Does this sound like you? It’s your third month dieting and you haven’t lost more than five pounds.
Why isn’t your diet working? If you’re one of many who decides to kick start the summer with dropping some weight, you’re not alone. For women between 25 to 54 years of age, dieting peaks early in the summer. Everyone wants to get “beach ready” and what better way to achieve this than to go on a diet? If you find yourself spinning your wheels and unable to lose much weight, there might be a chance you could be sabotaging yourself with your diet.
Here are four ways to find out if your diet isn’t working.
1. Your Diet is Too Restrictive
Low-carb? Gluten-free? Low-fat or sugar-free? If your diet is too restrictive, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
Similarly, labeling foods as “bad” or “clean” might make you feel guilty if you one day slip up and end up eating a plate of pasta.
You’ll also end up feeling miserable while you diet. If all you are allowed to eat is a salad all day, you won’t be enjoying your diet and end up resenting going on one in the first place.
So, instead of limiting your food choices, learn to use portion control while you eat. This way, you can enjoy what you’re eating and at the same time lose weight.
2. You Set Unrealistic Goals
Summer is right around the corner and you’ll probably set a goal to lose thirty pounds in two months, right?
Whatever your goal is, whether it’s to drop three dress sizes in six weeks or fifty pounds in 8 weeks, if your diet goals are unrealistic you’re just going to beat yourself up when you don’t accomplish them.
Instead of setting a goal to lose X number of pounds, opt to change your eating habits. For example, set a goal of drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Here are some other small and actionable goals that will help you succeed in your diet:
- Have one salad a day
- Avoid having cereal for breakfast 4 days out of the week
- Cook a homemade meal 3x/week
- Switch one can of soda for water 4x/week
3. You Don’t Keep Track of Your Calories
When you first begin to diet, you probably aren’t worried about counting your calories.
Simply eating less high-fat and high-calorie foods will naturally cause you to drop a couple pounds.
But, after a while, you might notice you aren’t losing any more weight. Your body has adapted to this new eating habit.
So, to rev up your metabolism and start seeing some changes in your weight, start keeping track of how many calories you consume in a day.
An excellent tool is a calorie-counting or fitness app. A favorite app is MyFitnessPal for Apple and Android phones. You can quickly keep track of what you eat and MyFitnessPal will tally up your calories for the day.
It’s hard to estimate how many calories are in the foods you eat so to get the most accurate picture, try a calorie-counting app.
4. You’re Too Sedentary
For many, staying motivated and incorporating exercise into your day can be difficult.
So, you end up only focusing on your nutrition. You figure, if you can clean up your eating, you’ll lose the weight. While at first this is true, after a while you’re body will start to rebel.
You will have a harder time shedding the weight.
You might just give up altogether and go back to your same old eating habits. But, if you start doing a little more physical activity, you’ll soon notice a change. It will be easier for you to lose weight.
So, try to get your heart rate up with these simple activities:
- 15-30 minute walk every day
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Jump in the water and go for a swim
When You Work At it, You’ll See Results
Let’s face it – diet alone won’t work for you unless you start a workout routine. So, ditch the gimmicky diets and unrealistic goals and start counting your calories and exercising.
You’ll soon notice when you put in the work, you’ll see the pounds coming off. Tell us in the comments if you plan on dieting for the summer.