The very term is one reason diets fail. We tend to associate “diet” with a short term deprivation of things that we like in order to see a difference in our weight. This is unhelpful to our longer term health because as soon as we “finish the diet” what happens is we tend to make up for lost time and go back to the same over-eating that got us into the situation in the first place. In fact, studies have shown that for every diet a person goes on they actually put on 11 pounds in weight! The key to losing weight is changing your eating habits long-term.
Another reason diets fail is because we feel so hungry that we just can’t stick to what’s recommended. I think we all know that if we could stick to the diet it would almost certainly work, but the willpower required to do that is difficult. One way of reducing hunger pains and at the same time taking your mind off food is exercise. It sounds rather counter-intuitive but something as simple as going for a walk or walking up and down stairs a few times is enough to stop the hunger for some time, sometimes hours!
Portion size. Something that in these days of “supersize me” fast food advertisements and the availability of cheap, ready made high fat and sugary foods is overlooked. We tend to think that if the restaurant or drive through think it’s the right portion size, then it must be! It isn’t. One very good way to re-educate yourself is to invest in some kitchen scales, cheap digital ones are easy to come by, and weigh out the amounts recommended by your diet – you will be really surprised how much you actually need to eat versus what you are served in restaurants! You don’t have to do this for every meal as once you get the idea of what a plate of “enough” food looks like you won’t be filling your plate up each meal! As human animals we tend to overeat as our evolution hasn’t caught up with the plentiful food supplies we have nowadays. Many animals are capable of eating three days, four days or even a week’s food all at once, then fasting until they can find more – we are not too dissimilar. The problem is, we don’t have to fast until our next hunt – we just go to the fridge!
Why not try a diet that will change your eating habits not just for a temporary diet, but one that will change your eating habits for a healthier life, permanently?