5 Reasons for an Unsuccessful Diet

  • Overeating healthy foods can still lead to weight gain.
  • Not eating enough fiber and protein can prevent weight loss.
  • Poor gut health can also affect digestion and weight loss.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that while approximately 17 percent of American adults are dieting on any given day, 42.4 percent still falls into the obese category. An unsuccessful diet may not only be caused by obvious reasons such as eating too many cheat meals or skipping the gym. Below, experts share uncommon reasons for an unsuccessful diet. 

1. Eating too much healthy food

Even if you’re eating nutritionally-balanced meals, consuming too many calories won’t help you lose weight — you may even gain weight. 

Christen Cupples Cooper, Ed.D., RD, founding director and chair of nutrition and dietetics at Pace University, explains that whether you’re eating 100 calories of vegetables or 100 calories of ice cream, you’re still eating 100 calories. 

But of course, in terms of nutrition, the vegetable outweighs the candy, says Cooper. 

2. Not eating enough protein

Sticking to the same low-calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods in hopes of losing a few pounds can also sabotage your weight loss goals. Copper says eating too little protein can prevent weight loss. He recommends adding in protein and modifying your diet a bit, like adding some new foods that contain different types of nutrients to jumpstart weight loss.

3. Not eating enough fiber

If you’ve been consistently failing to lose weight despite being on a diet, try to eat fiber-rich foods to break the weight loss plateau.

Hispanic Food Communications and Grain Foods Foundation Scientific Advisory Board Member Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, RD, says eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grain foods is crucial for weight loss because these foods are nutrient-dense, packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and promote fullness to prevent you from snacking on high-calorie sweets between and after meals. 

According to a 2019 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, increased dietary fiber intake was significantly associated with weight loss and fewer calorie consumption in overweight and obese study participants.

4. Having poor gut health

Poor gut health characterized by an imbalance in your gut bacteria could negatively affect your weight loss success.

Jeanette Kimszal, RDN, NLC, of Thyroid Nutrition Educators, says the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in weight loss. Having a lot of bad bacteria in the gut can affect protein and fat digestion, says Kimszal.

According to a 2020 study published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, microbial imbalances can affect hunger-causing hormones. The study also found that bacterial changes that mess with the peptides in the gut can increase hunger. 

5. Quitting your diet as soon as you lose weight

Intuitive eating is eating unconditionally.

While reaching your weight loss goal may feel great, neglecting a balanced diet and physical activity as soon as you’ve shed the weight can make you regain the weight. 

Bariatric surgeon Mir Ali, MD, medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center, says to think of your diet as a permanent lifestyle change.

Ali explains that changing your eating habits just for the short term can eventually lead to regaining that weight, and sometimes even more. 


Source: Eat This, Not That!

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