Ten reasons why your diet isn't working

By Rebecca Sullivan

Your diet may not be working if you don't like the food you are eating. Photo / Getty Images
Your diet may not be working if you don't like the food you are eating. Photo / Getty Images

Have you recently started a new diet, but aren't getting the results you expected?

Here are some of the common reasons your diet may not be working.

1. You went too hard, too soon

Diet strategies like eliminating a number of food groups and dramatically reducing the amount of carbohydrates you consume are difficult to sustain long term. They're rarely successful because dietary restriction is a recipe for failure in the long run.

While these strict diets may be useful to kick start a particular regimen, they are best followed for short periods before moving onto something more sustainable.

2. You do not like the food on your diet

If you do not like the food, chances are you will not continue to do it long term. Diet programs with special shakes, snacks made with ingredients bought from specialty health stores and bland dishes minus all sauces may work for a few days, but no one wants to eat like that forever.

3. Your diet contains too little carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for our muscles and brains. While diets that dramatically reduce carbohydrates result in initial weight loss, when the body is consistently fed fewer carbohydrates than it requires, over time the muscles will break down and your metabolic rate will reduce.

4. It has too much good fat

While nuts, avocado and olive oil are good for you, these good fats still contain more than double the calories of carbs or protein. Too much fat can prevent weight loss if you are still eating more than you burn.

The average adult will require just 60-80g of fat each day, which is a small handful of nuts, a couple of serves of olive oil and some oily fish.

5. You are eating too little

The body operates like a finely tuned machine and the muscles and the brain require a certain number of calories for it to run effectively. If we give it far fewer calories than it needs, it will basically slow down, burning fewer and fewer calories.

You may need to check your calories to make sure they are not too low for your body type, so you can function efficiently and enable fat loss.

6. You are exercising too much

If you lower your calorie intake as part of a particular dietary regimen, while simultaneously increasing the number of calories you are burning, there may be too great a calorie deficit to allow the body to maintain its metabolic rate.

Always allow a couple of extra hundred calories in your diet for every 400-500 calories that you burn.

7. You are eating too little during the day

Often we find ourselves eating lightly throughout the day, which is when we are most active, before bingeing at night. Shift this pattern by eating more calories throughout the day and keeping your night-time intake light.

8. You are having treats at night

Another bad dietary habit many of us get ourselves into is rewarding ourselves with high calorie treats after dinner.

Chocolate, biscuits, ice cream, cheese, wine are all foods that are easy to over consume. If you do choose to enjoy a little something after your evening meal, make a concerted effort to keep it to 100 calories or less.

9. You are drinking too much coffee

While black coffee has minimal calories and may even enhance fat burning, milk-based coffees contain a significant number of calories and sugars.

If your goal is weight loss, limit the number of milk-based coffees and always order small or piccolo-sized serves.

10. You are not treating yourself enough

If you follow a strict calorie-controlled diet for long period of time, research has shown that brief interludes of extra calorie consumption can help to prevent a starvation response in the body.

In real terms, this means having a meal or two each week that doesn't adhere to your strict calorie control can actually be beneficial.

- news.com.au

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