Most diets fail because they are not sustainable. They have false promises. They are severe. They are built around false science. All that low-carb, all-veggies, or juice dieting crap are bound to failure and frustration. Then people on these diets think it’s all about them. That they can’t do it. That’s not true! If you can’t stick to a diet regimen, maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe that form of dieting is wrong.
Mistake 1: Severe Calorie Restriction
Crash diets make people consume less than 1200 calories a day. If someone tells you to eat just a piece of pear and have some banana smoothie, then you’re on a path to self-destruction. The human body just wouldn’t be able to sustain and survive through that kind of severe calorie and nutritional restriction. You’ll go weak, hypoglycemic, and you will end up in the ER.
Mistake 2: All About Willpower
No, weight loss isn’t willpower alone. It involves a well-structured dietary plan. The problem with the willpower plan is that it puts all the blame on the person. If the diet doesn’t work, it’s his or her fault. But who, for instance, can withstand a boring diet of nuts and salads and fruit shakes?
Your body has its own way of compensating for your willpower. You eat too little? Your body will attempt to conserve energy and curb your metabolism. You grow weak. You store fat. You burn muscle. After a few months of sticking to that kind of diet out of willpower, you will look like a lifeless straw.
For some people, the hunger pangs override the so-called willpower. They get back to binging and they regain the fat they lost.
Mistake 3: Calorie Obsession
Calorie counters online may have lured you into consuming 1300-1500 calories a day to lose weight. But there’s some problem with this. One, we now know that not all calories are created equal. 400 calories from fish is different from 400 calories from bagel. Some calories come from good sources. Some come from bad sources. Calorie counting is good, because it keeps you on track. After all, you can’t wind up ingesting 3000 calories if you’re losing weight. But watch what you eat.
Mistake 4: Carbs and Fat Too Low
Low-carb or low-fat diets don’t work. If you want to lose fat, you can’t just cut back on carbs or fat and expect your body to shed off the pounds. Apparently, your body is much more complex than you think. Cutting the carbs would deplete your body of its major energy source. The result: your body tends to burn muscle for energy.
Speaking of fat, diets too low in fat are also bad for your health. Your body needs fat for a lot of things, like making hormones. You may think your body will tend to burn fat by not eating fat, but the exact opposite happens. Your body tends to hold on to the fat when it thinks it’s being deprived of it.
What do you do? Get a good dose of carb and fat. Go for complex carbs (e.g. whole grains) and good fat (e.g. fat from fish, nuts, eggs, and plant sources).
It’s simple. Control calorie intake and choose your food wisely.