If I asked you what came to mind when I mentioned the word ‘diet’, you would most likely think ‘short term’ or ‘weight loss’ (maybe you think ‘boring’ or ‘hungry’).
The Oxford dictionary says that the word ‘diet’ means: Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
The definition above would suggest that you NEED to restrict yourself to certain food groups in order to lose weight, this in incorrect. Click here to find out more.
If you’re struggling to stick to your diet or nutritional protocol, here are 5 reasons why this might be the case.
#1 You’re not eating enough
To burn fat (aka lose weight the right way) you need to be eating in a slight calorie deficit. This means you are burning more energy than your body is taking in. A deficit in calories is caused by eating anything below your maintenance intake (click here to figure out your own maintenance intake plus how many calories you SHOULD be eating for fat loss). For optimal results I recommend eating 300-500 calories below maintenance.
If your calorie intake is too far below your maintenance (aka not eating enough) then you’ll most likely struggle to stick to your diet. Energy levels will be low, training will be shit, sex drive will be low and your sleep quality will be below average.
Less is not always more, meaning drastically cutting your calories (crash dieting) to speed up the process of fat loss may seem like a good idea at the time and you WILL lose weight fast, but I guarantee you won’t keep it off as it’s not sustainable and often leads to binge eating. Another side effect of crash dieting is a severe loss of muscle mass.
#2 You have NO social life
“I’m not really catching up with friends or going out on the weekends because I can’t eat or drink anything”
“I’ll just order a salad”
Don’t let this be you.
If your diet prevents you from eating out or enjoying a drink from time to time then it’s time to re-evaluate. Flexibility with your nutrition is the key to sustainability.
#3 You’ve cut out something you can’t go the rest of your life without
If you love chocolate and know that you can’t go the rest of your life without it then you shouldn’t cut it out of your diet.
Everything in moderation.
As long as the chocolate (ice cream, wine, pizza or whatever it may be) is accounted for in your daily calorie intake then you will continue to see progress in fat loss.
One of the biggest determining factors when it comes to sticking to a diet is whether or not you enjoy the way you’re eating. If you don’t, then it won’t last. The most effective or ‘proven’ diet in the world is useless if you can’t stick to it.
#4 You never had any intentions of sticking to it
As I mentioned at the start of this blog, the word diet is often paired with ‘short term’.
If you go into a diet with the mindset of it being short term then it will be. Instead, look at your way of eating as a lifestyle, something you’ll be able to do for the rest of your life.
After all, don’t you want to be in shape year round? Not just for the 2 weeks you’re on holidays at the beach or for the day of your wedding etc.
Flick the mental switch from short term to lifetime and watch your body change before your eyes.
#5 You don’t know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing
Knowledge is power.
If you know WHY you’re eating the way you are, it makes the whole process a lot easier. Not only will it show in your results, but it also allows you to learn more about your own body by finding out what works and what doesn’t.
Take the time to learn more about the way you’re eating, you’ll be surprised at how simple it really is to live a happy, healthy and lean life 365 days of the year.