I sort of hate the word “diet” not because of what it means, but for what we have turned it into. This is what diet is supposed to mean:
Diet ~ Noun ~ The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
What everyone uses the word diet for:
Diet ~ Verb ~ Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
So we’re going to address the verb in this article. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of different diets going around. Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, Iifym, Vegan, Gluten free etc. Call them fads, trends or whatever, but the sad fact is that most aren’t sustainable. Not because of the diet itself but more so because of the fact that they are not one-size-fits-all.
8 Reasons Your Diet Failed
You wanted it now
When choosing a diet most people don’t consider the long term and sustainability. Nope, most of us are instant gratification whores. We want BIG results NOW. No one wants to wait to see results and we are easily frustrated. The problem is that fat loss takes longer than weight loss. If you are doing it the right way it’s going to be slower than you ultimately want, but it will be more sustainable. Wouldn’t you rather it take longer to come off and stay off instead of come off and come back as quickly as it left?
Diet fix: Have patience. You didn’t gain the weight/fat overnight so you won’t lose it overnight either.
You restricted too much
You know what happens when you cut things out of your diet? You want them. So if you suddenly decide to cut fried foods, soda, carbs, dairy, fat, red meat blah, blah, blah, etc. This has failure written all over it. When you restrict, you will likely obsess over what you have decided you can’t have which 9 times out of 10 leads to binging.
Diet fix: Start small. You don’t need to cut 47 things out of your diet to be successful. Start with say fried foods, or soda and have the mindset that you can have it, you just don’t want it. Learning proper serving sizes and moderation will also help you to keep the foods you love in your diet and still see success.
You aggressively changed your lifestyle
It’s one thing if you already have one foot into something new, but if you suddenly decide to go vegan or cut out all carbs and go keto, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your current lifestyle is your lifestyle and changing things dramatically forces a new lifestyle upon you, which makes it pretty tough to settle in. You and your body are going to fight it.
Diet fix: If you want to successfully change your lifestyle, slow gradual changes will help you get there and will be more sustainable.
You lacked support
Having a significant other and friends that don’t support you sucks, but what’s even worse is to have them also try and peer pressure you to go off plan. How many times have you heard, “Oh come on you can’t have fun?” or “One cookie isn’t going to kill you!” in addition to other unsupportive jabs about your diet. The problem is that these people don’t have to suffer the consequences of you going off your diet. And what do they gain by you going off track? Other than not having to look at themselves for what they aren’t doing, not much.
Diet fix: This is where sacrifice comes into play. If you want results you have to remove yourself from social situations where you will be tempted and not have support. And/or you need to set firm boundaries. Tell them that you want to hang out but also don’t feel like getting shit for your diet. Show them you’re serious, they’ll get the point. If it’s your significant other than you need to have a real serious talk with them, because this is an issue that goes beyond food.
You weren’t eating enough calories
When you’re dieting, you’re in a caloric deficit so you’re going to be a little hungry, that’s pretty normal. But you shouldn’t be in such a big deficit that you feel like you’re starving, weak or lacking brain function. It just won’t last.
Diet fix: There are a ton of online calculators that can help you figure out your caloric intake based on your weight and expenditures. Don’t just choose an arbitrary number like 1200 calories because you hear it thrown around all the time. That’s like the caloric intake of a squirrel.
You were eating too many calories
“I’m working out and eating clean for X amount of time, but look the same!”
I hear that all the time and what it usually boils down to is that this person believes that “clean” means the same as low calorie. If you’re eating 6 avocados a day thinking you’re good because it’s “clean” think again. You may be feeding yourself an excess of calories.
Diet fix: Just like if you’re eating too few calories, you should figure out what number is right for you and then actually track your intake so you don’t go over.
You bought into a gimmick
3 shakes a day, 2 snacks and a sensible dinner right? Or maybe you’re eating whatever you want and taking “carb blockers” beforehand. Whatever miracle pill you’ve been sold, I hate to break it but it doesn’t exist.
Diet fix: Find a sustainable diet with an appropriate caloric intake for your body and trash the bullshit gimmicks.
You gave up
It’s not working, I give up! ::Proceeds to go off the rails into no fucks oblivion::
Look, I’ve been there soooo many times. I know how discouraging it is to feel like you’re not getting anywhere, but even just by trying you’re light years ahead of where you’d be if you gave up. Let’s face it, if you give up, you’re going to have to try again at some point right? So why put yourself that much further away from your goal?
Diet fix: All of the points above have one major thing in common– they aren’t sustainable. If what you’re doing isn’t working, make small adjustments. Changing everything at once makes it tough to pinpoint a problem, so have patience and take the baby steps to get in the right direction. You can do this.