You have been trying to lose some of those extra pounds for months now. You come across a diet plan that has worked for your friends. It seems a little harsh, but you gird yourself and try to follow it anyway. When the weighing scale doesn’t reflect any change, you get frustrated and give up. That diet isn’t for you, you think.
Alternately, you could be doing everything by the book—workouts, calorie counting, sleeping well—and still not lose significant weight; it happens to the best of us. So what exactly is going wrong?
As opposed to abruptly junking your diet plan, what you may like to work on is your routine. If your meal plan is too rigorous and doesn’t suit your lifestyle, chances are your diet won’t last long and you will be back to square one before you know it.
To identify and understand the sand traps in order to make your diet work for you, we tell you what you need to know.
You Aren’t Eating Enough
You Aren’t Eating Enough: Eating too little can cause your weight loss to plateau. “It slows your metabolism. This makes it harder and harder to lose weight as your body is in conservation mode and fights to hold on to the weight it has,” reveals Jamie Logie, personal trainer, certified nutrition, wellness specialist and founder of Regained Wellness. Diet plans aren’t meant to make you eat less. The aim is not to keep yourself hungry, but to kill hunger with healthy food. Exercising portion control while eating multiple mini-meals is better than eating too little or starving yourself.
Your Diet Is Restrictive
Your Diet Is Restrictive: Most people tend to deprive themselves of their favorite foods and force themselves to eat things they hate. This is neither pleasant nor sustainable. Diet plans that others follow may not work for you simply because your taste in food could differ from theirs. Depriving yourself of foods you like will only increase your cravings, until you either break and cheat, or just get stressed out and indulge in emotional overeating. Don’t give up your favorite foods; and especially don’t give up whole food groups. Eat the things you always have been eating (save for the obvious fatty culprits), just choose healthier preps. The chicken, fish, potatoes are still all good for you, so long as you grill, not batter-fry.
Your Calorie Intake Is Not Proportionate To The Calories You Burn
Your Calorie Intake Is Not Proportionate To The Calories You Burn: It is important that you understand how many calories you consume each day and plan your workout accordingly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you reduce your calorie intake by 500-1000 calories per day, you can lose 1lb- 2lb weekly. But, this ratio must take into consideration your BMI and your daily rate of activity. Also, one must take into account the Basal Metabolic Rate. It indicates the number of calories you burn just by existing, breathing, living. In a sense, even if you were to just stay in bed the whole day, your body would still be burning ‘x’ amount of calories, as the organs perform their basic functions and you go about your day.
You’re Eating Too Fast
You’re Eating Too Fast: Our meals are often consumed in the very short breaks we take in the middle of work. Sometimes, we eat while we’re working. This causes us to eat faster than we should. Also, if your diet plan forces you to eat something you don’t really like, you try to gobble down the food and get it over with. Haven’t you ever noticed how you ‘ooh’, and ‘aah’ and savor that piece of chocolate? That’s how good your healthy food should make you feel as you bite into it slowly because it takes 20 minutes for the brain to register that the stomach is full. Eating fast causes people to continue eating till the brain has acknowledged the stop sign. Eat slowly, be mindful, and always put the fork down between bites.
You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
You’re Not Drinking Enough Water: “Drinking water is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your diet. Even if you change nothing else in your life, but just double your water intake you will lose weight, your skin will be clear, and you will see an improvement in your energy levels. If all else fails, drink more water,” says Kristian Henderson-Hayes, group fitness instructor, a wellness coach. It helps flush out the toxins, regulates your bowel movements and treats water retention.