Why Can’t I Stick to a Diet?
Diets are everywhere, in fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that quite a few people have tried a diet or two to help them lose weight.
Whilst weight loss is good for people who are carrying excess weight that is causing them health issues, diets are not always the best bet to help you get rid of excess weight.
Today, when we talk about sticking to a diet plan, we mean a healthy diet plan that will change your relationship with food and have you look into adopting mindful eating habits and stop you from eating unhealthy food that is hindering your progress.
There are a lot of diets out there that say you will be able to lose weight in a matter of weeks and be a ‘better you‘, although this will draw people in, they can be detrimental to your health in the long run, and be the cause of your weight gain.
This is why we will go into why it can be hard for you to stick to any sort of diet, and what you can do for yourself to help you stick to a healthy eating plan, moving you away from junk food and fad diets that are causing you to relapse back into your old eating pattern.
Emotional Eating Habits
A lot of diets can be quite restricting with your food choices.
Because of this, many of them are not enjoyable and can cause people to feel hungry as well as bad about themselves.
It turns into a hate diet of sorts, as they are not focused on providing their bodies with nutrient-dense foods and healthy choices, but on whatever they can do to lose weight and stick to it no matter how bad they feel.
Even though some people can be aware that this is what they are doing, they will keep to them, because they are so focused on losing weight that they will try and ignore these intense cravings that are taking over their day.
Why Do People Emotionally Eat Foods?
People who are emotionally eating are doing so not just because of the hunger they feel, but because they trying to fill a ‘void’ within themselves which they use food for.
Whether they are feeling sad or just bored, they see food as the outlet they need to satiate those feelings and provide them with a comfort they feel they are not getting in regular life.
It affects their mental health so much that they then start to develop an unhealthy relationship with food that not only causes them mental health issues but physical health problems as well, as they stop seeing it as a comfort and see it as a punishment.
Aiming Too High
People will have a goal weight that they want to get to when they decide to start their weight loss journey, and they may have seen a diet that will get them there quickly, although, it may look good on paper, executing it is another task in itself.
What Will Happen if You go Too Far?
Starting a healthier diet is important, but when you have a goal of losing 3 stone in 3 months, that is going to the extreme and can potentially cause an eating disorder or developing eating habits that can be a serious issue.
If you push yourself too much from the get-go or you have an all-or-nothing mindset, then you could be hindering your progress as you may start putting it off more.
This will stop you from achieving your goals, rather than easing you into it and making those healthy habits work for you, so you need to stick to an exercise plan that benefits your day-to-day, instead of pushing yourself to wake up at 3-4 am for an hour run straight away.
Thinking Food is Your Enemy
You may see food as good and bad with no grey area. This is not technically true.
Whilst junk food is not exactly the best option when you are planning out what food groups you need to eat from for a nutritious diet, it is still okay to have it once in a while as long as it is not excessive.
But, if you believe any type of sugar or fat is bad, then you are restricting yourself too much which can be hard to keep to for the long haul.
It’s Okay to Mix it Up
Less food does not equal a healthier diet.
Not eating much just means that you could be losing out on your favorite foods to stick to a diet that is not going to benefit you once you stop it.
What you need to be thinking about when you eat healthier, is not that this is a single diet that is going to help you lose weight and look great, but that you are changing your relationship with food to support your body and giving it what it needs.
You’re Obsessed With The ‘New Diet’ That’s Come Out
People on a diet can turn quite obsessive when they think about the results of what could happen if they take it on.
A lot of the time, articles will come out about a new ‘super food’ that can help people lose weight, e.g. adding coconut oil into everything or replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners, etc.
Whilst some of these can help with reducing calories, they are not a miracle, but people won’t see that when they are focusing on one diet, they just see what could happen and they become obsessed.
If you think just eating a particular food is going to help you, then you are mistaken as it is all about finding a balance, and you won’t find a balance if you are hyper-focused on one food or one meal plan.
Adopting a Healthy Eating Plan
Now that you know why you can’t stick to a diet, and as you know most diets that are in magazines and social media are not going to be the right fit for you, it is time to look at changing your eating habits to incorporate the right food groups and give you a healthier perspective on your habits.
Focus on Eating Whole Foods
One way that will keep you fuller for longer and have you eating foods that are nutrient-dense and good for you, is eating whole foods.
This means that the food you eat is minimally processed and does not have an abundance of chemicals and added sugar that affect you.
These foods include –
- Whole Grains
- Nuts and Seeds
- Fresh Animal Proteins (or substitutes if you are vegetarian/vegan)
- Dairy (or substitutes if you are vegetarian/vegan)
Drinking smoothies with powders in that promote weight loss and consuming them instead of actual meals is going to make you hungry.
It is better to eat a diet that has actual food in it that you take your time to eat so you can notice when you are full and acknowledge that so you are able to step away when it’s the right time.
Speak to Professionals
Talking with dietitians, nutritionists, or a medical professional who has a background in healthy dieting can prove to be very beneficial when you are figuring out how to eat healthily.
There is a lot you need to wade through when you choose that you want to start eating healthily, so they can be a great help when you are deciding on which way to go and what will work for you.
They can aid you with meal plans, what nutrients you need, as well as if you are allergic or intolerant to anything that you will need to omit from your diet.
How Can This Benefit You?
When you know exactly what the best thing will be to eat for your body type, you will be able to have more energy, not feel anxious all the time, and help you with motivation.
Eating a good diet will not only benefit your body, but it will do wonders with your mind too.
Buy Healthy Foods and Snacks
One thing that can send us all off the deep end is the food we keep in our homes.
If you take a look in your cupboards, how many things there are you keeping for a ‘sweet treat’ or ‘for the kids’, and how many times have you hammered through them when you feel hungry?
It is important that you surround yourself with healthier food options so that you don’t feel that temptation and lose sight of what you need to do.
It’s okay to have some sweet treats but be mindful that you are eating them.
Take one or two out of the pack, put them on a plate, and go sit down.
Take your time eating them and be aware of what you are doing.
If you bring the pack with you, you are just going to keep eating. This is why distraction and healthy eating options are important when you are trying to stick to a healthy diet.
If you know that you are going to be eating out, or going for a night out with friends, then you need to plan ahead about what you will be eating that day and how the food you eat will factor into your healthy diet.
As previously mentioned, it’s okay to indulge sometimes, so if you do go out to eat, don’t focus too much on what you are eating, just enjoy it with your friends and then carry on your healthy eating the next day.
Think About Work
Something that will throw many people off is when they get back from work.
If you have not prepped your meals beforehand, you can fall into that hole of ordering in and ruining your healthy diet.
Prepare your meals for the week before you start your working week.
Do it on a Saturday or Sunday and make up your meals, put them in the freezer, and there you have it.
You can just warm them up when you get back and you don’t have to go through all the trouble of preparing and cooking when you are tired.
The question you had before – “Why can’t I stick to a diet?” now you know why you are not able to do it and what steps you can put in place to make sure that you stick to a diet that works for you.
It is not easy to start eating healthy when you haven’t for so long, but remember, there is help out there for you and you can do this even on the days you slip a little.
We all do it, so don’t beat yourself up.