Are you dieting but becoming frustrated that it doesn’t seem to be working for you? Are you constantly feeling like you are on the right track with your diet but the pounds just aren’t coming off? There are so many different reasons that you may not be having success quite yet. Everyone is different and all diet plans will not work for everyone! Cut too many calories or remove certain foods from your daily diet and you may be causing your own doom – and not even know it! It will only take some small tweaks to find your body’s diet “sweet spot” – exactly what your body needs to thrive and drop those stubborn pounds. Here are a few possible reasons your diet isn’t working.
#1. You aren’t eating enough! I know… it sounds crazy, right?! But not eating enough can wreak havoc on your metabolism. You may be working out and eating a healthy diet low in calories, but still maintaining or gaining weight! When you do not eat enough calories, your body begins to think that it needs to conserve calories – because it thinks you are starving! Your body may also begin to lose muscle mass and your energy will be very low. It is always helpful when beginning a weight loss plan that you start from a higher amount of calories and work your way down slowly to see what amount of calories will help you lose about 2 pounds per week. Weight loss takes time and patience, trial and error are all necessary components. There is not a specific amount of calories everyone should eat, because we are all different.
#2. You’re drinking WHAT?! Many people on “diets” tend to think that diet soda is a staple. I understand how this can make sense to someone, because they are substituting a 120 calorie can of soda for one with 0 calories. But just because you are having diet soda with a meal does not make it any better for you. I worked in a fast food restaurant as a teen, and it always blew my mind at the foods people would order, such as a double bacon cheeseburger and large fries, and get a diet coke to drink. Do you really think that makes it ok? I used to laugh at this when I was in my teens, but now I feel sad and sympathetic for the folks doing that. Proper nutrition is not known by everyone in America, clearly, so it is my job to help educate. When I tried out Weight Watchers, I would have multiple diet sodas a day. I recently began researching more into the trend, and was surprised at what I found. I have not had a diet soda in over 6 months since I discovered this! We all know that diet soda is very sweet – Aspartame and Splenda, which is what is typically used to sweeten diet drinks – is extremely sweet. Aspartame can be up to 200 times sweeter than sugar! We also all know that when we frequently have sweet things, we crave more sweet things. See the problem here? We have a diet coke, which is super sweet, and then we CRAVE a sweet snack to go along with it. Then later, we crave another sweet snack. The trick is to cut this stuff out of your diet, and then you will not crave it anymore! Get your body accustomed to drinking water instead of that chemical-filled sweet syrupy canned drink. Trust me on this!
#3. Extreme / Fad Diets. These are never a good idea! You know the diets I am talking about… no carb, no fat, extremely low calorie, juice fasts, the list goes on and on. For example, if you eat little to no carbs every day of the week with no fluctuation, you will be zapped of energy! Your body needs carbohydrates to function. Not all carbs are bad! Having no carbs cuts your ability to exercise, because you likely will not feel up to it. As for the super low calorie diets, yes you will lose weight in the beginning, but it is likely only water. Maintain this diet and you will begin to lose muscle mass which will just be replaced by flab. And contrary to what you might think, you need fat in your diet as well. HEALTHY FATS that is! Not getting enough healthy fats in your diet can cause poor vitamin absorption, depression, increased risk for certain cancers, and an imbalance in your macronutrient balance (carbs/protein/fat), likely leading you to eat too many carbs.
#4. Rewarding yourself with food. If I’ve heard it once I have heard it a million times… “When I lose weight, I am going to eat X,Y,Z!” This makes no sense to me. I recently had a friend tell me when they lose their weight, they are going to go have a giant piece of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory!” Why on earth would you want to do that? Don’t reward yourself with food; you are not a dog. Reward yourself with something that will encourage you on the journey you are on… such as a new pair of running shoes, a new workout program, or a fancy heart-rate monitor watch!
#5. You’re not drinking enough water. This one is simple. If you do not drink enough water, your body begins to dehydrate. This may lead to temporary weight loss, but your body will be out of balance. Your body will then want to hold on to any fluids you drink! This will make you retain water and prevent your body from filtering out the toxins from your body. Low water intake can also cause headaches, lower back pain, mental irritation and other nasty symptoms. Bottoms up!