Diets can be very hard to stick to, especially when it has to be done over a long period of time. It seems the longer the diet continues, the less willpower you have. But really, it is about attitude. Viewing the diet as deprivation will cause anyone to lose motivation. People naturally focus on the immediate gratification of food cravings instead of the ultimate goal of achieving their dream body. How is your attitude right now? Is it positive or negative?
Here are three reasons why diets may be failing.
- The diet is a punishment. This is very important. If you feel you need to diet as a way to punish yourself for past poor food choices, then you have a long ways to go. Punishment does not help anyone or anything. Psychology has proven that positivity and rewards effectively helps people stick to behavior change much more than punishment ever will. Instead, try viewing the diet as a way to reward your body. You are taking care of it by losing or gaining weight and eating healthy food. A diet is an excellent decision for your health.
- You have unrealistic expectations. Expecting to lose over five pounds a week is unrealistic. Even three or four pounds a week can be unrealistic, but it does happen for people who have a lot of water weight or bloating that suddenly disappears. What most doctors recommend is two pounds a week. Why? If you are trying to lose weight rapidly, it is often done in unhealthy ways. It’s better for your mental health to just take time to lose the weight in a consistent fashion, and just exercise if you want to get better results.
- Your changes might be too extreme. Read your diet plan aloud to yourself. Does it sound rather extreme? Well, it might be. Just going from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet is hard. No matter your plan, if it is extreme it would literally be giving up the majority of the foods you ate in favor for foods you aren’t too familiar with. I would focus first on reducing the amount of sugary drinks consumed per day, then dropping calorie intake by 100-200. As each week goes on add new changes while maintaining the previous ones. Of course, you might also be a person who would thrive off of a huge sudden change.
These are the three biggest changes that can cause a diet to fail. When thinking about dietary changes you wish to make, keep in mind to avoid making these mistakes in particular. It will make the overall process much easier, and maybe enjoyable.