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4 Reasons Why Many Diets Fail

Let’s face it, starting and sticking to a new diet plan is hard work. With so much going on in our lives and so many food temptations staring us in the face, it can be difficult to stay on track and remember why we wanted to lose weight in the first place. Getting to a healthier weight and improving your body appearance and self-image can help you have a happy, healthy future, but that will likely require you to modify your lifestyle and make better choices. Diets fail for plenty of reasons, and understanding them before you begin your journey will help you stay focused when potential issues arise. Here are the top reasons why many diets fail:

They're too strict

Sure, being on a diet requires you to limit certain foods and reduce your calorie intake, but if you push it too far too quickly, it will be difficult to keep it up. When you’re creating your diet plan, be realistic about what you can stick with and build some of your favorite foods into your eating schedule. This way, you won’t feel too confined or pressured by all of the restrictions, and you will be less likely to binge if you’re allowing yourself to have small treats intermittently.

You feel hungry all the time

When you start a new diet plan, you’ll likely feel hungry more often than you used to. Ward off hunger by eating 3 meals and 2-3 snacks throughout the day. After you start your day with breakfast, eat every 3-4 hours, and keep your evening snack light. In addition, fill up with fewer calories by including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meal plan. Using this technique, called the Volumetrics® approach, can help keep hunger at a minimum while amping up the nutrients in your diet. As your body gets used to its new food intake, that hunger will fade. Eating less over time will allow your stomach to shrink, and when that does happen, you will be able to feel full and satisfied after eating less food. Give your body time to adjust!

You become impatient

Now that you’ve improved your diet and started exercising regularly, the pounds should just melt off, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Getting comfortable in your new healthy lifestyle takes time, and if you grow impatient because your results are not happening as quickly as you’d like, it’s important not to get discouraged. Although it may seem frustrating as it’s occurring, the slow and steady approach to weight loss is actually more beneficial in the long run. When the pounds come off too quickly, it is not as sustainable as when you lose 1 to 2 pounds per week in a healthy manner. Try to focus on how far you’ve come—instead of how far you still need to go—and remember that you’ll reach your goals in due time.

You give up after a slip up

Nobody’s perfect, so even if you slip up one night and eat half a roll of cookie dough, it doesn’t mean that you are failing. Think of each day (and even each meal) as a new challenge. When you get off track, forgive yourself and wipe your slate clean. Be kind to yourself and don’t give up. Use yesterday’s mistake to make you even more motivated.


Rolls BJ. The Volumetrics Eating Plan. New York, NY: Harper; 2007.
Rolls BJ, Barnett RA. The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan. New York, NY: Harper; 2000.
VOLUMETRICS® is a federally registered trademark of Barbara Rolls, PhD, used under exclusive license by JC USA, Inc.

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