Do you know why diets fail? In spite of all the books, diets and products available, health professionals continue to report that being overweight is still the No. 1 health problem for Americans. Of the millions of people who join weight loss programs every year, many lose weight only to gain it right back. Very few take it off and keep it off. In fact, people often end up weighing more then they did before they started dieting. All these defeats cause frustration, low self-esteem and loss of faith in weight loss programs in general.
Too many people simply resign themselves to being overweight. Experience with overweight individuals shows that there are four main reasons why diets fail:
First, overweight people want overnight solutions. Unfortunately, fast, short-term answers just don’t give dieters what they really want – permanent weight loss.
Second, people eat for reasons other than hunger. Unless they understand the subtle, emotional reasons for overeating, they won’t be able to change their habits.
Third, diets fail because most of them require people to make sacrifices, often literally starving themselves to lose weight. These diets don’t help participants to discover that eating nutritiously is not enjoyable, it’s often all that it takes to control weight.
Fourth, dieting can be a lonely experience. Dieters often feel that everyone else can eat! People losing weight benefit from the support and encouragement of others facing the same challenges. If you’re interested in losing weight, first, avoid the fad diets that don’t work. Second, choose a comprehensive diet program supported by a reputable organization with a track record of results.
What constitutes a comprehensive program? Here’s what to look for:
• The diet should focus on slow, steady weight loss rather than overnight solutions.
• It should be nutritious, providing all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for optimum health.
• It should emphasize changing eating habits and lifestyles.
• Regular exercise should be part of any comprehensive diet program.
• A comprehensive weight loss program should provide tools for stress management and motivation – sorely overlooked in many diets.
• Complete programs deal with the emotional aspects of being overweight, too – developing awareness of the reasons people eat other than hunger.
• Many diets fail because dieting is lonely. A good program should provide support from a group, weight loss counselor or both.
• Good programs are easy and convenient, and shouldn’t feel like a “sacrifice.”
• The diet should be low in cost. Too often, dieters are seduced by slick ad campaigns or fancy offices. But these are not substitutes for reasonable weight loss goals and the commitment to follow through.
• The program should be fun. Class sessions should be enjoyable, motivating and stimulating.
• Finally, a good weight loss program should make participants feel energetic – not tired, weak and irritable.
These are the most common reasons why diets fail.
The Importance of Protein
When dieting, always remember to maintain a normal, properly balance intake of food containing all of the basic food groups as well as needed vitamins and minerals.
Protein is probably the most important nutrient you can consume, and should not be substantially reduced during your dieting period. The major organs and cells of our bodies are composed of proteins. The brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, intestines, liver, eyes, skin, hair, red blood cells and enzymes are all made of protein.
Since protein cannot be stored in the body, it must be replenished daily. If you don’t replace your body’s protein, your tissues will destroy themselves in search for proteins to be used by your more vital organs.