If you clicked on this article, chances are you’ve had failed diets. Maybe you stuck to a diet and lost weight but put it back on over time, or the diet failed outright. Understanding why these diets didn’t work can help you avoid these missteps in the future. Here are three common flaws with popular diets that prevent people from achieving the body they want.
1) Too Few Calories
You know you need to either burn more calories, or eat fewer of them, to lose body fat. The easy solution is to reduce calories, but if you reduce calories too drastically, you’ll create new problems. This is the reason why many diets don’t produce long-term results. Eating a very low calorie diet can cause hunger to skyrocket, eventually leading to binging that reverses any fat loss and dissuades you from continuing with your fat loss program.
Reducing calories too much can also wreak havoc on your metabolism. Your body fights you every step of the way as you diet, doing its best to maintain its body weight (no wonder fat loss is so hard!). This was a useful tool for most of human history when food and shelter were scarce and extra body fat helped with survival, but it’s less welcomed when trying to fit into an old dress or bathing suit. As we eat less, our bodies burn fewer calories. Cut calories too low, and you’ll burn too few calories to make fat loss manageable. There needs to be a fine balance eating less, while giving your body enough fuel to burn the necessary calories.
2) Eliminating Food Groups or Ingredients
Most popular diets are based upon limiting (or restricting entirely) specific food groups or ingredients, such as: carbohydrates, meat, dairy, gluten, sugar, and flour to name a few. These diets usually produce initial weight loss because when people have fewer food options to choose from, they will likely eat fewer calories, at least for a time. Eventually, people find calories from other food to fill the void left from the food they’ve forbidden. No specific food or nutrient will directly cause fat gain. Excess calories cause fat gain.
3) A “Diet” Rather Than Improved Nutrition
Diets are usually designed for the short-term, and their results show it. If you follow a diet that is too restrictive and too hard to follow, chances are you will not follow it for long, and not have any real long-term results. When people make changes to their nutrition to improve their health and physique, some take the attitude of “I just need to buckle down for the next 12 weeks, I’ll reach my goal, and then I can eat how I used to.” That thinking is not a recipe for sustained progress.
When you start a diet, your nutrition should mirror the eating style you’ll need to sustain your goal body weight. If you are 175lbs and your goal weight is 150lbs, you should eat similarly to the way you’d need to eat to be 150lbs. That way, there is no transition out of your diet, because you never really started one! If you lose weight by eating the way someone weighing 100lbs would eat, you might reach your goal weight faster, but when you hit 150lbs you will probably be so fed up with dieting that you’ll go right back to your old ways, and return to your old body weight.
You Can Finally Have A Diet That Works
Through proper training and nutrition, anyone can lose body fat and gain lean muscle. If you’ve had trouble in the past, I PROMISE you are still capable of improving your physique. Maybe one of the reasons outlined above was your pitfall. It’s never too late to turn over a new leaf, try a new strategy, and accomplish something you want.