Why do I keep failing at dieting?
There are lots of reason that people fail at dieting, it’s very dependent on the individual and how motivated they are at the time they start. It’s also important that you enjoy what you are doing else you won’t want to continue doing it. Remember, if you want to change the way you eat you can do it, you just need to want to do it enough to take the steps.
If you can take on challenges at work, raise children, overcome things in your daily life then controlling your diet should come easy to you. Instead of thinking of it as a ‘diet’ you should think about the positive impact it will have on your health and your life.
To help you understand why you feel that you are taking 2 steps forward and 4 steps back, here are the most common reasons that people fail in their diets and how to overcome them.
1. Lack of motivation.
Motivation is probably the most important aspect of improving yourself because if you are motivated you will take all of the steps required and ensure that you overcome obstacles. If you aren’t motivated, you will fall at the first hurdle. To get motivated you need to ask yourself why you want to improve the way you eat.
Top reasons are:
- You want to be in better shape
For many this will be down to appearance. If looking better is your goal then you need to quantify improvements, and easy way to do this is to take photos, take a picture every few weeks and track your improvements, this will help you to stay motivated.
- You want to be healthier
This is a great motivator, but again you must quantify it so you can track your improvements. Depending on where you are on the scale of healthy you would monitor this differently. If you have health issues this may be by regular check ups at the doctors, if you are healthier it may be checking your 5km run time. Wherever you are on the scale set yourself goals and check that you achieve them.
- You want to set a good example for your children
If you are a parent it’s your responsibility to set an example for your children, they will copy what you do. Do you want your children to grow up and make healthy choices?
The good news is, if you aren’t feeling motivated there are lots of ways to help you out.
Here are some tips on motivation:
- Set goals and targets.
- Remember the big picture, you don’t need to be perfect all the time.
- Think about why you are doing it.
- Be accountable, if you have a slip up it is your fault. Make sure you don’t let these set you back.
- When you feel motivated act. Get your kit ready the night before, make a plan with a friend to workout or just exercise when you can at any time of day.
2. Poor planning.
Planning is key, if you go on a long car journey and don’t have food prepared you will eat what’s convenient and not always what is best. If you don’t take food to work, you will probably end up getting unhealthy food for lunch. Planning starts with your supermarket shop. Buy healthy food to have in your house, if you are going to be out around mealtimes prepare food or take Ultra Complete with you to have as a meal.
Here are some tips on planning:
- Make a to do list and tick it off as you go.
- Think ahead.
- Plan when to eat.
- Plan what to eat.
- Plan when to exercise.
- Have a plan B in case something out of your control affects plan A.
3. Unrealistic goals.
This is a sure-fire way of killing any chance of becoming healthier. Don’t expect to lose 2 stone in 2 weeks. Make sure that the goals you set are realistic. If you want help setting your goals then feel free to get in touch. If you have a PT you should ask them and they will help you set realistic goals. If weight loss is your goal then having a 500kcal deficit every day (3,500kcal per week) you will lose about 1kg every 2 weeks. Unless you are significantly overweight this is a sensible target to set.
Here are some tips on setting goals:
- Ask for help when setting them
- Write down your goals.
- Check if you are working towards your goals.
4. Unsupportive people.
Many people want to improve themselves but are held back by those around them. If people around you are not willing to help you meet your targets and encourage you then you should speak to them and explain that you need their help for you to succeed.
Tips on unsupportive people:
- Surround yourself with supportive, like-minded people – gyms are great for this.
- Be inspired when you see people in great shape that are super healthy
5. Letting lapses turn to relapses
A lapse is a momentary slip from the plan, these happen all the time. The important thing to do is to make sure that they don’t become a relapse. If you eat something bad, that’s okay, just compensate for it tomorrow.
Here are some tips on staying on track:
- Monitor calories across the week – a bad day isn’t a bad week.
Don’t think about going on a diet, think about becoming healthier, this should be a long-term plan. Ask professionals for advice. Your personal motivation is absolutely key to your success, so make sure you stay motivated.