If you have been struggling to get rid of those extra pounds, succeeding and then failing to succeed again just to fail yet again, then you are not alone.
In your weight loss struggle which may have just started for you or have been going on for years now, we are certain you would have come across that “magical weight loss diet plan” who claim to take all your weight related sorrows away – forever.
Does any of his sound familiar – “Best diet plan for weight loss“, “Diet plans for weight loss“, “GM diet plan“, “Amazing 7 days diet plan for weight loss” etc? We hope, Yes!
This is because internet is filled with so many such claims, who just want to en-cash on your sorrows and have little to no impact in the longer run on your extra pound.
We are also sure many of you may have tried these meal or diet plans and are reading this article, so there is a high chance that the plan did not work out well for you or that you are tempted to go for one such plan but still have some doubts.
Are you wondering, If there is so much talk about these diet plans over the internet and so many celebrities are endorsing various health and fitness products, including special diet plan, then they must be doing something right.
Right? Well, not really.
Do you know that the overall health and fitness industry is worth more than 4 trillion dollars and it is expected to grow more in future?
This is because many people now-days are struggling with being overweight or just trying to look better and nicer than what they already are.
There is nothing wrong with the health and fitness industry as such but you really need to be careful on what they are actually offering and not just what they advertise.
Few such things that the industry offers is the magical weight loss products and the magical outstanding weight loss diet plans.
We hope by now, you can understand why we are referring to it as the “magical weight loss diet plan“.
Read more – Understand the secrets of body mass index
Yes, this is the way these plans are being marketed but in reality they offer much less than what is claimed in their adverts.
So here we are, to discuss about – those magical weight loss diet plans and why they don’t really work at all – especially in the long run.
Let us first discuss what are the points of failure and then we will discuss what you can do about them.
Diet plans bring lot of changes to your food habits in short span of time
Ok, so before we start we need to understand that your food habits are categorized as habits for a reason.
Just like any habits, the food that you eat is what you have been eating for a very long time and it is now in your habit to eat a particular kind of food.
Maybe you prefer sweets more than anything else or something fried is what brings water to your mouth.
Well, so the first thing we need to understand is that it is a habit and will not go away easily, and if you go for a diet plan that just asks you to cut off all this altogether at once, you are doomed towards failure.
Many Diet plans are focused around food habits that simply does not match your lifestyle
Lets assume you are a regular guy or girl who have a great desk job or a job that does not require too much physical effort or movement and on top of it you are a foodie.
You also have other commitments and do not have all that extra help to give you much of the spare time.
Now, what the diet plan really asks you is to plan 6 meals a day at regular intervals and in certain quantity.
Does it really sound feasible?
Well, for most it really does not fit into their schedule and the main reason is – you are at work and keeping tab of this 6 meals a day plan is hard to keep track.
What if you are always on the move for your job and your job does not come with a luxury of having so many home cooked meals handy for you all the time?
So, what happens next?
You give up after few days or a month and are back to where you started.
Diet plans in itself require you to learn too many things to cook
So you had your first visit to a nutritionist either online or in person and what they do after making you select a monthly, quarterly, half yearly or an yearly plan is a list of Do’s and Don’ts and a list of what to cook and how to cook in a certain way.
Of course, we do understand that their handouts are for your betterment but not everybody is great at cooking and is not excited to be a chef most of the time.
Also, what about that little extra you have left from your last meal? What do you do about it?
Did that plan considered about rest of your family and their meal as well?
Diet plans simply tend to focus more on food and not exercise
Now this is one of our favourite.
You visit a health expert or nutritionist and all they talk about is to cut this and that from your diet because almost everything that you are having seems useless to them and very gently they suggest some mild exercises.
If you are one of those who protest in the name of exercise then they might just cut exercise altogether and focus only on diet.
What happens next is that the results are not what you expect and most of the time the new diet plan they have for you will leave you hungry and exhausted most of the time.
You are required to adjust your life around the diet plan
Most of the diet plans are not customized to you but require you to start customizing your lifestyle to it.
Of-course they promise on giving you the results and some do give you the results but altering too much in your lifestyle, whether it is your eating habits or just adjusting your work or your personal time will work for a short span of time but won’t work in longer run.
The prime reason is – all these adjustments are feasible for short span but not a lifelong solution and if you are having doubts about this, just check for your favourite celebrities and how they tried to get fit for a certain role or even a scene and what happened once they were done with it.
Well, we are not negative people to talk so much against these diet plans and are certainly not against the health industry and the nutritionist or the health experts.
We just wanted to show you the other side of the story which many of you are already living each day.
Now, that we have discussed what is wrong and why the diet plans fail, let us understand what we can do about it.
Remember – It will take some time to reduce weight and maintain it for rest of your life
Starting with this thought in mind, let us be straight with you on this – “Weight loss is not instantaneous and it takes time to reduce it.
Once it is reduced, it takes regular effort to keep it in check”. So most of those weight loss programs that you see are designed for short term.
If you ask why?
Consider this – You can’t really ask a person to give up everything he/she loves to eat and survive on seeds, boiled vegetables and recipes of similar sorts for lifetime unless you are not a foodie, in which case you might already be underweight and you really don’t need a diet plan.
