People diet for many reasons. Some want to drop a few pounds for a special event like their daughter’s wedding or to go on vacation. Others need to diet because their health has been affected by being too heavy. However, diets are not “one size fits all” because each person experiences weight loss differently.
The Diet Industry
When people want to try to drop pounds, they often pick a diet from the most popular ones on the market. They can choose from dozens of choices, some of which promise people that they can lose five or 10 pounds in just a few days. Unfortunately, those promises seldom become reality and those desperate to lose weight move onto another diet.
Due to people’s need or desire to because thinner, the diet industry was worth $66 billion in 2016, and it is expected to continue growing in 2018 to over $70 billion. Some segments of the diet industry are growing quickly, such as diets chains like Nutrisystem, which delivers prepackaged foods to dieters’ homes.
Nutrisystem has seen double-digit gains in its sales in the past three or four years, including an 18% gain in 2016. Diet chains, which also includes Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, were expected to grow to over $3 billion in sales during 2017.
Reasons Why Dieting is Difficult
Although the idea of losing weight doesn’t seem complicated, many people fail when they diet. Losing weight sounds like a simple idea that can be easily done. There is an average of 3,594 calories in one pound of body fat, so, ideally, eating fewer calories will result in dropping pounds. However, it doesn’t work that way.
When people reduce their calorie intake, their metabolism also slows and burns fewer calories. Also, while dieting, muscle is often lost while you’re burning fat. Losing muscle also reduces the number of calories that are consumed because muscle helps burn calories 24 hours a day.
Along with their bodies working against them, there are many other reasons why people find weight loss difficult to do.
Lack of Motivation
Losing weight to look better really doesn’t help people drop pounds permanently. Unless they have other reasons to motivate their dieting, people may lose a few pounds, but eventually, regain it. Lacking motivation can easily kill a diet, so you should try to motivate yourself in other ways.
Some other reasons for losing weight and keeping it off are sleeping better, have more energy or to keep from dying. Dieting makes some people feel miserable, so they stop doing it. However, if they have better reasons to continue with it, then they might stick with it.
Not Working Out
Many people hate exercising, so they seldom do it. They may have a membership to a gym, but they stop going because they don’t like exercising in front of others or they get bored. The best way to exercise is to find something you like doing and stick with it.
Consider resistance training to maintain your muscles and help burn calories. Also, add a cardiovascular exercise to exercise your heart and build stamina. Cardiovascular exercises include brisk walking, jogging, swimming or cycling, among others. If you like what you do, you may stay with it but exercising to drop weight needs to be on a long-term basis.
Poor Food Choices
To begin losing weight, you need to change the foods that you eat. Instead of eating processed foods that are laden with sugar, salt and fat, it is better to eat fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats and whole grain foods. However, it isn’t easy to do because bad habits are hard to break.
Educate yourself about portion sizes, learn how foods can improve your health and keep track of what you eat by keeping a food journal. You can still have the foods you love, like pizza or cookies, find healthier versions of them and only eat them occasionally.
Learning better ways to eat can help you stay healthy for a lifetime because you won’t be dieting, just making better choices.
To live a healthier life, you need to assess and change some things about how you live, like changing bad habits. You may need to get up earlier in the morning to fix a healthy meal for lunch or to workout before going to work.
Consider what you do when watching TV or using your computer because many people binge eats without realizing it. By paying attention to what you do, then you can either change the habit or choose healthier foods.
Also, look at the foods in your house. It is much harder to stay on a diet or make better food choices when you know there are donuts or cookies in the kitchen. If you have a family, then help them make better food choices too.
Mental Health Issues
People who have mental health problems, such as depression, often use food for comfort. Our society uses food to comfort others and make them feel better. Food is used for celebrations, to mourn, or get over some hurt.
Being aware of your food habits can help change them, but you may need professional help to learn how to combat emotional eating. By learning why you binge on food can help you break the habit and become healthier.
When most people need to drop a few pounds, they often set unrealistic and unattainable goals. Then, when those goals are not met, they use it as an excuse to stop trying. People are not motivated by failure but by success.
To have successful outcomes when dieting, it is better to set realistic, long-term goals. If you want to drop 10 pounds before summer and its already May, then that goal may not be attainable. However, if you set that same goal and its January, then it is doable.
Instead of thinking about dropping those pounds, set daily and weekly goals to help you achieve the main one. A daily goal could be to take a salad to work for lunch or take the dog for a walk when you get home. Those smaller goals can make dropping those 10 pounds easier to do.
Lack of Support
It is difficult to diet on your own and, if you have a family, they may not want to change their eating habits if they are already at a healthy weight. By keeping the foods they like to eat in the house, it can be too tempting for many people, and they may sneak a couple of cookies, some ice cream or make other bad food choices.
Many people fail to attain their diet goals because they lack support from their family or friends. If that’s the case for you, consider joining a support group or find a workout buddy and use each other as a support system.
How to Lose Weight
Losing weight isn’t easy to do, but scientists have found several ways it can be achieved.
Add a Sweet Treat to Breakfast
Researchers at Tel Aviv University Medical Center found that finishing breakfast with something sweet, such as a piece of chocolate, donut or piece of cake, helped some dieters in their study drop weight. During the eight-month study, they had a group eat a 304-calorie breakfast that included 10 grams of carbs.
Another group at a 600-calorie breakfast with 60 grams of carbs, including something sweet. At the end of the study, each person in both groups lost an average of 33 pounds. However, at the end of the study, the low-carb group regained an average of 22 pounds, while the high-carb group continued were able to drop another 15 pounds.
Change What You Drink
People who drink regular sodas or juices are consuming liquid sugar. Most of them contain as many as 18 teaspoons of sugar and an average of 240 calories. Diet drinks are no better because diet soda drinkers tend to have a high amount of fat in their stomach area.
It is best to drop sodas and juices from your diet and stick to drinking water, tea or coffee. If you use sugar in your tea or coffee, use it sparingly because otherwise, you are adding unnecessary calories to your drinks.
Add More Protein to Diet
A way to help burn more calories is to ensure your diet has protein in it. Women need a daily intake of 46 grams of protein and men need 56 grams. It takes more time and energy for your body to digest protein, so you end up burning calories. It also makes you feel fuller throughout the day.
While weight loss can be difficult, there are ways your goals can be achieved. Observe your eating habits and change them, make better food choices and use online tools like a weight loss calculator to track calories so you can drop the pounds to get healthier.
If you develop better habits and create smaller goals, then you can achieve a long-term goal of being thinner and looking your best.
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