Why Diets Fail and a Lifestyle Doesn’t

For an individual looking to lose weight, gain weight he or she possesses, most of the time he or she will conduct a Google search and find a list of diets that are applicable to the goal. Often times, there is a diet that can be practiced to achieve the goal but the problem arises after reaching the goal: How can I maintain this weight I have achieved?

A diet typically consists of a set of foods that a person can eat for a stipulated time period and also diets in themselves are not bad, they often don’t work on a long term projection. In a research conducted by a number of researchers named the “Dietary Intervention-Randomized Controlled Trial” or DIRECT, 322 adults over 40 years who were moderately obese were given randomly a restricted-calorie diet, low-carbohydrate diets, and low-fat diets. They were also assigned to registered dietitians for sessions for two years. In addition, they would receive a follow-up analysis for four years after the two-year diet so research could be conducted on what happens after the diet period.

They discovered that the participants truly lost weight during the diet period but after the four-year period of they all gained the weight back. This shows that a diet can aid in quick results but if you revert back to old eating habits, it all comes back.

A lifestyle, on the other hand, deals with changing your eating habits with a long term plan in mind. Therefore, you are not “staying off sweets” for a period of time before you go back; rather you are creating a better long term diet in which the quantity of sweets you take is only reduced and not canceled totally.

On its own diets are not lasting in results but when combined with your lifestyle, the effects stick around longer.

Why is only dieting not good

As pointed above, a diet can only give you immediate change and you might end up going back to your former weight or even getting bigger afterward. A dieter more often than not is incapable of sticking to the diet for long. Because you suddenly want to cut down your weight or increase your weight, you use a diet but most times it is hard to stick to it.

Most of the time, the average dieter is focused on losing calories by depriving their bodies of certain foods. Psychologically, it is similar to punishing your body and after some time, you eventually give in to the pressure. As you try to stop yourself from thinking of the juicy hamburger, you usually end up thinking about it.

Benefits of a lifestyle and how to cultivate one

If rather than looking at a diet as a six-week solution to your weight, you turn it into a lifestyle the benefits are far-reaching and stay longer.

A healthy lifestyle does not focus solely on weight gain or loss, rather it affects the whole body and keeps it fit. With this, you will correct any excessive eating of unhealthy food, have more exercise incorporate enough grains and even calories that your body needs. For example, if you really crave a hamburger, you can decide the quantity you will take and the vegetables you would add to be sure to have the right amount. Thus you satisfy that crave and still eat healthily.

To cultivate a healthy lifestyle,

  • Eat good fats: There are beneficial fats like avocado which are useful in fueling your body, during exercise routines and also maintaining your weight.
  • Try intermittent fasting, it has been proven that fasting helps you boost your hormones and you will have less time to eat.
  • Do exercise. This can not only help in losing weight but play an important role in keeping your body fit and flexible. It also strengthens your muscles and the heart.
  • Take fruits and vegetables regularly for your daily nutrient needs.
  • Drink enough water. Cut down on the amount of sugar-filled drinks you take and have more water.
  • Eat proteins which help build your muscle and add plant protein foods for variety.

Choosing a good diet

As said, diets are good if they can be turned into a good lifestyle and continued for long. If you want to select a good diet that can be turned into a lifestyle, you should consider the following:

  • Have reasonable goals for your diet. Do not try a diet that will make you lose a number of pounds in an unrealistically short period of time. Plan your goals with the help of a nutritionist and have your long term self in mind.
  • Do not put yourself on a hunger strike. (This is also not the purpose of intermittent fasting) Your body can go in survival mode and it will try to maintain as much fat possible. Have a weekly re-feed day where you eat 600 calories more than you burn. this makes sure your leptin levels are on point to promote a good metabolism.
  • In the same vein do not engage in crash dieting because you are likely to return to your old eating habits and will most likely gain that weight back.
  • Research on how much nutrients you need per day. You can use the results from this to create a diet or select a diet that can work for you. Calculate your nutritional needs based on your age, height, gender and other factors and plan around it.
  • Also when you find one diet plan that suits you well, do not fall into the temptation of changing it for a fad. Moving from one diet to another diet shows your focus is not on creating a healthy lifestyle but on losing calories and that is not good on the long term. Taking pills or shakes with your diet provides a temporary solution. You do not need to rush.


Diets should not be temporary fixes to your immediate needs but should be incorporated into your lifestyle to keep you healthy and with enough nutrition. Combining them both will bring you better results long-term.

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