If you view dieting as a constant uphill struggle for weight loss, you are not alone.
‘Losing weight is one of the top resolutions made every year, yet only 20% of people achieve successful weight-loss and maintenance,’ says US nutrition and weight management expert, Jessica Bartfield.
She has identified the four main reasons why diets fail. Recognise what they are and you're a step closer to making sure you're a weight loss winner.
FAIL No 1: Underestimating calories consumed
WIN: Aim to keep tabs on your daily calorie intake by making an accurate, detailed note of everything that you eat, and ensure you regulate portions properly by using measuring cups and utensils when you cook. When eating out, make sure you check the nutritional information of your meals as restaurant meals are more calorific. Downloading a calorie count app can help. Check out our pick of the best healthy eating and diet apps here
FAIL No 2: Overestimating activity and calories burned
WIN: Rev up your metabolism by aiming for 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week - it doesn’t always have to be dynamic, and could be as simple as walking more and faster. Invest in a pedometer to track your steps, avoid taking public transport where possible, and always walk up the stairs rather than using the lift or escalator.
FAIL No 3: Poor Timing of Meals
WIN: You need a steady stream of glucose throughout the day to maintain optimal energy and to prevent metabolism from slowing down,' says Bartfield. Try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up, and then top up your energy by eating a healthy snack or meal every 3 or 4 hours throughout the day. It will keep hunger pangs at bay, too.
FAIL No 4: Inadequate sleep
WIN: A good night’s sleep is vital to ensure well-being and to keep your waistline in check. ‘Studies have shown that people who get fewer than six hours of sleep have higher levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite, particularly for high-carbohydrate and high-calorie foods,’ says Bartfield. Aim for at least 7 hours’ sleep a night, and if you have trouble sleeping don't eat a large meal close to bedtime as it will wake up your body and give you an unnecessary energy boost too.
Looking for a healthy eating plan or weightloss regime? Check out our healthy eating channel for ideas.