Let me guess, you tried a diet fad and it didn't work out? Now you're back to square one and you're wondering what went wrong. Don't feel defeated. It wasn't you, it was your diet. Most diet plans are deceptive and rarely ever work, so it should come as no surprise that yours wasn't any different. Here are four reasons why you should be focused on making a lifestyle change instead of finding an easy diet.
1) You're Not Setting Clear Goals
Perhaps the biggest problem people have when trying new diet plans is that they don't set realistic goals. Most of us see a diet plan and think "I want to do that" without thinking about what it will actually take to stay committed to such a strict diet. Then we quit two days later.
Going from one diet to another in a short amount of time is not healthy. Each diet plan has different levels of glucose, protein, and other nutrients, and your body will be seriously thrown off if you constantly switch up. For instance, the Atkins diet is a low-carb diet, the Paleo diet restricts you to non-processed foods, and the Vegan diet means you must cut out ALL animal products. All of these diets eliminate certain nutrients and could lead to nutrition problems.
2) Your Diet Plans Lack Nutrition
You've probably heard of mixing cayenne pepper with hot water and lemon to create a "miracle cleanse". Needless to say, that is not only extremely difficult to maintain, but it could result in symptoms like headaches, irritability, and fatigue.
There are a ton of diet plans out there that work the same way: cut back on a large portion of your food, be very particular about what you eat, and in a few weeks you're bound to see results. The problem is that you aren't just starving yourself, you're depriving your body of the energy it needs to perform at its best.
Instead of making severe cutbacks on foods or creating unhealthy eating habits, you could add fruits and vegetables that contain super-nutrients to create a much more nutritional diet and simply be more aware of what and why you eat.
3) Weight Battles Differ Between Body Types
We all have different body types and different genes, so some diets might not work for you like they did on your best friend. In fact, there's a chance that the foods you eat could be working against you.
Depending on the diet, you might actually be building up more fat deposits and eating at your muscle fibers - in short, doing the opposite of what it takes to get healthy.
4) It Can Throw Off Your Body's Natural System
A poor diet can not only throw our bodies out of wack, but also our minds. How well the brain performs depends largely on the nutrition the body takes in, so if you don't eat the proper foods you can be interfering with the way your brain thinks.
Exhaustion is very common in those who put their bodies through these unnecessary restrictions, and if you're not careful your eating habits could cause long-term effects.
Unhealthy diet plans have also been known to slow down the metabolism, which only makes things harder on your brain. This is why so many dieters lose the willpower to stick with the plan and ultimately cave.
There's a Better Way
There's a better way and it's not easy. I like to say there is only one true diet: Create a calorie deficit. How is this done? Track everything you eat and focus on eating a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, nuts, and legumes and being active every day. Find a mixture of healthy food that you can cook yourself; cut out fast food and soda right away! Try to work out 2 or 3 times per week. If you can't find a way to work out consistently, go for a walk every day, ride your bike for 30 minutes, anything you can do to burn those calories.
All of these choices are lifestyle changes. You should be getting used to viewing food as fuel and your body as a well-tuned machine. Respect your body and eat with the goal of being healthy, not losing weight. You'd be surprised that once you stop focusing on losing weight, you actually end up losing some pounds!