Today’s post is the first in a series in which I will cover the most common reasons why your diets fail. My intention here is simple: if you can understand why your diets fail, you can avoid past mistakes and create a sustainable and healthy diet.
You’ve no doubt experienced the pattern before. You start off with the best of intentions and manage to go a few days (or even longer) with a fad diet. The pounds start dropping off and you’re feeling pretty great.
But soon after, the bad habits start to creep back in. Before you know it, the diet is all but abandoned and you’re back to your old ways. Where did at all go wrong?
Consider this: if someone offered you a million bucks to get stacked, you’d probably be pretty huge within a few months. Similarly, if someone held a gun to your head and told you that you needed to lose 20lbs, you’d sure as hell lose 20lbs (and quickly). But these kinds of motivations are rare in the real world, and for the most part, we’re kidding ourselves when we set outrageous weight loss targets.
Most of don’t have a gun to our head when it comes to dieting. All we have is an amount of willpower drawn from a desire to lose weight, be more healthy and/or look better naked. These kind of motivations typically aren’t overwhelmingly powerful. As such, the majority of us need a diet that is relatively easy to stick to in order to assure long term weight loss.
But we go for the über diet. The one that promises near-instantaneous weight loss. The one that is effectively marketed. The one that demands an unrealistic amount of discipline (yet makes us feel like crap when we fall off the wagon). The one that is ultimately unsustainable for all but the most motivated.
If you’re going to succeed in achieving long term weight loss and keep that weight off, you need to adopt a diet that requires no more than your existing store of willpower and motivation. That’s the simple equation. Far better for you to gradually adjust your eating habits than drastically change your diet in a way that will only result in one outcome: failure.
There’s a simple way to know if your diet is too demanding: just answer this one question. From there you should make adjustments as necessary.