Why do most diets fail?



  • Chunkhotep
    Chunkhotep Posts: 16 Member
    majigurl wrote: »
    For me.. it's winter. I do great Mid Feb/mar to nov. .. from late nov to feb/mar all I want to do is stay warm and eat carbs :s

    There are so many reasons they "fail". Not realistic, life factors, people get tired of it... goes on and on..

    Lol, I first read that as "all I want to do is stay warm and eat crabs." I thought, well, that sounds pretty strange, but she must really like crabs ... :smile:
  • Annr
    Annr Posts: 2,765 Member
    A whole dungeness crab is around 140 calories, so that sounds pretty good! I would say the hardest part is that you have to lose weight in your head before your body understands what you are doing. So you change your mind, you can change your body. But really its not as simple as that. Weight loss is always accompanied by other inner changes because excess weight accumulation is only the end product of in-congruent food attitudes, eating patterns and digestive processes. Lit's not the removal of weight so much as changing these processes that is your goal.
  • hyg99
    hyg99 Posts: 354 Member
    edited February 2016
    Has to be a life habit that doesn't feel as though giving up everything you enjoy. Don't give up things, find acceptable alternatives or adjust the portion size. Have seen other posts about not "wasting" calories on rubbish foods but saving them for nice things.

    Its been over a year now for me in maintenance, I eat more but only because I exercise harder, the key is finding an acceptable balance. I don't sweat a few lbs, my final target was 133 and now as long as I'm between 3 lbs (+/-) I'm happy. I do try and aim for minus pre holidays!

    My favourite analogy is if you do "fall off" its like dropping your mobile phone, you don't then think well that's that then and stamp on it, you pick it up and move on.
  • hopeandtheabsurd
    hopeandtheabsurd Posts: 265 Member
    For me, maintaining a weight that is not overweight requires constant attention and a constant state of mild to moderate+ deprivation. Sometimes I just cannot or do not want to deal with it. I want to be a healthy weight, but the amount of effort required is ridiculous and overwhelming at times.
  • opalsqueak007
    opalsqueak007 Posts: 433 Member
    Good question. Yes, most people do put the weight back on. Why? Because the switch has not gone on in their head that tells them this is a change for the rest of your life. This can be a daunting thought. Devise your own "diet" to meet your own needs and lifestyle. It takes a lot of reading and trial and error, and eventually, you find it. Don't be daunted and don't be taken in by fad diets. Life without excess weight and better fitness worth it. Nothing that is easy to get is worth having in life.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,049 Member
    Diet Fatigue...
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,182 Member
    edited February 2016
    Why was I, 16 years ago, in the high 300s? There were simple answers. There was the daily visit to a C-store to buy a large bag of Doritos which I ate on the commute home. There was the daily visit to a C-store to buy a pint of chocolate milk and a bag of powdered doughnuts which I ate on the commute to work. There was the 'every time I saw a Jack-N-The-Box' stop for an Ultimate Cheeseburger. There was the pancakes, hash browns, and sausage breakfast at the company cafeteria after I got to work. There was the casual dining restaurant dinner with my wife after I got home. Every day. How did I get my weight down to the high 200s? Stop all that. After spending several years in the high 200's, I identified some new bad habits I'd gotten into which were keeping me in the high 200's. I've now changed my high-calorie, protein, and salt breakfast for a mostly protein and fiber breakfast. I've slightly adjusted my habits with the company junk food and candy bowl. I've moved a substantial portion of my calorie and salt budget from noon to evening. This allows me to have a generous meal when I get home. With these new changes, I can get a 1200-1500 calorie day with under 1500 mg Sodium and not experience any hunger. The only way this fails is if I get into more bad habits.
  • areallycoolstory
    areallycoolstory Posts: 1,680 Member
    you have to be able to carry on with the behaviors that allowed you to lose the weight in the first place. so if you limit yourself with a traditional diet, and make some foods off limits, you will gain weight once you start eating those foods again. limiting calories is not the same as limiting foods. when you limit calories, you basically give yourself permission to eat the foods you like in smaller quantities. And if you are losing weight slowly, it gives your body time to get used portion control, and develop a healthier attitude about food. Creating a plan of how to keep the weight off, once it is lost, is how you implement a lifestyle change.
  • bruhaha007
    bruhaha007 Posts: 333 Member
    So much great insight and people speaking from their trials and experiences. I personally think it comes down to a lot of discipline and some people's genetics or medical factors make it even harder. We are addicted to sugar and food that tastes so good but no matter how much we eat those types of food don't satisfy so we are conditioned to eat more and more. So many variables at play but it is encouraging to see so many people desiring improved wellness and health and trying to break the cycle.
  • opalsqueak007
    opalsqueak007 Posts: 433 Member
    bruhaha007 wrote: »
    So much great insight and people speaking from their trials and experiences. I personally think it comes down to a lot of discipline and some people's genetics or medical factors make it even harder. We are addicted to sugar and food that tastes so good but no matter how much we eat those types of food don't satisfy so we are conditioned to eat more and more. So many variables at play but it is encouraging to see so many people desiring improved wellness and health and trying to break the cycle.

