You might be making one of seven common dieting mistakes, according to Dr Meg Arroll and Louise Atkinson, authors of new book ‘The Shrinkology Solution’. Here is co-author Louise Atkinson’s run-down of six reasons your diet might not be working, written for Healthista:
1) You’ve picked the wrong diet
In the quest to slim down for summer it is so tempting to pick the latest trendy diet but there’s no such thing as ‘one diet plan fits all’ and if your chosen plan isn’t working, it might be the wrong plan for you.
A confirmed chocoholic might struggle to stick to a low-carb plan, and if you work long hours or do shift work, home cooked meals might be an impossible dream.
So the decision should not be ‘what’s the best diet plan?’ but ‘what’s the best diet plan for me?’
2) Your head’s not in the right place
Psychologist Dr Meg Arroll says any diet is much more likely to work if you have got to the point where you are absolutely ready to lose weight and willing to make some changes to get there.
‘Any plan that leaves you feeling resentful or deprived is never going to work long-term,’ she says. It is far better to decide that you are making changes for YOU, and to set yourself realistic, achievable and measurable goals.’
3) You’re switching plans too fast
Many popular eating plans will give only sketchy maintenance advice, and some none at all. So it’s little wonder many of us flit from one diet to the next when weight plateaus or starts to creep back.
But abandoning one diet plan to leap straight into another will throw your body into confusion and set you on a destructive downward spiral of yo-yo dieting.
4) You’re not moving enough
There is some truth in the old adage that losing weight is all about ‘eating a bit less and moving a bit more’ and the two elements really do work hand in hand.
Large-scale reviews of research into dieting consistently show that adopting exercise into your daily life is one of the key factors in maintaining a stable weight.
Exercise does have multiple unequivocal benefits for physical and mental health– even just via a ten minute walk each day – really will make you more likely to stick to your diet plan.
5) You’ve got diet fatigue
Everything about our physical and mental set-up changes over time – metabolism slows, hormones unravel, and life becomes complex.
After the age of 30 metabolism drops by five percent per decade and from the age of 40 that decline accelerates further.
The drop is perfectly natural as cells throughout our body start to slow down, but it means you’ll be burning 100 fewer calories per day at the age of 35 than you did at 25, and 200 fewer at 45.
6) Maybe you don’t need to diet at all
It’s so easy to get caught up in the spin of wanting to look model-skinny and to be prepared to jump through all sorts of dietary hoops to get there.
But ask yourself – is weight gain a real problem for you or could you be chasing an impossible ideal? Be sensible about what you consider to be your ‘ideal’ weight.