The holiday season in full swing can only mean one thing... that Diet Season is lurking in the shadows, waiting to make life miserable for all. Let's face it, while it would be great to stand our gluten-free, sugar-free, carb-free (you get the point) ground. The majority of us lose all self-control and go bonkers for biscuits as soon as Halloween hits. So this leaves you with no other option than to shed the pounds, get your "body back" and go on a diet as soon as the new year hits. Sound familiar?
It may sound too familiar, almost like a yearly ritual of sorts. If you have ever tried some type of traditional or non-traditional diet to lose weight (trust me -- they are out there), you may have seen some results and then quickly put all the weight back on. Well you are not alone -- this happens a lot more often than you may think! But why?!
If you are trying to lose weight or know that a diet will be calling your name in the near future, below you will find some tips to keep in your fat shredding tool box so that you can get the most out of your diet and stop the madness without having to start over.
5 Reasons Your Diet is Not Working
1. Too restrictive: Low-carb, sugar-free, low-fat, etc. Putting too many restrictions and deeming certain foods "off limits" is a sure fire way to set yourself up for failure. Labeling food items as "bad or unclean," will only make you feel guilty and disappointed in yourself once you give in. The majority of us will not keep a low-carb diet forever. So, try a more realistic approach by using portion control to enjoy your favorite foods. Being too restrictive can lead to going off track and overeating once you let yourself have a bit of freedom.
2. You don't track calories: When beginning your diet, you may make small changes such as limiting pastry and soda. At first you will probably see changes due to the removal of high-calorie and high-sugar foods to your diet. But after a while, your body will adapt and you will stop seeing as much change as you would like. Use a calorie-counting app that allows for you to log your meals each day and reach your calorie goals. Unless you are using a calorie-counting app, it is very hard to estimate the calories in a certain food. Most of the time we do not realize how much food we are actually eating or the total caloric impact it has on our bodies. Use a calorie-counting app and log your meals in order to keep an accurate and true log of your diet.
3. You are sedentary: While many incorporate physical activity and diet into their weight loss routine, there are others who simply want to make a change to their nutrition. While this will work at first, your body may adapt over time and your weight loss begins to lag. At this point many of us will simply give up and revert to old eating habits because we had been adhering to the diet without seeing significant change. Simply adding in 15 to 30 minutes of physical activity each week is just enough to burn a few hundred calories without having to remove those calories from your diet in order to continue to see results.
4. You are not "honest" with yourself: Are you really doing everything in your power to make your diet work? Are you tracking your calorie intake and physical activity? Have you hopped on the "nibble train?" Sometimes we "omit" things thinking that they will not make much of a difference. An extra meal here, a slice of cake there. All the "little things" add up over time. So rather than giving up and saying, "My diet isn't working," find out if you are truly being honest with yourself or cutting corners. Once you get real and stick to your plan, you may notice that you begin seeing the results.
5. You are a taste tester: A nibble here and a nibble there can really begin to add up. And we often forget to keep track of all these little "sample." Having tastes of items is a great way to crush your cravings -- as long as you keep track of them in your food log. Make sure that you do not make a habit out of nibbling. Try to stick to your designated meals and meal times to keep you satisfied throughout the day.
The truth of the matter is, most diet programs work and will provide results as long as you work. So next time you feel like you diet is not working, ask yourself if you are guilty of any of the reasons above. Also be sure to consult with your primary care physician before starting any diet or exercise routine so that they can guide you in the right direction for your goals. Remember that making significant changes to your health and body composition do not happen overnight. So make sure to remain persistent with no excuses and soon enough you will reach your goals.