No matter how well-intentioned we are when we decide to diet in order to lose weight, we often fail! We tell ourselves that we’re doing everything according to the plan but when we reflect, we realise that’s not exactly true. Below, are the most common reasons for why ‘diets’ tend to fail:
1. You think your training will do all the work for you
If your aim is to lose weight or lean down, the amount you actually burn depends on calories in vs calories out. If your calorific intake is too high, compared to your activity levels throughout the day, you will not be in an a calorie deficit, and will not reach your goals. Even if you are trying to build lean muscle, if your calorie surplus is too high, the amount of weight you gain will be predominantly fat gain.
2. You’re scared of carbs
Carbohydrates are essential in your diet for glycogen replenishment, energy and muscle repair. Carbs are also good for the metabolism and thyroid gland, both essential for fat loss. A low carb diet, over a period of time, will down regulate Thyroid function leaving you at risk of lowering your metabolic rate, not good for fat loss. A low carb diet, over a period of time, will down regulate Thyroid function leaving you at risk of lowering your metabolic rate, not good for fat loss.
3. You’re scared of fats
Fats (or lipids) are also a good source of energy and are used within the body to regulate hormones. Omega 3 and Omega 6 (found in unsaturated fats) are on the list of essential because they aid in balancing key hormones such as cortisol and insulin that exert tremendous control over your weight.
4. You’re scared of protein
Protein is used in your body to build new cells, maintain tissues, and synthesize new proteins that make it possible for you to perform basic bodily functions. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Lastly, protein is essential for muscle recovery and growth, without the sufficient protein in your diet, your efforts in the gym may be wasted without correct repair afterwards.
5. You don’t cook enough
As fun and tasty as eating out can be, you are never truly sure what you are eating. Even ready-made meals have added salts and unnecessary sugars. Make your own meals, therefore you can make healthy choices with your ingredients and even personalize it to appeal to you and what you love.
6. You’re failing to prepare
“fail to prepare, prepare to fail”
Meal prep is something used very frequently in the fitness industry, for a good reason. We all know plans can change from day to day, you never know exactly what may happen each day. If you are busy, out, at work etc. it can be much easier to “grab something simple” when on the go. Again, this means you do not know exactly what you are consuming and you are more likely to grab something unhealthy. Pre-cook your meals and take it with you using tuppawear, take control of your nutrition.
7. You don’t know what you’re eating
Many people do not track their calories and macronutrients, not even roughly. This is fine, but if you are wanting to start your fitness journey and do not know your starting point, this can be difficult. Before setting your goals, try to calculate a few days just to see where you are now, this will help with finding where you need to be.
8. You’re eating too little
A lot of people do not progress with their health goals because they believe less is best. The key is; do not eat less eat better. As you can see from the previous points, all 3 macronutrients are essential for bodily functions and weight loss. A lack of these nutrients can actually cause the body to go into “starvation mode” where your body actually panics from lack of nutrients. It believes that it is being starved, and anything that is consumed is stored, usually as fat. Levels of cortisol will also be raised as the body will be under stress, which can also cause water retention and fat gain.
9. Your timing
Macronutrient timing can be essential to achieving your goals. Utilizing macronutrients such as carbohydrates and protein around times when energy is needed either for fuel or replenishment can ensure that glycogen levels are high when needed. It is also beneficial to have larger meals/ higher calorie meals around times of activity. For example, a lot of people eat their largest meal on a night when they stop all activity and glycogen levels are not being used. When this calorific input is not needed in the body, this is when it is more likely to be stored. This is not to say avoid carbs later in the day, just do not overeat or splurge on unnecessary amounts.
10. Your snacking choices
Again, preparing healthy snacks throughout the day can be essential. Many of us can get ‘peckish’ between meals. If you do not have anything prepared with you, this is when you will have to again look for alternatives, which are more likely to be unhealthy or ‘quick and easy’. Also, try to differentiate between hunger and boredom. I recommend BPI BEST BAR for on the go delicious snack choices!