posted in Weightloss Management // 2.17.16
Top Reasons People Give Up on Diets and How to Avoid Them
Every year people make New Year’s resolutions to eat better, exercise, and lose weight. Most people quit trying in February or March after hitting the gym hard throughout January. There are many reasons why people give up, and you need to know what these reasons are so you can avoid doing the same thing. Here are top reasons why people give up on their diets.
1. Unrealistic Expectations
Having unrealistic expectations is a major reason why people give up on their diets. They spend a week eating better an exercising and expect to be able to fit into smaller jeans. A safe and reasonable weight loss goal is about two pounds per week. If you weight more, you might see a larger amount of weight loss in the beginning, but you can’t expect to lose 10 pounds right away. Many people will step on the scale after a few days and give up if they didn’t lose any weight yet. Recognize that weight loss takes time, and you need to be patient and diligent. If you don’t give up, the weight will come off.
2. Changing Too Much at Once
A completely overhaul might work for some people, but for most, it will only make things more difficult. If you’re used to sitting around all day and snacking on chips and cookies, doing a complete 180 on your lifestyle one day can cause you to get overwhelmed and give up. Start out by substituting your unhealthy choices and incorporating a 20 minute cardio workout every other day. Once that becomes a routine, increase how often you exercise and learn some more healthy recipes. If you start with baby steps, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
3. Looking at Changes as Temporary
Making temporary changes is one if the biggest diet mistakes that people make. They think of the term diet as a temporary eating plan while they lose weight. The word diet is a term that means what type of food you put into your body. Your diet can consist of cookies or it can consist of salads. Your diet changes need to be a permanent lifestyle change, not a temporary change. If you make it temporary, you will find yourself snacking on unhealthy foods more often, or you will lose the weight and then gain it back after all of your hard work.
4. Using Food as a Reward
People rewarding themselves with food is another big problem that causes people to revert to bad choices fairly quickly. For example, some people will say that after they lose five pounds then they will reward themselves with fast food or cake. So once the five pounds are gone, they order a pizza and then it’s difficult to go back to eating healthy, especially if the diet changes were difficult in the first place. The fish and salad the next day won’t look as appetizing with memories of extra cheese pizza from the night before. Don’t reward yourself with food, you’re not a dog. Reward yourself with stuff like a new shirt, getting your hair done, or a new pair of shoes.
5. No Support
Not having moral support is another big reason why people can’t stick to their diet. If your spouse is stuffing their face with fried chicken and pasta, it’s hard not to grab a small plate of what they’re eating. No support also causes you to have no one to check in with. There isn’t someone there making sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You don’t feel like you’re letting anyone down besides yourself, which can be a lot easier than letting down someone else. Find someone who will join you on your journey, even if it isn’t in person. You can join weight loss groups on social media and even special websites with message boards.
6. Slip-Ups Are the End-All
Many people give up after a slip-up. They catch themselves eating a donut or some French fries and then all bets are off. They decide that they don’t have the willpower to change their eating habits and just like that, they lose every bit of motivation that they once had. You can’t let yourself think like this. If you eat a donut, spend an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill. Decide that you aren’t going to let a donut dictate your future. Enjoy the donut and then continue with your healthy eating lifestyle. If you decide that you will never allow yourself to have a small cheat on occasion, it will only make you want the snacks more.
7. Skipping Meals
Skipping meals seems like the quickest way to lose weight for some. They can just eat once a day and let their body work off all of that stored fat. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. When you skip meals, your body goes into starvation mode. This is where you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, and your body begins to panic because it doesn’t know when it will receive proper nourishment again. The panic causes your body to store all of your fat and make it more difficult to burn off. Think of your body as putting your fat in a vault to keep it safe. Your metabolism slows down to keep it from burning and you stop losing weight. When you do eat your once-per-day-meal, your body will store all of that food as fat as well, because it’s still in starvation mode. Therefore, you can actually gain weight by skipping meals. Of course, skipping one meal won’t cause any major issues, but starving yourself on a daily basis will. You need to stop thinking of food as something that will make you fat and start thinking of it as fuel. If you eat small meals throughout the day, your metabolism will get better and you will lose weight faster. Eat when you are hungry. Stop eating when you aren’t hungry anymore, not when you’re full.
8. Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is a serious issue with many people. Just because you don’t eat cake when you’re sad, doesn’t mean that you’re not an emotional eater. When you grab a bag of chips because you are bored or just feel like eating something salty, or you grab some ice cream because you’re stressed out, you are eating with your emotions. Comfort food is a term that panders to emotional eating, which seems to peak around the holidays. The only reason that you should ever eat is because you are hungry. About 75% of people who overeat, do so because they are emotional eaters.
There are many reasons why people fail at losing weight, but these 8 reasons are some of the most common ones. Make sure you have a support system and you change the way you see food. It is fuel for the body and nothing else. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you treat yourself to an unhealthy snack, just pick yourself back up and get back on the wagon.