From Atkins to Mediterranean, Keto and Paleo, we all have encountered one or more dietary solutions to lose some weight and feel more energetic. These are merely some of the more popular names in the world as there are many other variations available, each with their own unique selling points why their proven methods are just the way to a slimming end result.
It is not uncommon that we are influenced by others, be it someone within your vicinity or through a person you admire. We are bound to seek out sources to get into action or read through success stories. After all, methods that come with well-portrait hues with which we feel connected are the ones we tend to lean towards.
The way we move forward these days in losing weight is largely connected to how these platforms interpret the science behind their methodology in more layman’s terms. From aggressive caloric cuts to supplementing with one of their products, the options to get back in a healthier shape are endless.
Aside from seeing an ever-growing kaleidoscope of diet options entering the world, marketed well and giving it names that breathe six-packs and weight loss, too many of these solutions may not work.
Allow me to share 5 reasons why diet plans may not always work when going on a weight loss journey.
They don’t know your lifestyle.
We are all individuals with our own preferences, family bonds and work-life balance that make each of us unique on this planet. These factors are not entwined when a diet plan enters your inbox, ready to be implemented before visiting your local supermarket or wet market to buy the food you need.
Following strict plans by eating this at that time requires discipline and perhaps spending extra on ingredients that may not always be around you. Or perhaps you may be cash-strapped and live on a budget; would you be able to afford a bag of macadamia nuts or eat an avocado every day?
Many diet plans don’t take into account that certain foods are not on your preferred list or may cause certain food sensitivities. There is some flexibility in what is handed over but you’re often stuck when something pops up on your lunch menu you just can’t add to your plate.
Diet plans are mainly short-term solutions
Diets of any nature do tend to work within a time window. When searching for diet plans, they often come with a subscription for an x amount of days or guarantee results when following their plan to the letter for a couple of weeks. The sometimes drastic measures and changes in one’s nutrition are often seen as a shock to one’s system.
As a nutrition coach, when looking at what is delivered to your plate through these diet plans, continuation is often left aside. For health reasons, and being guided to keep the kilos off, going on this subscribed journey may see short-term results but little attention is given after ending the programme. Falling back to square one or trying another diet (so-called yo-yo dieting is based on these short-term approaches) is demotivating for anyone.
They don’t provide a solution for support
Going on a diet is a personal challenge. And if you are going on a quest alone, the challenges mount up when not going on a weight loss journey together with your partner. While you are eager to change your nutritional lifestyle while your family continues on the same path as before, it is often quite hard to maintain a diet plan.
Support of any kind is crucial. Cooking two, or more, different meals is a daunting task especially when a certain diet plan prescribes cancelling certain food groups or dishes out of your 24 hours. It may be a bit easier through weekdays but when the weekends come and the time to unwind and relax arrives, sticking to a certain eating method is not always the easiest thing to keep up.
They leave little room for errors
With a plethora of diets around, there is a common denominator that connects most of these plans; what not to eat (too often). From cutting carbohydrates to the bare minimum, counting calories, or eating less dairy and meats, the ways how diet plans present their method to the public come with underlying “rules and regulations”.
Deviating from these strict plans often comes with comments and discouragements. With any method connected to losing weight, the terms and conditions are baked into the menu. Just like anyone else, we do want to see results!
And these nutritional plans delivered to your email or online platform are said to balance out, it is often this straight trajectory that does not give you the confidence on how far you may deviate from your weight loss plan.
Not taking other aspects into account
Food intake plays a very important part when wanting to lose weight. There is no denying what, when and how much you eat and drink sets the tone for success. Many of us may have been there when following a diet plan.
But have you ever considered chewing on a celery stick when on a 2-week holiday or eating a handful of unsalted almonds in a country where this is not easy to find? Or how do stress levels, sleep and movement can have a major impact on the success rate when following a diet plan? I doubt that not joining your child’s birthday party while strictly adhering to the nutritional experts of any type of diet is on anyone’s wish list.
The social and emotional aspect of food, in whatever form and shape, plays as much a role in dropping some kilogrammes from your midsection.
Diet plans are a great way of getting an understanding of what is out there. However, the confusion often lies in the choices because there are so many of them. Every year, new research leads to yet another stream of dietary findings where the results show promising outcomes for those feeling overweight. A new diet plan emerges as soon as scientific research publishes its paper online.
This overload of diet plans also leaves the consumer confused when being completely new to the world of dieting. There is so much choice; inaction is often a result as for not going for any specific diet plan. We all know that when there are too many choices each promises the goose that lays the golden eggs, we become hesitant to make a decision.
I applaud those going for a diet plan because action is better than inaction. However, it is not uncommon that in the long run, the short-term weight loss wins are not translated into long-term goals.
And after all, we do want to feel energetic and see happy numbers on the scale for many years to come.