According to a study in the journal American Psychologist, between one and two thirds of people who attempt a weight loss diet actually end up putting on more weight than they lose. The explanation for this disturbing statistic is that most people struggle to stick to weight loss diets. Making a major change to your lifestyle is never easy, but once you understand the most common reasons for dieters falling back into bad habits, you can use that knowledge to make your weight loss journey a lasting success!
- Hunger – Many popular diets focus on cutting out fat and replacing it with carbohydrates such as fruit, wheat and, worst of all, sugar. The problem with this approach is that high carbohydrate, low-fat meals do not provide lasting satisfaction. Carbohydrate breakdown begins in the mouth, where amylase enzymes in saliva break down long chain starches into simple sugars, and digestion of carbohydrates is quickly completed in the small intestine. The sugars that result from carbohydrate digestion give a quick spike of energy followed by a feeling of sluggishness and a craving for more sugar.To avoid between-meal cravings, eat meals that are rich in protein and that also contain some fat. Fish, meat, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses are all good sources of protein, as are dairy products. Many people, particularly vegetarians, find it difficult to pack enough protein into their meals to stay satisfied. If you find yourself regularly submitting to cravings, try supplementing your diet with protein shakes. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that people who consumed a whey protein shake containing primarily whey protein isolate ate an average of 159 fewer calories when given access to an unlimited amounts of food than those who drank a shake containing only 12.5% whey powder. Both shakes had the same calorie content, but the results show that the protein-rich shake was more satisfying.
- No Time to Cook Healthy Meals – Even people who start out with the best of intentions find themselves slipping back into bad habits because they don’t have time to prepare healthy food. If you are serious about sticking to your new dietary regime, you need a back-up plan for healthy on days when you simply don’t have time to cook. Invest in a supply of healthy, protein-rich snacks and drinks that will boost your flagging energy levels without piling inches onto your waistline. The easiest, quickest, healthiest, and most convenient meal is an EnergyFirst Protein Shake. If you’re traveling, take an EnergyFirst Blender Bottle with you to make your shakes on the go. If you don’t have access to the shakes, then protein bars are great for providing nutrition and satisfaction while you’re on the move.
- Stress – According to Tracy Bale, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, stress is one of the biggest reasons why diets fail. Her work, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, focused on the effects of cortisol on dieting mice. In both mice and humans, cortisol is a hormone that is produced in response to stress. It causes a fight-or-flight response, which is characterized by many unpleasant physical symptoms, such as sweating hands, increased heart rate, or even panic attacks. In Bale’s research, not only did the dieting mice produce higher levels of cortisol in response to stress than their well-fed counterparts, they also responded to the hormone by eating much more.For your weight loss journey to be successful, you need to protect yourself from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Establishing a daily practice of yoga or mindfulness meditation will help to reduce your stress levels, as will taking a supplement of B vitamins to relieve tension in the body and brain.
- Sugar Addiction – In an interview with CBS news, neuroscientist Eric Stice confirmed what dieters have suspected for decades – sugar is addictive. Dr. Stice uses an MRI scanner to assess the effect of sugar on the brain. Disturbingly, his results show that sugar lights up the same regions of the brain as cocaine, creating a short-lived pleasurable high that keeps dieters craving the sweet stuff. The only way to combat this addiction is to drastically reduce sugar intake at the same time as eating a nutritionally balanced diet that provides all the vitamins and minerals needed by the body. Replace your usual sugary snacks and drinks with an EnergyFirst Protein Shake to give yourself the best chance of beating your addiction to sugar. I have a scoop of ProEnergy and a scoop of Greenergy in a Blender Bottle filled with water whenever I’m feeling low on blood sugar or need a quick energizing snack to pick me up. Try it yourself and you’ll never go back to snacking on junk food again.
- Lack of Commitment – How badly do you want to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle? Getting and staying healthy requires a strong commitment to changing your diet and getting active. Without proper planning, your weight loss journey is destined to fail. Don’t leave it to chance: start planning for success before you make any dietary changes. Create a meal plan today and throw out all the junk food in your house so that it can’t tempt you. Keep your pantry clean! If you’re going to have a cheat meal or snack, do it outside of your house. Committing to healthy eating is a major lifestyle change for most people, but it will pay out huge rewards if you stick to it over the long term.
Make the commitment RIGHT NOW to live your best life and be the healthiest, happiest, most passionate “you” that you can be!