Weight loss is one of the top resolutions made every year, yet 80 percent of people do not achieve successful weight-loss and maintenance. Here are the top six reasons dieters don't achieve success.
Despite that fact that two-thirds of Americans say they are on a diet to improve their health, very few are actually decreasing in size. "Dieting is a skill, much like riding a bicycle, and requires practice and good instruction, " says Jessica Bartfield,MD, internal medicine who specializes in nutrition and weight management at the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care. "You're going to fall over and feel frustrated, but eventually you will succeed and it will get easier."
Top Six Reasons Why Dieters Don't Lose Weight
1. Eating The Wrong Foods
Many dieters tend to focus on low calorie and low fat foods that are often saturated with toxic chemicals to please the palate. Avoiding genetically modified foods, artificial flavours, colors, preservatives, emulsifiers, and sweeteners all made with toxic chemicals are the first steps in any dieters long-term success. In addition to many diseases such as cancer, these chemicals are guaranteed to facilitate the process of neurotoxicity, immunotoxicty, and insulin resistance causing excess weight. Without eliminiating foods with these ingredients, dieters fail before they've begun.
2. Understanding Long-term Goals
A one or two month diet sounds great from a theoretical perspective and it may very well allow dieters to lose weight. However, what happens after that period has expired? Most people resort back to their old eating habits and all of their weight returns in the same places and just as fast as it was lost. Dieters must create a long-term eating schedule that allows the incorporation of many of the healthy foods they consumed during their diet, but in an extended format lasting at least 3 to 6 months after their diet has expired. This gives them enough of a practical period to adjust to long-term goals.
3. Underestimating Calories Consumed
Most people (even experts!) underestimate the number of calories they eat per day. Writing down everything that you eat- including drinks and "bites" or "tastes" of food -- can help increase self-awareness. Pay attention to serving sizes and use measuring cups and spoons as serving utensils to keep portions reasonable. Food eaten outside of the home tends to be much larger portion sizes and much higher in calories. Try to look up nutrition information of your favorite take-out meal or restaurant and select a healthy meal before picking up the phone or going out to eat.
4. Overestimating Activity and Calories Burned
"Typically you need to cut 500 calories per day to lose 1 lb per week. This is very difficult to achieve through exercise alone, and would require 60 minutes or more of vigorous activity every day. A more attainable goal would be to try to increase activity throughout the day and get a total of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. Buy a pedometer and track your steps; try to increase to a goal of 10,000 steps per day. But be careful -- exercise is not an excuse to eat more!"
5. Poor Timing of Meals
"You need a steady stream of glucose throughout the day to maintain optimal energy and to prevent metabolism from slowing down. Eat breakfast every day within one hour of waking up, then eat a healthy snack or meal every three to four hours. Try not to go longer than 5 hours without eating a healthy snack or meal to keep your metabolism steady."
6. Inadequate Sleep
"Studies have shown that people who get fewer than six hours of sleep have higher levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite, particularly for high- carbohydrate/high- calorie foods. In addition, less sleep raises levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which can lead to weight gain."
"Good health practices are more than just learned, they become a regular habit and a way of life," said Dr. Bartfield.
Natasha Longo has a master's degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.
The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
Dr JPB Prinsloo is the oldest homoeopathic practice in South Africa.
The practice, situated in Pretoria, was established in 1956.
To learn more about homeopathy, homeopathic treatment and the legal requirements for practising as a homeopath, visit: