Has your diet failed to show results? Here's 20 reasons why
You think you’re making all the right moves, so why aren’t the kilos melting off? You might be making these crucial mistakes.
1. You aren't getting enough calories
Wait, isn’t the point of a diet that you are supposed to cut calories? Yes, but according to registered dietitian and author of Belly Fat for Dummies Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, it’s only a piece of the puzzle.
“A calorie is not just a calorie,” she says.
“Depending on what you consume, calories from nutrients such as protein and unsaturated fat keep you full for an extended period, whereas calories from simple sugars digest rapidly.”
If you’re cutting calories but not getting the proper vitamins, protein and fibre you need, your weight-loss plan is not going to work.
According to a study from Japan, calorie restriction leads to slower metabolic rate, which means without enough calories, your body goes into survival mode, slowing down your metabolism to conserve energy and prevent weight loss.
“Focus on improving the nutritional quality of your diet rather than your calorie intake for improved body weight and health,” Palinski-Wade says.
If you’re looking for scientifically proven ways to start losing weight right now, your first order of business is to answer the question: How many calories should I eat to lose weight?
2. You're skipping meals
As with cutting calories, cutting meals isn’t effective for healthy weight loss. Being overly hungry throws off the balance in your body, as Laura Moore, RD, director of the dietetic internship program at The University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, explains.
“Energy intake, or what’s consumed, and expenditure, or what’s burned, is coordinated by signals from several systems, including the endocrine, adipose tissue, neurologic, and gastrointestinal systems,” she says.
Chemical signals that increase and decrease appetite are sent to the brain.
“This weight regulation system helps maintain a healthy weight for most people by modifying hunger, activity and metabolism to keep the body weight within a target,” Moore says.
“Moving below this target, or set point, by skipping meals can be challenging because the brain’s energy-balance system goes into action, pushing the weight back to its set point or even above.”
That means you’re basically fighting with your body over where your weight should be.
Instead, Moore recommends listening to your body’s signals, eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full.
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