7 reasons your diet isn't working

We ask a personal trainer to give us the lowdown on common mistakes made by dieters.

Press Association
Last updated: 27 August 2018 - 9.37am

You’re saying no to the office feeders, resisting takeaways and eating kale, but the weight just isn’t shifting. So what are you doing wrong?

[Read more: Hollyoaks' Jennifer Metcalfe: I laugh at negative body comments]

Personal trainer James Staring at Fit to Last knows, and he’s here to give us some advice on how to fix it.

1. You don’t drink enough water

People often mistake thirst for hunger. Overeating can potentially be staved off by drinking water to address that initial craving. The next time you crave a snack between meals, try having a glass of water first. If you still feel hungry after 30 minutes, dive into something nutritious.

2. You suffer from major portion distortion 

Conscious portion control is crucial to weight loss – this means for all required macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and good fats like olive oil and avocado), and not eliminating staple items for the latest craze.

You could try a portion control guide from Precision Nutrition. Using your hands as a guide is a simple way to determine how much of each macronutrient (protein, healthy fats and carbohydrate) you should be consuming at each meal.

3. You don’t know how much protein, fats and carbs to have at each meal

This depends on your body type, activity level and goals. It’s important for weight loss because if you are missing out on important nutrients or not timing your eating correctly, you will not be in the best position for the body transformation you want.

Make sure you have consistency at every feeding. Each time you eat ensure you have protein, good fats (eg, avocado, nuts) and fruit or veg.

4. You’re not timing your meals correctly 

Have your carbohydrates within 1 to 1.5 hours of training. According to Dr John Berardi of Precision Nutrition, your body is most capable of absorbing (rather than storing) carbohydrates within 90 minutes of training.

5. You’re not listening to your body

Daily energy levels are a great way to gauge your blood sugar levels. For the next seven days, when you finish each meal, set your alarm for two hours. When it goes off, ask yourself how you feel. If your energy levels are dropping and peaking throughout the day, then your blood sugar level is peaking and troughing – you need to examine what you are eating to make sure your energy levels (and blood sugar) are consistent.

[Read more: Why am I always hungry? 6 reasons you’re feeling starving]

6. You’re not building lean muscle at the same time 

When you diet without exercise you potentially sacrifice muscle mass.  This works against you because the more lean muscle mass you have the more effective your body will be at metabolising fat.

If you follow a regular exercise routine you will retain and increase your lean muscle mass, which makes you more metabolically active, and you will burn more calories – even when you aren’t exercising. This is a sustainable approach to losing weight and keeping it off.

7. You don’t take Omega 3 fish oil

While water may not be the magic elixir to weight loss, Omega 3 comes pretty close. This is because it keeps your cells “fluid” – making them sensitive to insulin. This means the cell wall is more likely to release fat for disposal rather than store it in the cellular tissue.

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