4 Reasons Diets Fail

Losing weight is at the top or near the top of most lists of resolutions. It’s also at the top of lists of resolutions most commonly broken.


In an interview with “Science Daily” (sciencedaily.com), Dr. Jessica Bartfield, a nutrition and weight management specialist at the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care, says, “Dieting is a skill, much like riding a bicycle, and requires practice and good instruction. You’re going to fall over and feel frustrated, but eventually you will succeed and it will get easier.”


She offers these top four reasons dieters don’t lose weight.


1.     Calories consumed. Most people underestimate the number of calories they eat per day. She suggests keeping a food diary, including a record of every morsel you put into your mouth. Anticipating what you might eat at an event, someone else’s home or a restaurant and looking up nutritional information before you go might help you make better choices.

2.     Calories burned. To lose about one pound per week, you need to cut about 500 calories per day. To manage that through exercise alone would require 60 minutes or more of vigorous activity daily. A more moderate goal might be to plan for a total of 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Reducing the number of calories in combination with exercise is the ideal.

3.     Timing your meals. Ideally, Bartfield suggest maintaining a steady stream of glucose throughout the day for optimal energy and to prevent your metabolism from slowing down. Breakfast should be consumed within an hour of waking up. Follow breakfast with a healthy snack or meal every three to four hours. It’s is best not to go more than five hours without eating.

4.     Too little sleep. People who get fewer than six hours of sleep have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, says Bartfield. Less sleep also raises levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and that can lead to weight gain.

“Good health practices,” says Bartfield, “are more than just learned. They become a regular habit and a way of life.”

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