Why do many diets fail?

Did you know that as many as two-thirds of weight-loss dieters end up heavier and less healthy than when they started? This is because most people begin a weight-loss diet with a short-term mindset, and don’t understand that dieting is a lifelong commitment to your health, according to lifehack.org.

But you don’t have to starve yourself or cut out all of your favourite foods in order to lose weight. In fact, proper nutrition is only one aspect of effective weight loss, and several of the reasons why as many as 95% of diets fail have nothing to do with the foods you’re eating.

 

Nutritionist and dietician of Amazon Nutrition Cabinet, Private Kamanzi, in an interview with The New Times, helps to answer questions on why diets fail.

 

How exactly do diets work?

 

First of all, Kamanzi says, before embarking on dieting, people need to understand how diets work. The whole point of dieting is balancing energy intake and expenditure.

Our bodies need a certain amount of energy to be able to function and carry out daily activities. A healthy adult needs between 1800 and 2100 calories to keep the body functioning. Energy expenditure can also be determined by the level of physical activities of an individual because they demand more energy.

Dieting aims at discovering the energy your body requires to carry out daily activities, and provides the exact amount. When the body is provided with excessive energy, it stores it in form of fats. They are mostly disposed on belly and back, neck for men, belly, hips and breasts for women.

Why do most diets fail?

Kamanzi shares that from his experience, most people start dieting as a short term goal to just lose weight. He explains that for a diet to work, it needs to be turned into a lifestyle instead of a hard, complicated short journey.

“For a diet to work, people need to be consistent. They need to have a routine and calculated intake of food. They also need to consider other inherent factors such as blood group,” he says.

Sandrine Isheja, a mother and journalist, has been on weight loss journey for two years. She cut sugar and carbs from her meals and started working out consistently. Today, she weighs 70 kilogrammes from 90 when she started.

“Diets cannot work if they are not consistent and long-term. Even when they work, you tend to gain more weight when you stop. I was self-observant and strict with my consistency,” she testifies.

Why do diets work for some and fail for others?

Kamanzi explains that weight management diet does not work randomly. It has determinants; age, weight, blood group, height and lifestyle contribute to dieting mechanism.

He gives an example; if a certain diet works for a 20-year-old man who walks to work every day, it will not work for a 40-year-old man who travels in a car. Their level of physical activity is different, their age, weight and probably height and living standards are different, and, therefore, the same diet will not apply for both.

What can be done for diets to work?

According to Kamanzi, there is no alternative for deliberate weight loss. Therefore, it is significantly important to first understand the need to start dieting. “This will help boost courage and maintain consistency,” he says.

Isheja advises that to keep consistency, that will definitely waiver after some time, group work-outs and personal trainers to encourage you are important.

ailiza@newtimesrwanda.com

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