Starting a Diet for the Wrong Reason
A major cause of failure is dieting to please someone else. Relationships often go through times of emotional stress that drives dieters and non-dieters to seek solace in comfort foods. The motivation and emotional strength needed for successful weight loss must come from within you, not the needs or desires of others.
Setting Unrealistic Goals
Setting an unrealistic goal undermines your ability to succeed. According to Loyola University of Maryland, fat loss is best achieved and easier to maintain with slow weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week. A daily calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories equals a 1- to 2-pound weight loss, which is achieved by eating less, increasing exercise or both.
Choosing the Wrong Diet
A diet that does not include your favorite foods might work in the short-term but will ultimately fail. Eat familiar foods that you enjoy and look forward to preparing. Successful weight loss does not depend on any specific diet; it follows a simple rule -- burn more calories than you consume.
Not Planning Ahead
Dieters who do not plan their meals in advance reach for any convenient food source to quell their hunger -- including high-fat, high-calorie fast foods and snacks. Make a simple list of your favorite nutritious meals including the time each takes to prepare. Make your selection according to your appetite and schedule. To boost energy and keep hunger at bay until mealtime, carry low-calorie snacks, such as an apple or a few whole-grain crackers.
Drink water to increase weight loss, aid digestion and flush toxins. According to the Feb. 1, 2012, issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” obese participants in a six-month clinical trial lost weight and reduced waist circumference, blood pressure and blood sugar by drinking water and non-caloric beverages compared to study participants who drank caloric beverages.
Break the Habit
Breakfast delays the overwhelming, late-morning hunger attacks that cause dieters to seek a quick pick-me-up from calorie-dense snack foods laden with simple sugars. Stay alert and focused by starting your day with fresh fruit and the complex carbohydrates in whole-grain cereals. Complex carbs are digested slowly; they delay hunger and keep blood sugar and energy on an even keel, according to Oklahoma State University.
Yielding to Toxic People
Toxic people are found among friends, family and coworkers. They are difficult to avoid. Toxic people will tempt you to break your diet by offering you your favorite calorie-dense foods, cakes, candies or other diet-destroying treats. Be more tenacious in remaining faithful to your diet than they are in their efforts to destroy it.
Diets disrupt your body’s energy balance as calorie intake decreases in comparison to energy needs. A plateau occurs and weight loss ceases when your body adapts its energy needs to your diet and lower body weight. Although this is a normal physiological function, difficulty in restarting weight loss causes some dieters to stop dieting. One method used to restart weight loss is increasing physical activity to burn more energy than you consume. According to the University of Michigan, a plateau might indicate that additional weight loss is not necessary.
Occasionally skipping a meal will not sabotage your diet. Meal skipping is not only damaging to health, it might be a symptom of a serious, life-threatening disease known as anorexia. According to the University of Southern Mississippi, frequent meal skipping leads to a reduction in metabolic rate, excess hunger and overeating.
One slip up does not make you a failure and is not an excuse to quit your diet and return to former eating habits. You would have to consume an additional 3,500 calories, which equals 1 pound of body weight, to gain weight from one slip up. If you limit your calories to 1,200 per day, 3,500 additional calories is approximately three days worth of food.