6 Reasons Most Weight Loss Programs Fail (and the One That Actually Works)
Did you know the average person actually gains weight for every diet they go on? Worse yet, if they do lose weight, it is usually muscle instead of fat. However, when they regain the weight, it is all fat. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, this can lead to a slower metabolism over time. Yo-yo dieting like this can cause your body to need even fewer calories than it used to, making it even harder for you to lose weight.
Losing weight and maintaining it comes down to two simple aspects: support your brain chemistry and weight loss hormones, and boost your metabolism so that it works in your favour and burns calories throughout the day. Unfortunately, the majority of diets do exactly the opposite: they increase hunger and slow down the metabolism.
Below are six reasons diets typically fail and a plan that will help you succeed:
1. You Are Lacking a Plan
Being healthy doesn’t just happen, you have to plan it. Just like a holiday or retirement, being healthy takes preparation and thoughtful planning. Many people fail because they do not set themselves up to succeed.
With the right design, you can create conditions for yourself that increase your chance of success. For example, stocking the house with healthy meal and snack options and ridding the cabinets of junk food automatically increases your chance of succeeding. Other great planning options include scheduling exercise for the week, planning your meals for the week, and having an emergency snack kit of healthy foods for traveling.
Don’t just wait to magically get healthy, plan to make it happen!
2. You Rely on Willpower Instead of Science to Keep Your Appetite Under Control
Hunger has a science behind it. Unfortunately, the majority of diets actually trigger hunger. Since your body is designed to protect you against starvation, it possesses natural mechanisms to protect us from wasting away. If the body senses starvation, it can dramatically increase hunger. This ramps up cravings and slows down our metabolism to conserve energy.
To avoid turning your body against you, make sure to satisfy your appetite with whole, fresh foods, eat a healthy breakfast with adequate protein, stop eating 3 hours before you go to sleep. Also, try to consume meals that help support balanced blood sugar and insulin levels.
3. You Focus Too Much on Calorie Intake
Although the mindset of “calories in vs calories out” has long been accepted, it is quickly growing outdated. Science is learning that not all calories are created equal.
This means that a diet of 2,000 calories worth of donuts a day vs. a diet of 2,000 calories of whole, clean foods will not have the same effect on your body. Although the calorie content is identical, different foods have different effects on the body.
Think of it this way: how many times have you eating a heavy, carb-rich meal and then wanted to lay down and take a nap? Or how many times have you eaten a large meal consisting of mostly empty sugars and carbs only to feel hungry soon after? It is clear that different foods affect our bodies in vastly different ways.
Foods such as white flour, sugar, and excess grains cause a spike in insulin levels that can cause a shift in your metabolism. Try to center your diet around foods that are rich in protein, fibre, and nutrients to help keep your metabolism and hunger hormones running smoothly.
4. You Don’t Eat Enough Fat
Many people are still stuck in the mindset that fat is the enemy and that a diet extremely low in fat is the key to losing weight. This outdated idea is based on the fact that fat has 9 calories per gram while carbs only contain 4 calories per gram.
Walter Willet, a Harvard scientist, discovered that the true culprit in weight gain is sugar, not fat. Other studies have found that consuming higher amounts of fat and fewer carbs can boost the metabolism. The bottom line is: don’t be afraid of fat! This crucial nutrient can help you feel full, support a healthy metabolism, and support your weight loss attempts.
Some great healthy fats to incorporate in your diet include coconut oil, coconut butter, grass fed butter, nuts, avocado, seeds, eggs (with the yolk included of course!), and fatty fish such as wild caught salmon, sardines, herring, and tuna. Most importantly, stay away from unhealthy transfats. You can spot these by watching for “partially hydrogenated oil” on ingredient labels.
5. You Have Underlying Medical Issues
Sometimes, there are reasons beyond your control that can negatively impact your metabolism and weight. The body is a complex system and can be affected by a host of factors.
One of the biggest hidden issues behind weight gain is inflammation. Inflammation is often caused by hidden food sensitivities or allergies such as gluten or dairy. Sugar is also a cause of inflammation.
Another issue is problems in the gut. The unbelievable amount of bacteria – 100 trillion! – in your gut, known as the microbiome, plays a huge role in overall health and metabolism. If your gut is off from taking antibiotics, a high sugar or high carb diet, or a low fibre diet, you will probably experience inflammation and trouble breaking down and absorbing your food. In fact, the importance of a healthy gut is so powerful that fecal transplants from a healthy person to an obese person will actually change their metabolism!
Yet another hidden issue is toxins. Science is discovering more and more environmental and household chemicals that can actually promote obesity. These toxins, such as household cleaners, makeup, pollution, air fresheners, pesticides, and heavy metals are known as “obesogens”.
To help promote a healthy gut, consider taking probiotics, consuming a low-glycemic, low starch diet, and avoiding antibiotics if possible. Also, scan your house for potential chemicals and toxins and remove them immediately. Many common household cleaners can be replaced with healthy, DIY versions such as vinegar and baking soda mixed together or essential oils as an air freshener. By doing this, you’ll not only improve your gut health, but you’ll likely experience less sports injuries as a result of lower weight.
6. Setting Unrealistic Goals
It is good to set goals and know what you want to achieve, but be careful to be realistic in your planning. Trying to achieve an extreme goal will most likely backfire.
Consider setting short-term, easy to achieve goals. This will help keep you motivated and moving forward. For example, instead of saying you are going to lose 10 pounds in a month, focus on losing one pound at a time and celebrating each success. Or, instead of promising to cut out sugar forever, try cutting out sugar for a day or a week.
So What Does Work?
As mentioned above, there are a number of ways you can increase your chance of succeeding at a weight loss program. Consider planning out your meals, stocking your house with healthy foods and snacks, reducing inflammation, detoxing your house of toxins, eliminating your fear of fat, and focusing on eating high-quality, nutrient-dense calories.
An excellent tool for accomplishing all of these important weight loss factors is Isagenix. Whereas so many other programs focus on drastically reducing calorie intake, restricting yourself too much, or other tactics, Isagenix sets you up for success. With convenient, healthy, delicious shakes and snacks, you can always have a healthy option ready to go.
The Isagenix diet focuses on shifting the body from a state of acidic to alkaline and reducing inflammation. Isagenix does this through two main routes – supporting the body’s ability to cleanse itself from toxins and supplying the body with adequate nutrients. Isagenix also offers support, another key to losing weight.