What to Do When Dieting Doesn’t Work – Here are a Few Solutions

  • Usman 

It is really sad and heart breaking to know that even though you are following particular diets but you are not losing weight. This mostly happens because people misconstrue dieting as a quick solution for weight loss.

Most of the people diet to starve starting with depriving themselves of the food they love to eat. This cannot sustain for long. After all it’s hard for your body to go on like this. One day you just give up and dieting is flopped.

dieting-time-why-it-fails

Dieting is very likely to fail because you are in a miserable condition when you are surviving on very few calories. You are tempted to eat food but you don’t allow yourself to do so. You feel hungrier and at the end you just end up overeating to please your body which stamps failure on your dieting.

The psychological toll of dieting and diet culture

It is sad but dieting and diet culture have taken their toll on people following fad diets blindly. It obviously causes psychological and emotional damage to their followers. Dieting causes stress and affects your brain and its health. For most of the dieters, an alternative word for their weight loss efforts would be starvation.

These horrible feelings of deprivation of food make a person mentally stressed and emotionally upset. You also deprive your nervous system of essential nutrients required for its proper functioning that result in poor mental health.

Brain and dieting

To be very honest, dieting is a game of psychology. Most people find their diet not working because they ignore psychological facts related to their food habits and how to control them. The hunger mood is controlled by a part of the brain called hypothalamus.

When you interfere with your hypothalamus, it obviously takes its toll on you by increasing your appetite and making you feel hungrier. Missing meals messes with hypothalamus and it will in turn mess with your whole metabolism.

Food and psychology

Some people also use food to cope with their emotions such as stress, boredom, anxiety. In fact a majority of us look at food as a source of joy. When these people start dieting, they really torture their brain circuit and eventually their system rejects dieting which inherently is not a long term project anyway.

You might have a clear idea that we feel good when we eat good food or food we enjoy and we work happily but people who diet are mostly unhappy and even have mood swings due to stress and deprivation.

Why you are always hungry when dieting

When you diet, you start by consuming fewer calories and don’t provide your body with enough food required to meet its needs. Food acts as a fuel for your body and brain. When you will not have enough of it, you will feel hungrier and will have more appetite. While dieting, we are not having enough nutrition in our diet because we mostly avoid eating foods containing carbs and fats.

Some people even cut rice and bread completely while dieting which can make you feel miserable because our bodies require carbs as one of the essential macronutrients. It’s not easy for your body to suddenly stop craving for really fulfilling foods which you stopped eating while dieting.

Dieting lowers your body’s sugar levels

Obviously not eating enough will cause lowering of your blood glucose levels. When glucose in your body falls to very low levels it can cause hypoglycemia that makes you feel hungry. You might appear to others as a drunk person. People with hypoglycemia may slur their words and have trouble walking.

Diet and stress

Another reason you feel hungry while dieting is that dieting is responsible for stress. When you are stressed you feel hungrier because of production of a hormone called cortisol. To shut part of the brain making you stressed this hormone causes you to crave for foods high in sugar and fats.

Dieting to starve your body

If you are not having the minimum calories that your body needs, you are starving. People diet to starve their bodies that makes them feel hungry all the time. The feeling of hunger is the way the body tells you that it is starving so it’s time to have food but you say no and feel hungrier.

Low calorie diet

Low calorie diet is another of the important reasons why you feel hungry when on diet. An average moderately active man requires 2500 kilo calories, and a woman needs 2000 kilo calories.

While dieting, what people usually do is that they go with reducing their calories to drastic levels and they also start working out. When you will have low calories in your diet than required by your body, you will feel hungry until you will not provide it with enough calories.

Can you stop dieting without gaining weight?

It’s not like this that you will stop dieting completely and start eating everything without gaining weight. You have to go with it very carefully otherwise you can lose all the benefits gained from your previous dieting. When you achieve your goal regarding your weight then you want to go less strict with your diet and maintain that weight as well. 

You can do it easily, but you also have to keep a check and balance on your food intake no matter what. You can add some of your favorite food back into your diet but you have to keep eating healthy, checking your portions and exercising regularly.

You have to make lifestyle changes that work for you. It is hard to return to normal previous eating habits and maintain weight loss as well but there are some tips that can help you to stop dieting without gaining weight:

Portion control

Controlling your portions is the best thing you can do to maintain your weight because you will have what you want and still by controlling its quantity you can stay on the right side of the weight loss game. Keep an eye on your serving size. Have cake, pizza, ice cream and whatever you enjoy but in smaller portions.

Have more proteins in your meals

Proteins are healthy because these control your hunger and help you to feel full for a longer time. Have eggs, fish, legumes and other proteins here and there in your meal and snacks. This means you can eat and still stay away from weight gain after dieting.

Count your calories

After hitting your set goal, you just can’t just forget the fact that you have to count your calories regularly to control your weight. When you will count your calories you will eat accordingly. If you are highly active in your life, take calories according to your lifestyle and if not that active still keep a check on your calorie intake.

Sleep well

You must take your 6 to 8 hours sleep to not let it mess with your hunger signals. Studies have shown that not having enough sleep can disrupt your body’s hunger signals. Due to lack of sleep your body becomes glucose sensitive. Most obese people usually do not have adequate sleep in their lifestyle.

Drink enough water

Staying hydrated is important in your life. Water helps in your weight maintenance. Sometimes you are not hungry but thirsty and you compensate your thirst also with food. Drinking enough water will make you feel less hungry and less likely to overeat.

Why diets don’t work and what actually does?

Dieting brings three kinds of changes in your body. Neurological changes make your brain to think more about food that you deprive your body of. Then there are hormonal changes due to which some of your body hormones that make you feel full decrease and make you feel hungrier.

Finally, we have biological changes that actually change our body’s metabolism. Your body’s metabolism slows down. Result is that when you eat high calorie food, our bodies store these as fat because it has not been successful in metabolizing it for energy. So ultimately all these changes are the reason why dies don’t work.

Diets also don’t work because you cannot follow these throughout your life. And when you want to lose your weight with diet you have to follow that diet in any case otherwise you are going to have drastic results.

When you are following a diet either you are fully into it or you are completely out of it. There is no third option. People cannot follow a diet throughout their life and diet fails at the end of day.

An important reason why diets don’t work is that while dieting you go with starving yourself by not eating well which makes you feel hungrier and you end up eating even more. Dieting needs will power to control your temptation towards a particular food item, resisting it and saying no to your favorite food and every person cannot do this.

While on diet , some people just go on a liquid diet or no carb diet or salad diet. Nobody can follow these crash diets in the long run. These slow down your body’s metabolism and make your body malnourished. When you see your favorite foods you avoided completely,  you eat loads and end up putting on double weight on your body.

Things that work instead of dieting to maintain healthy body weight:

You do not need to deprive yourself of food or to starve by following restrictive diets. You can simply hit your goal with some alterations in your lifestyle instead of being mentally tortured and stressed. Just follow these tips and see amazing results that will change your life

  •   Try to eat healthy food with lots of protein, healthy fats and vegetables
  •   Do not skip meals
  •   Add more protein to your diet
  •   Exercise regularly
  •   Drink enough water
  •   Control your portions
  •   Practice mindful eating
  •   Slow down while eating
  •   Have dinner before 6 o clock·
  •   Avoid high caloric food

It is common sense that dieting is only a short term answer to weight loss. Once you have achieve your weight loss target, you can only maintain it by following a healthy diet and keeping yourself physically active on a permanent basis.

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Muhammad Usman

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