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Always feel like you're on a diet, but not seeing the results you want? We've all been there, often stuck in a cycle of over-restrictive diets followed by uncontrollable binge eating. So here are five common reasons you don't see progress with your diet.
Ps. Starting a 'diet' should be a conscious decision made by yourself, don't let peer pressure or self-doubt force you into dieting. Strive to be a better version of you, not a different version of you.
1. You're eating too much
Point out the obvious, right? It may seem simple, but the root cause of weight gain and the inability to lose weight is the consumption of too many calories.
Knowing what's in your food is super important. This doesn't mean having to go and revise all the vitamins in a sweet potato... but just by understanding the basics of calories and macronutrients in our food, we can make more concious and helpful decisions that will contribute to our body composition.
Got your eating on point? Don't forget calories are in drinks too! A couple of coffee's a day could be the difference between losing and gaining weight, so be mindful of the calories you're consuming whether it be in food or drinks, and keep an eye out for lower calorie alternatives that will still leave your tastebuds satisfied.
Eating Better Can Make You Happier.
2. You're too extreme with your diet
As you may know, losing weight revolves around being in a moderate calorie deficit, this allows our body to utilise stored energy (body fat) to keep up with essential bodily functions and low-intensity exercise.
If we put our body in an extreme deficit, it can have multiple repercussions on our health due to a lack of energy and nutrients. These include sending your organs into overdrive and leaving your body unable to repair itself efficiently, reducing the health of vital body parts such as your heart, brain, eyes, muscle tissue and more.
Oh, you'll also feel super fatigued and find yourself fighting uncontrollable cravings leading to binge eating. So be sure to diet smart, losing weight or changing your body composition isn't an overnight process, slow and steady wins the race and your body and mind will thank you for taking it easy.
The best diet is the one you can stick to.
3. You aren't consistent with your meals
We get it. Eating the same, boring meals each an every day can be very demoralising, and we certainly don't advocate such eating habits. Tasting new food is one of life's many pleasures and getting creative with your meals is excellent fun.
Finding the middle ground here is what will keep your food consistent and on-track. Porridge each morning can be very bland, but mixing it up with various toppings such as fruit and dark chocolate can make a world of difference. Chicken and broccoli can be spiced up with a range of seasonings while halloumi can be thrown in to make some homemade halloumi and sweetcorn fritters.
Meal prepping is a great way to stay in control of what you eat, being organised with meal prep means you're less likely to find yourself feeling hungry and buying unhealthy food and snacks on-the-go.
Be consistent with your food, be creative with whole foods and enjoy the process of making your meals.
It's not a 'diet', it's a lifestyle.
4. You don't have a regular exercise routine.
We aren't just talking about lifting some heavy-a** weights here, building daily activity habits is just as important as breaking a sweat in the gym.
What makes a difference is your routine, and sticking to it, having a balance of lower-intensity daily activities and high-intensity exercise throughout your week is key. If you're starting out with your exercise routine, remember to not rush into it and work on building habits.
One gym session each week and two 30-minute walks is a great place to start and easily achievable, once you've got this nailed, you can look at increasing your activity levels and intensity while maintaining consistency.
5. You're tired
This may sound simple, but you'd be surprised how impactful lack of sleep can be on our eating habits. Sleep deprivation has been shown to negatively impact cognitive function while increasing our cravings for higher calorie foods. Meaning when we're tired, we often reach for the unhealthy options resulting in being in a calorie surplus rather than a calorie deficit (if we want to lose weight.).
Having 5.5 hours sleep compared to 8.5 hours has been shown to promote the use of lean mass more favourably during a calorie deficit, rather than utilising fat stores. So optimise your sleep pattern and get those extra hours kip to make sure your body is utilising it's energy sources correctly.
Keep these five things in mind when you're looking to reduce your body fat, and you're guaranteed to be on the right track!