6 Reasons Diets Don’t Work – and How To Succeed Without Them

It’s a mess out there, isn’t it? With fad diets, hard-to-follow nutrition information, calorie counting and a flashy new app every week, the fitness world can be a confusing place. Is it any wonder that most people have a hard time getting in shape? Absolutely… But there is a way to fix that. 

How many times have you gone on a diet, only to give up because of hunger and frustration before your goals were met? Chances are you’ve done this a few times and you have plenty of friends who have been there too. 

That’s because diets set you up for failure. 

95% of diets simply do not work. Here are 6 reasons why most diets fail: 

Reason 1: Diets are temporary. 

A diet is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. Dieters often find themselves thinking in the short-term: 

“If I can just get to my goal weight I’ll be able to eat my favourite foods again!” 

That’s exactly the thought process that leads to failure because returning to old habits leads to regained pounds. If you want lasting weight loss, stop dieting and make some permanent lifestyle changes you can comfortably live with. 

Reason 2: The diet is only 1/2 of the weight-loss equation. 

Trying to lose weight through diet alone is like trying to swim using only one arm. Can it be done? Yes. Is it difficult? Of course! Exercise should be a part of your healthy weight-loss plan. Without it, you’ll lose weight very slowly, or you’ll have to cut so many calories that you’ll end up feeling hungry, tired and deprived. And that brings us to… Yes, failure. 

Reason 3: Diets are not satisfying. 

Some diets require you to eat low-calorie foods that contain very little fat. Others require you to eat very small quantities of food for weeks. Sometimes you can eat as much as you want as long as you get plenty of protein but drastically cut your carbohydrate consumption. 

None of these diets will satisfy you for very long. The healthiest and happiest eating plans are those that contain a mixture of lean protein, heart-healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Add plenty of fiber and water, and your body will be more satisfied with this fuel. 

Reason 4: Diets can be expensive. 

Healthy food typically costs more than junk food, especially the modern “healthy” foods like protein bars, shakes and supplements that can really strain your food budget! Not to mention they are completely unnecessary. 

Diet plans that require you to buy pre-packaged meals are the most expensive of all, and they often contain additives that can sabotage your success. 

Don’t waste your money on special foods. Get your nutrition through whole, natural foods that you can cook for yourself. Your budget – and your waistline – will be thinner as a result. 

Reason 5: Diets don’t easily fit into a normal lifestyle. 

Have you ever watched your friends and family eat normally while you had to settle for a liquid or pre-packaged meal? Do you spend an inordinate amount of time trimming, weighing and measuring your food while everyone else digs in? 

It’s hard to feel like one of the crowd when you’re following an inconvenient diet. That’s another reason why so many dieters give up in despair and frustration. Your lifestyle is an important consideration. Don’t choose a meal plan that requires a radical departure from your current eating. 

Reason 6: Too much dieting damages your metabolism. 

Are you a chronic dieter? Do you tend to gain weight even on a relatively small number of calories? Have you been stuck on a weight plateau for weeks or months? If you answered yes to these questions, you might have a damaged metabolism. 

Diets really do wreak havoc on our bodies. If you follow a very low-calorie diet, your body could react by going into self-preservation mode, wherein it stores more fat to sustain itself. 

This is a throwback to our ancestors’ struggles, when famine was a real concern and our bodies had to hang onto as much fat as possible to survive the lean times. 

For many of us, diets are the modern-day famine. We starve ourselves, and then wonder why we rapidly regain the weight – and often a little extra – that we lost. The regain occurs because our metabolisms are still in famine mode. 

Fortunately, such damage is seldom permanent. It can be repaired with a little time, patience and courage. 

How To Succeed

I believe that changing your body and improving your health should be easy. Here are my TOP 3 SECRETS that can help you to achieve sustainable weight loss results without dieting: 

Secret #1: Understand your habits and be mindful. 

Look at your habits. Do you starve yourself all day and then binge at night? Do you eat two helpings when one would suffice? 

Are you a junk food junkie, addicted to the calm feeling you get after eating high-carb foods? Do you circle parking lots until you find a parking space close to the door? 

It’s not always easy to see ourselves for what we really are, or to admit that we’ve fallen into unhealthy habits, but it’s a necessary step. 

Once you identify the habits that keep you from losing weight, you can take steps to change them, and take control of your body once again.  

Secret #2: Do it slowly but do it right.

It took time to gain weight, and it will take time to lose it. In general, for women and people over 50, the process could be even slower due to metabolism implications associated with gender differences and aging. Just remember that fast weight losses are almost always temporary. 

Dropping weight in hurry is usually accomplished through starvation, dehydration or both. As soon as you eat and drink again, those lost pounds will come right back. 

If you modify your eating in a healthy way and aim to lose just one pound a week, your results will be more sustainable. 

Secret #3: You have to really, really want it. 

Of course, you want to lose weight. Millions of people do. But wanting it isn’t enough. To lose weight permanently, you need to ask yourself how badly you want it. 

The truth is that sometimes we don’t want to lose weight as bad as we want a slice of cheesecake. The secret to lasting weight loss is to want it more often than you want temporary comforts.

Vlad Simanel

Vlad Simanel is a certified weight loss coach, nutritionist, chef, finswimming world cup competitor, and THE FITHABIT COACHING PLAN creator. He enjoys helping people master healthier habits and achieve sustainable weight loss results without dieting.

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