Why does ‘lose 5 kg in 5 weeks’ turn into a mirage each time you chase it? Why do all diets eventually fail in the long run?

A review of the data shows that only about 20% of overweight individuals are successful at maintaining long-term weight loss. 

There is nothing wrong with ‘you’. But there is something definitely wrong about how you’re going about chasing what feels like a permanently elusive health goal.

So, why do diets fail?

  1. Diets are often too restrictive.

Many diets require people to severely restrict their calorie intake or cut out entire food groups, which can lead to feelings of deprivation and make it difficult to stick with the diet over the long term. In addition, the body may respond to severe calorie restriction by slowing down its metabolism, which can make weight loss more difficult.

  1. Diets often don’t address the root causes of overeating.

Overeating is often linked to emotional or psychological factors, such as stress, boredom, or loneliness. Many diets don’t address these underlying issues, which can make it difficult for people to stick with the diet and maintain weight loss over time.

  1. Diets can lead to a “dieting mindset.”

When people go on a diet, they often adopt a “dieting mindset” that includes a focus on food and weight, rather than health and well-being. This mindset can make it difficult for people to make sustainable lifestyle changes that promote long-term health and wellness.

  1. Diets can be unsustainable.

Many diets require people to make significant changes to their eating habits or lifestyle, which can be difficult to sustain over the long term. In addition, once people stop following the diet, they may revert to their old eating habits and regain the weight they lost.

  1. Diets may not be individualized.

Everyone’s body is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. However, many diets offer a one-size-fits-all approach, which may not be effective for everyone.

What can you do?

Here’s the thing: If you don’t like where your nutrition & other lifestyle choices are taking you, you can’t change your path temporarily to get to somewhere else. This is why diets fail most of the time. Instead, you have to make a hard change… and reset your ‘flight path’ for the long term. Focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes that promote long-term health and well-being, rather than short-term weight loss.

It is all about ‘lifestyle’ change

You’ve heard this before. And I want to emphasise that it really is true. Most definitely, it takes a consistent, long-term effort – a genuine lifestyle change – to achieve health goals. Whether you want to lose weight, reverse insulin resistance and Prediabetes, tackle PCOS, or any other health goals you have, the action steps you will determine will need time to accrue into real and visible benefits. Make an effort to set clear and focussed goals and start following through with a long-term mindset. This will bring you the results you are looking for.

What should you focus on?

There are four pillars that you must make improvements on each day if you are looking to  reverse metabolic dysfunctional states like prediabetes, lose weight, get stronger and restore your health.

1️⃣ NUTRITION Are you eating to fuel your body with the correct macro- and micro-nutrients?

2️⃣ PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Do you ‘move’ your body in different ways each day?

3️⃣ REST Do recreation and quality sleep form a component of your daily routine?

4️⃣ MINDSET Do you rely on positivity and mindfulness to make decisions about your lifestyle?

Healthy living is not a diet

Overall, diets are not always an effective approach for weight loss and weight management, as they often fail to address the underlying causes of overeating and may not be sustainable in the long-term. Rather than focusing on short-term weight loss goals, it is important to adopt sustainable lifestyle changes that promote overall health and well-being. There are no magic diets or potions that do what they falsely promise. Stop. Think. Seek professional counsel if you need. And hunker down for the foreseeable future. Only then will you find that the goal you have set for yourself is not so elusive anymore.

Don’t put a limit on the time or effort you are willing you to make towards your lifestyle change. Give it your all. You can do it!