4 Reasons Your Diet’s Not Working
There are fewer things more frustrating that hitting the gym, sticking to a diet, and the scale not budging. We’re all guilty of taking a meal (or day) off from our food plan. If you feel you’ve stuck to your program but your diet’s not working, it’s time to reevaluate the process. We’re exploring the top four reasons your diet isn’t working, even when you’re doing it right.
Not Eating Enough
Skipping meals is not a diet, it’s starvation. When you refuse to eat, your body refuses to burn calories. If you’re on – or have developed – a diet that doesn’t allow you to eat enough food to keep your metabolism pumping, you won’t lose weight. Listen to your body’s signals. When you feel the hunger cues, don’t ignore them. Fuel up with healthy foods or reach for a prepackaged meal if you’re on the go.
Underestimating Intake / Overestimating Calories Burned
Spending ten minutes on the treadmill doesn’t make way for a sugar-coated treat. When you don’t properly track your food and activity, you tend to underestimate how many calories you consume and overestimate how many you burn off. Here’s a visual of what we mean:
- Walking 1 mile (180 lb. person) = 100 calories burned
- 100 calories = 9 peanut M&M’s (Nine!)
One of the best ways to avoid the inaccurate guess work is to keep a food journal. We’ll help you get started.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Your body craves water, especially when you’re active. Water helps fill you up so you’re less tempted to overeat. It also cleanses your body of toxins and wastes. The University of Illinois completed a study that revealed people who increased their water consumption by one to three cups reduced their caloric intake by 68 to 205 calories daily. So next time you think you need a snack, reach for the water bottle instead.
Don’t Understand Portion Sizes
In a Supersized, all-you-can-eat world, it’s hard to know what constitutes an actual serving size. From the coffee drink you grab on the way to work to the dinner potions served at nearly every restaurant, we’re served way more than needed. Even with a hypocaloric diet – concentrating on a low calorie intake – the weight you lose is muscle mass, not actual body fat. Eating proportioned food that focuses on low fat and carb levels and adequate proteins will help you keep your muscle and lose the fat.
If you feel like you’ve reached a weight loss plateau or you never started losing in the first place, reevaluate your diet with these four danger zones in mind.