    Totally agree with you. Add to this, that in my generation anyway (I'm 52), in childhood, food was used as reward and punishment: Corporal punishment in school for not eating your all your school lunch. If you are badly behaved, go to bed without any supper. If you are good, here's some sweets or cake. Food and our upbringing link food and emotions later in life. That is perhaps why some people eat sweet things when they feel down, and the cycle begins and obesity is the result.
  • FabianRodriguez94
    FabianRodriguez94 Posts: 221 Member
    Another factor may be family/friends not being too supportive. I know when I first started out, no one took my meal planning and workouts seriously and told me to "skip the gym" so we could go out to eat or to "just have a little bit". After a while, they started being more supportive and my family has even began using MFP and overall, my family together has lost about 120-140 lbs. Support is important and will help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • BurnWithBarn2015
    BurnWithBarn2015 Posts: 1,026 Member
    Because its human nature to avoid discomfort.

    This +

    And seeing it as a diet...not as a normal way of living to watch what you eat. And eat a balanced food intake.

    Starting off with Fad diets and than return to what they ate before they started their diet. ( when they gained weight)

  • bruhaha007
    bruhaha007 Posts: 333 Member
    Surrounding yourself with a support team of positive and like-minded individuals is a critical component, that is a great observation. Seems as though some people closest to us would prefer we fail while people we barely know can become our biggest supporters, strange how that works.
  • kes840
    kes840 Posts: 66 Member
    It may be because, being animals after all, we are programmed to gobble up everything we can while we can because we may not have another chance to eat maybe ever again! Also, we are predisposed to think anything sweet or fatty is the absolute bomb because that's what will sustain us over the next time we're starving, which our whole evolutionary history says is coming along any time now.

    Not to be a bummer, but I do think that's the reason there's so much terrible (but oh so delicious!) fast food and also the reason so many succumb to eating it constantly. Good thing we have higher order brain functions to tell us not to do that. On most days, that is.
  • maxit
    maxit Posts: 880 Member
    Gaining weight can be insidious. 120 calories a day above maintenance for a month - 1 pound gained. It's not hard to imagine a cycle of a few pounds here, a few pounds there, maybe less exercise for some reason contributing to calorie excess. Being meticulous about intake/outgo is hard to sustain over a life time.
  • MalkienChrysantheum
    MalkienChrysantheum Posts: 14 Member
    edited February 2016
    In my experience of yo-yo dieting and talking with others about it, here are the reasons point-blank:

    1.) They do it only to impress certain individual(s) and minimally for themselves and when those individuals move on, they lose motivation because there is no one left to impress and they are not interested in impressing themselves.

    2.) A change of environment. They had things under control based on a particular environment (say, living on their own for the first time and buying basic goods and eating out minimally with fewer social outings) and fixated new habits based on it. They then lacked the resilience and flexibility when placed in a new environment.

    3.) They find a new addiction to certain foods. Foods that they never once tried before and introduced into their lives regularly became part of their diet. I.e., This happens when they move in with new roommates that are great/good cooks or have certain items in their pantry that were never there before. Or those roommates suggest restaurants and are foodies and they feel like they should be social with them (the roommates).

    4.) They only eat well when they feel good. If things are going well for that certain period of their lives, they find more motivation than ever to eat foods that may be a bit boring but are good for their goals. Then, when that phase is over, they go back to eating their junk for immediate gratification to cope with their mundane lives.

    Meaning... there should always be intrinsic motivation that trumps extrinsic factors. Easier said then done, but it's actually rather simple.

    I now realize more than ever that no matter what guy I'm with or what athlete I get introduced to, I am always unhappy with my body if it's not optimally fit to me even if other people accept it.
  • bruhaha007
    bruhaha007 Posts: 333 Member
    Excellent perspective @MalkienChrysantheum Thanks for sharing!
  • @bruhaha007 No problem, I like to be brutally honest if it helps others. I mentioned these as the true reasons of why I failed and failed again along with others. I'm wiser now after trying to reach my goal weight for the 100th time (haha) and stay there.

  • chastity0921
    chastity0921 Posts: 209 Member
    edited February 2016
    I think a lot of it is the failure to make a lifestyle change. Also, lack of a true goal. A lot of people have a goal of looking better in their ______. When that goal is met, they have no other reason to keep the weight off. Goals like being healthier for children, or so that my knees don't hurt when I walk, or because I'm 60 and I want to live until I'm 85 seem to be goals that people value more. Another thing is that with weight loss you see differences and people give you compliments and are curious how you're losing weight. When you are just keeping the weight off, you work hard in order to see the same number on the scale, you stop getting the comments that you look smaller, etc.
  • auntiebabs
    auntiebabs Posts: 1,754 Member
    edited February 2016
    Two theories.... or maybe a combination of the two

    When you are losing you have the excitement of seeing the scale go down and encouragement from people who notice, they tell yo how great you look and you get lots of attention.
    People are so excited and proud of their accomplishment that they don't create a strategy for maintenance.
    People get used to the new you nobody ever says "good job for not getting fat again" so you're not getting as much attention.

    I read/saw an article sometime back, I wish I could cite it.
    It was about how everyones body has a weight set point where it wants to be.
    Turns out you can reset the set point HIGHER, but not lower and if you lose weight it will always be work to keep it off .

    So the upshot was we should focus more on maintenance when we are at a healthy weight, rather than weight loss.

    OH Just found this... https://www.ted.com/talks/sandra_aamodt_why_dieting_doesn_t_usually_work?language=en
    I'm watching it now.