7 Reasons Why Your Diet Fails

01/11/2013

Scale photo

It’s that time of year again. You’re inspired and ready to start anew. Nothing can stop you from your goal weight. Until something does. 

What causes this loss of motivation? What causes us to fall short of our goals? If you’re a repeat offender maybe this is an opportunity to take a closer look at why your diet fails year after year. 

Take a closer look at your diet failures.

1. Confidence Matters

New Year's resolutions are associated with guilt and it’s that guilt that makes you less likely to succeed. Guilt makes us feel inadequate and actual success comes from having confidence. Confidence has nothing to do with your weight or success in life, it’s the way you view yourself.

2. Misplaced Goals

If your New Year’s resolutions are built around pleasing others, you’re less likely to be successful. Be confident enough to succeed in your goals for you, not to please those around you. Lose weight so that you feel good and alter your diet for healthy eating, not solely for weight loss. 

3. Too Much at Once

If you’re attempting to change your entire way of life in one fell swoop, good luck, but in all likelihood you won’t be successful. Change one aspect of your diet at a time rather than making over the entire way you eat. Resolve to work out four times a week and once you've got that down, move on to the next goal. This way you’re more likely to find success. 

4. Inadequate Sleep

Sleep is crucial to weight loss because when you're tired, you're not thinking clearly, rather, you're looking to fill that need for energy immediately through high sugar, high fat foods. Or you may drink excessive caffeine which leads you on an energy roller coaster. One study from the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison reported that one of the main reasons Americans are overweight is sleep deprivation. A lack of enough sleep causes the body to hold onto fat in a biological effort to slow us down.

Diet photo

5. Scheduling Your Meals

You should plan meals that coordinate with your sleep cycle. Ideal meal times are breakfast from 7-8 am, lunch from 12-1 pm, and dinner 6-7 pm. This way you’ll have enough time between meals for digestion and more importantly, you won't be eating late into the evening. 

6. Small Meals Turn into Grazing

The other key to weight loss is to avoid snacking. While there are those that subscribe to the five meal day, unless you are incredibly vigilant, you can become a grazer, which makes weight loss impossible. In fact, studies have shown that snacking makes weight loss more difficult. It’s best to stick to three meals a day, at the same times every day. 

7. Mood Swings

Hormone imbalances can make your cravings unpredictable. They can be caused by a number of different factors including liver toxicity, the pill, fertility treatments, and nutrient deficiencies, but there are a number of dietary steps that you can take to bring them back into balance. First of all, cut out sugar and white flour. Sugar causes the body to secrete insulin and insulin is the master hormone in the body. When your insulin levels go too high, it throws off all the other hormones in the body, making you moody. Unpredictable emotions can lead to cravings.

Photo: Stockbyte/Paper Boat Creative/Thinkstock/Thinkstock

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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