I don’t want your diet to fail. So let’s find out how we can avoid it.
Your Diet Doesn’t Make Sense For You
It’s possible that your diet doesn’t make sense for you.
If your favourite food up until this point has been steak and chicken wings, you’re probably not going to do that well as a vegan. Do you love having a big breakfast in the morning? Intermittent fasting might be a great way to lose weight initially. You’re automatically cutting out a lot of your calories just by doing that. But how are you going to feel when you don’t get that breakfast in the morning? You might adjust and then you’ll become one of those annoying intermittent fasting advocates that spends all their time telling people how fasting is going to save their lives.
Studies show that time restricted feeding, which is what they call fasting in the research, is about equal to traditional calorie deficit diets in terms of weight lost. And dropout rates are also about the same. So while intermittent fasting may be a good tool for weight loss it may not be the right choice for you.
At the end I’m going to give you the most important question you need to ask yourself before starting any diet.
There are an endless amount of diets out there and if you try to follow the rules of just two or three of them simultaneously you’d be just drinking water so make sure that your diet is not too restrictive if you’re cutting out entire food groups or macronutrients like carbs for instance it’s going to be very difficult to stick to that rigid diets make it really hard to live your life what are you supposed to do when you visit friends or family carry your food with you or force them to make food for you I’ve tried this in the past when I’ve been following restrictive diets for my digestive issues and trust me it doesn’t go down well the only reason you should be eliminating any foods is if you have an allergy or your Celiac or lactose intolerant or something like that.
In that case, you may have to carry your food. If you have a legitimate issue. But randomly giving things up. Nope.
Unrealistic Expectations Can Cause A Diet Fail
Another reason why your diet might not succeed is because you have unrealistic expectations.
This can refer to two things: the rate of weight loss and what your body is going to look like when you lose that fat .
If you’re hoping to lose 20 pounds in a month you’re probably going to be disappointed.
But there’s another thing you need to be aware of as well. It gets harder and harder to lose weight as you get closer to your target. We consider safe and healthy weight loss to be about one percent of your body weight per week. So if you start off at 300 pounds you could safely lose three pounds a week. If you start off at 150 pounds you would only want to lose about 1.5 pounds per week.
The Benefits Of Muscle Building For Weight Loss
This is to minimize the muscle loss when you’re losing fat. And this is really important especially as we get older we want to maintain as much muscle as we can in order to be stronger.
There’s a slight effect on the metabolism if you have higher levels of muscle mass compared to fat. Although it’s not as great as most people say. It’s probably about 10 extra calories burned for every pound of muscle that you put on.
And as anyone who’s tried to put on muscle will tell you putting on a significant amount of muscle mass is very hard.
But that’s a little bit of an aside.
Why Weight Loss Becomes Harder As You Lose Weight
The main point is that even though you get initial large amounts of fat loss that’s not going to continue as you get closer and closer.
It’s actually relatively easier for someone who’s 60 pounds overweight to lose the initial 10 pounds than it is for someone who’s fighting with the last 10 pounds.
As you lose weight there are some temporary metabolic adaptations that happen that slightly decrease the amount of calories that your body is burning.
But you’re also a smaller person. A 300 pound body burns off more calories automatically than a 200 pound body and a 150 pound body burns off even fewer calories just to sustain itself. And that’s just something you have to accept as you start to lose weight. It does get more and more difficult.
I feel like I’m being such a downer.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t strategies that you can use, but you need to be prepared that what you saw at the beginning is not going to be what you see as you get closer and closer to your target.
Initially you can just start by making small tweaks to your diet. Just adding more fruits and vegetables, more lean protein which will help you with maintaining that muscle mass as well as managing your appetite. Perhaps drinking more water so that you’re less likely to overeat.
Changes To Make As You Get Leaner
But at a certain point that’s probably not going to be enough anymore you’re going to have to have a closer look at how many calories you’re eating over the course of the day you might have to tweak your macros as well.
So what was enough to help you lose weight at the beginning of your weight loss Journey might not be enough later on.
I want you to be aware of that and prepared for it because disappointment and frustration can lead you to quit altogether. And we don’t want that.
Managing Your Expectations
Now the second part of this is managing your expectations about what you’re going to look like when you lose that fat.
I tell my clients to aim for a leaner stronger version of themselves, not to try to look like their favourite celebrity or influencer. Our bodies are different and you’ve got to appreciate what you have or you’re never going to be satisfied. I’m tall and quite lanky. And if I try to be short and curvy I’m never going to be happy. Ao work with what you’ve got.
Lack Of Planning To Avoid A Diet Fail
Another reason why your diet may fail is because of lack of planning. I know we’re all busy and it doesn’t feel like you have time to plan your meals but it will save you time and effort in the long run and it’ll make you much more likely to succeed with your diet.
I’m not talking about spending your Sundays doing meal prep like the bodybuilders and fitness competitors do. Laying out all your food and spending hours doing that. When I competed in Fitness competitions I did do that for a period of time. These days I have better things to do with my Sundays. Never mind that my husband is a large athletic type and we also have an eight-year-old son whose appetite is pretty much equivalent to mine right now. So we don’t really have space in our fridge or freezer to pack tons of food. But there are sometimes leftovers because we try to cook a little bit more than we need for that particular meal. This doesn’t always work with my husband around (he often finishes whatever is left), but we do try.
It’s really useful to plan your meals for each day. How many are you having? Three? Four? Five? Six?
For fat loss it really doesn’t matter as long as your calories are equated over the course of the day. You’re going to get the same level of fat loss. So do whatever works for you.
But plan in advance. Preferably the night before. You could do it in the morning but if your mornings are a little chaotic like they are for us it’s probably not the best time. So plan when you’re eating and what you’re eating. Approximately.
How I Plan My Meals
I don’t know exactly what I’m having but I always know that it’s going to be based around a source of lean protein, some vegetables, and probably a starch.
How Lack Of Support Can Lead To A Diet Fail
What if you figured out the ideal weight loss diet for you and you don’t have anyone to support you?
This can be a big problem. Your friends or family might not be interested in your weight loss goal, especially if they don’t have weight to lose themselves. And sometimes if they do they might not want to be reminded that perhaps they should be trying to make some changes as well.
How Friends And Family Can Cause Your Diet Fail
It’s even possible that people close to you will try to sabotage your efforts to lose weight.
“Come on…treat yourself.”
“You’ve been so fussy about food lately. You need to loosen up.”
Getting Support On Your Journey
All you need is one person to support your journey.
It could be a friend who’s on the same journey. Or a coach, like me, who can make sure that you’re heading in the right direction.
There are also online communities that can be helpful.
Or you can just commit to watching YouTube videos from someone who wants to help you find a sustainable way of losing weight. Also me!
What To Ask Yourself Before Starting Any Diet
And now that one question that you have to ask yourself before doing any diet can I do this long term.
Picture yourself five years in the future.
Are you still doing keto? If not, find something else that feels sustainable for you.
The only thing that matters for a successful weight loss diet is that you can get yourself into an energy deficit.