Weight loss requires lifestyle changes but do you have to say goodbye to all that tasty food
Food is something which is very close to all of us and for few, very close to their heart, and if you don’t eat what you love then most of you can easily slip into boredom, get mood swings and all this may even start impacting your mental health.
What if you do love to snack outside?
We know many snacks are unhealthy and we very well accept it.
So, what should you do, especially if your favourite food is not as healthy as you might want to think it is?
Well, for starters you may just want to reduce its frequency and/or cut down on its portions.
This way you can slowly try to build likening for more alternative healthy foods while cutting down the unhealthy intake.
Changing your food choices for long term really takes lot of courage and determination from your end hence “slow and steady wins the race”.
Do not alter too many food habits at the same time
Ok, let us assume you have a few so called bad food habits such as – you may be a sweet-tooth or you just like to eat all that fried stuffs out there, or you might be the one who likes all those snacks from outside.
Well, we understand that our food habits are built over a period of time and you can’t just say No to everything in one go.
You need to cut down on your bad habits, so lets just start one step at a time.
First try to cut down your portions, then frequency and eventually if the food is all that bad eliminate and replace with something much healthier.
If you go gradually on changing your food habits, you will end up getting rid of everything bad and slowly absorbing a healthy lifestyle.
Once, this gets into your lifestyle go for next one and then next one and so on.
Just remember don’t alter your food habits too much. Food is just part of your weight loss story and not all of it.
Check on calories in and calories out but don’t forget nutrition
This is a little complicated to start with but gradually as you will start becoming aware of it everything will fall into place.
Excess weight is accumulated over time because you are eating more than what your body demands.
This is especially true for calories and that is why this measure is required in your weight loss program.
Don’t ignore calories.
As per World health organization you should keep track of your calories in (energy from food that you eat) and calories out (energy you consume mostly via physical activities).
But remember that while keeping track of calories don’t forget about nutrition.
Don’t go off for a crash diet to get quick results or simply skip on your regular meals to maintain your weight, better increase your physical activity but eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
Exercise your extra calories out
Simply put, there is no alternative of exercise.
If you simply want to maintain your weight by managing your food, you are most probably cutting down on nutrition which will impact you later down as you age.
A better alternative is to build some time in your day to day life for exercise even if it is for 30 mins or so and not too regressive.
You can consider walking down to your workplace, or go out for some jogging, why not cycle to office (if weather is not extreme), or go and play some outdoor games or a power walk.
These are few examples of some form of exercises that you can easily bring into your day to day life.
To track your calories you can make use of many fitness gadgets and apps available now-days.
Fitness bands such as Fitbit, Huawei, Garmin are good in keeping track of your workout and calories or just go for a smart watch from Samsung, Huawei Watch or Apple watch who also act as fitness band and offer much more functionalities.
You can use many fitness trackers and smart watches with many other apps such as –
Runtastic, Fitbit, Google Fit, Garmin, Huawei health, myfitnesspal etc.
These apps can help you keep track of your calories in and out for the day.
Take regular breaks from exercise
Ok, so we just read about doing some workout and regular exercise, but do not forget to take regular breaks in between.
The last thing you would want to have is a tired body.
Your body need regular breaks in between and a day off from exercise after every few days is a great way to do so.
Just be considerate on your recovery day and this does not mean a cheat day for you.
Healthy sleep habits
So, your friend or family member just suggested you about that new Netflix, Amazon Prime or Apple TV series and you are all in to binge-watch it.
We say – just don’t do that ever especially if you are planning to cut down your sleep and start have irregular sleep timings.
A good sleep is your key to your weight loss program and you should not give up on your sleep at all.
Try to plan at-least 7 hours of sleep though it might vary a little bit for each one of us.
Read more – Quick and easy ways to sleep better
Just see, how much hours of sleep makes you feel refreshed the next day and try planning on to build those many hours of sleep to your schedule.
Sleep helps your body to recover and gives you a fresh mind the very next day. Better sleep is key to a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Analyse what is working for you
Set some weight loss goals for yourself and keep monitoring your progress against it.
If something is not working for you then you may want to make slight modifications to your diet plan – be it adding more time for exercise or just being more active or maybe just to cut down your portion of food.
Again, remember don’t just get fascinated by celebrities and their weight loss programs. Why? Because usually their diet plans and workout are too intense and demand major lifestyle changes. It demands time, money and effort that does not translate to you easily unless you are in same the industry.
Celebrities have to maintain themselves and look better as their work demands it. Since they have all the time in the world to maintain themselves you need to ask yourself – Do you have same amount of time?
Final thoughts on why diet plans don’t work and what to do about it
Lastly, it may be possible that you have some health conditions which may in turn be a cause of you having those extra pounds.
If you want to alter something in your diet, it is always good to consult your doctor as they may guide you well in your weight management journey.
Remember, consistent efforts are required from your end to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle. Just don’t change too much, but if you do then – one thing at a time is the way to go.
Before we close, we wish you good luck in your weight loss journey. Do let us know if the above advice helped you in someway and share your experiences in the comments section.
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