive and coconut oils). "
Another smart strategy is to "choose foods that allow you to eat more volume without racking up excess calories, including water-rich fresh fruits and veggies, and airy starches, like organic popcorn and puffed whole grains."
"Long-term weight control is a lifetime commitment. Not finding a way to build-in indulgences is the primary reason many people ride the weight rollercoaster–lose 20 pounds, gain back 25, lose 30, gain back 40… Trying to be “perfect” week after week typically leads to feelings of deprivation, resentment, even anger or depression, and culminates in either binge eating, or diet abandonment."
How to fix it: "Ditch the 'all or nothing' mentality. In that mindset, one small diet deviation triggers thoughts like, “Well, I blew it, I might as well go all out!” which keeps you stuck. If you are worried about overdoing it, allow yourself small splurges in ways that reduce the chance of overeating."
"Also, be sure to include nutrient-rich weight loss friendly foods that feel like splurges, such as almond butter, avocado, and dark chocolate. Not being able to look forward to and savor your food is a surefire recipe for disaster."
4) Social Pressure
"Many people report feeling guilted or enticed into eating foods they are trying to avoid, and research confirms it. One recent study found that friends who eat together consume more food than those paired with strangers, and friends give each other 'permission' to overeat."
How to fix it: "Break the eating-as-entertainment pattern. Rather than scheduling social time around happy hour and dinners out, mix things up. Go to a play rather than a movie (where munching on popcorn and candy is not allowed), or go out dancing and volunteer to be the designated driver, so you can sip on H2O all evening."
"If you get push back, concretely explain why your goals are important to you (e.g. eating better helps you sleep, so you are more productive at work, makes your heartburn go away, keeps your migraines at bay…), and ask for support. Your friends may feel like they have lost a partner in crime, but if they care about you, the will make peace with adjusting the way you spend time together."
"We are practically programmed from birth to use food emotionally. We bond and celebrate over meals, use food to show our affection, bring others food in times of crisis, and use food as a means of comfort.".
How to fix it: "Strong emotions tend to drown out rational thoughts, and distance us from the consequences of immediate actions. In other words, when you are really sad, angry, or scared, and you know that eating ice cream is going to make you feel better right now, it is easy to push away thoughts about how you will feel tomorrow, or detach from goals that are not relevant in that moment."
"It is not easy, and it does not happen overnight, but you can change that pattern. Even if you did not eat emotionally 50, 60 or 70 percent of the time, this shift can have a dramatic impact on your weight. To learn how, check out Cynthis Sass' previous article entitled 5 Ways to Shut Down Emotional Eating."
"But if you still are feeling pulled toward the pantry, hop online to check out success stories, read up on meditation, or do a little yoga – each of these things can help dial back the intensity of your feelings, and reconnect you with your broader objectives."
So which one of the aforementioned pitfalls have tripped you up recently?
Please let me know by hitting the "Add Comment" button below, and thank you in advance for doing so.
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