Diet Frustrations: Why Your Diet Is Not Working

You were likely excited in the beginning. You were ready to start a new lifestyle and lose weight. You filled up the shopping cart with fruits and vegetables, read articles about losing weight, and began walking every night after dinner.
For the first couple of weeks, it seemed everything was going great! You lost a couple of pounds, felt more energetic, and learned to prepare some new healthful meals and snacks. Then, somewhere in the second month of your new lifestyle, things started to fall apart. You stopped losing weight or even more frustrating, actually gained a few pounds. You started to miss the foods that you used to eat. The honeymoon, it seems, was over. What should you do now?
“I am a little stressed! We all are, right?”
It seems like stress should make us lose weight. Anxiety is exhausting, and it sure makes many of us feel hungry. Unfortunately, stress causes weight gain. This is because chronic stress that lasts for several months or years, may cause the body to become flooded with cortisol.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. When we are under stress, cortisol first mobilizes carbohydrate and fat for quick energy (the “fight or flight” response). Once the stress has passed, cortisol causes an increase in appetite to replace the carbohydrate and fat that we burned while fighting or flighting.
However, we are not really fighting or flighting in today’s society. Many of us live sedentary or minimally active lives. This means that, in theory, we are eating more calories than we can burn when our cortisol levels increase. You need to find a way to relax for a many different health reasons, one of which is your weight.
“No one needs to know about this handful of candy.”
You started out with measuring cups and maybe a food scale. You wrote down and planned everything that you ate. Then, one day, you had three pieces of chocolate or a spoonful of peanut butter. You did not gain weight from this, and so, you did it again. Maybe you went to the gym and came home extra hungry; so, you ate a little extra.
However, now this has become a habit. You still write down the food that you remember eating, but what about those little “food bonuses,” which you doubt are really adding up to anything? This is a fact—everything that goes into your mouth counts. Yes, even if you eat it fast. Yes, even if you do not even remember eating it. Yes, even if you did not really enjoy it—it still counts.
“It says fat free. Great! I will have seconds!”
Study after study has shown that fat-free foods instill eaters with a false sense of security. When people are given cookies and told that they are low fat, they eat far more than they do when given cookies with no such claim. Fat-free, organic, all-natural, low-fat, reduced-fat, and lite foods still contain calories.
Do not get fooled by bright colors and bold words on food labels. Read the Nutrition Facts and the ingredient list. Pay special attention to the serving size.
“By skipping breakfast, I will save a couple hundred calories!”
If you save 300 calories by skipping breakfast, you are likely to consume an extra 400 calories at lunch. People who have lost weight and kept it off were studied—they always ate breakfast.
Breakfast has many benefits, including:
· Getting your metabolism going
· Helping to curb eating later in the day
· Providing energy, so that you do not find yourself relying on sugar and caffeine later in the day in a desperate attempt to gain some pep
· Setting the mood for the rest of the day’s food choices
“I should have lost more weight by now.”
Of course, the sooner you hit your weight goal, the happier it will make you. The thing is that making a lifestyle change is for life. Once you have reached your goal, you can not go revert to your old diet.
The good news is that no foods are off limit to you. You can work all foods can into a healthful lifestyle, even when weight loss is the goal. Many people who have successfully lost weight are surprised to find out that they simply can not eat the amount of food that they used to, because of either a shrinking stomach (literally) or changes in taste.
After the initial, exciting loss of water weight, you should lose an average of 2 pounds (lb)/week. Some weeks you will lose 1 lb, .5lb and other weeks you might lose 3 lb. Getting angry or upset at yourself is likely to backfire. You might give up and say, “I am not losing any weight anyway. I might as well…” Once you start this mind trick it is all downhill. Stay positive and keep telling yourself “ I CAN” and “ I WILL”!

About Lisa Goldberg

Hello! And Welcome to my blog, Health News From Your HealthCoach. Having been in the health and fitness industry for the last 16 years, I know that diet and nutrition information can be overwhelming and ever-changing. Over the years I have been asked many of the same questions. “How can I lose weight?” “How can I maintain my weight loss?” “What kind of vitamins should I take?” ” What’s the best alcohol to drink when I’m dieting?” I will address these questions and many others in Health News From Your HealthCoach. My Bio I am a nutritionist with a Masters degree in clinical nutrition from New York University. I am a Certified Nutrition Specialist through the American College of Nutrition, and a Certified Dietician/Nutritionist through New York State. I am also a personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. My company, HealthCoach, has been delivering healthy lunches to trading desks at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and JPMorgan amongst others, since 2004. I counsel my HealthCoach clients and private clients on weight loss, behavior/lifestyle modification and overall health and wellbeing.
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