Nutrition Why Do Diets Fail?

diets fail

Why Do Diets Fail?

I would bet good money that the majority of people who have tried following a new diet have also experienced failure at sticking to it. This is a constant problem in the world of nutrition and as a practitioner, I could dish out the best diet of all time and 99% of people would still probably fail at sticking to it.

So, why do we find it so easy to make an initial commitment to change and yet so difficult to stick to this long-term? I wanted to share with you a bit of insight from Alan Aragon, a researcher who has been publishing cutting edge studies and working with nutrition clients over the last couple of decades.

Essentially, if you are looking somebody with almost unrivaled knowledge and experience then look no further. After many years of helping clients with their nutrition, Alan has identified three key reasons why the majority of diets fail.

In no particular order:

  1. Lack of understanding of what a daily and weekly calorie deficit means, as well as a lack of awareness that this needs to be sustained long-term for consistent results.
  2. Unrealistic expectations of progress. The key to losing weight in a healthy and sustainable manner is to take it slow, with weight loss not exceeding 0.5 – 1 kg per week (1-2 lbs). Many people lose motivation and fall back into old habits when they see that their weight is not ‘dropping off’.
  3. False beliefs that there are some special foods that can burn additional fat and other special foods that must be avoided at all costs. These rigid beliefs lead to methods of eating which cannot be sustained long-term. The solution is to first optimize protein intake, then personalize the intake of carbs, fat, and food choices.

It is very tempting to read these points and get a little defensive, thinking ‘I know better than to fall into these traps’. However, if one of the leading nutritionists in the world reports that these factors influence the majority of people seeking to lose weight, there is a good chance that you could be in that group.

There is nothing wrong with that and identifying the problem is the first step in actualizing change.

So read through the points a couple of times and really think about whether your current knowledge, beliefs, and strategies are robust enough to avoid the common pitfalls of dieting.

If you think that you might be lacking knowledge in any of the above areas then look through some of our previous posts on the issue or get in touch with your questions.

Thanks for reading,


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