February 9, 2023 6:59 pm

Mary James

7 Reasons Why Diets Usually Fail (But Don't Have To!)

Subodh Gupta - Indian contemporary artist.

Eating healthy, nutritious food is the simple and the right solution to get rid of excess body weight effortlessly and become slim and healthy forever.


You hear about the latest diet trend, so you try it, and it doesn’t work. Or maybe you lose some weight on it, but it comes right back after a few months. Being on a type of diet rollercoaster is not only frustrating, but it can also make you lose your motivation, give up, and reach for the cookies.

The new year is a time when many of us resolve to lose that extra weight we’ve been carrying around. We start off with the best of intentions, but all too often, our diets fail. If you’ve experienced this, you’re not alone. Countless people start diets every year, only to give up a few weeks or months later.

So why do diets fail? There are a number of common reasons. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common reasons why diets fail and give you some tips on how to tackle them. With a little effort, you can finally achieve your weight loss goals! There are several common reasons why diets fail.

#1. Not Enough Planning

It can be helpful to plan out your meals and snacks in advance, so you know you will have healthy options available when you get hungry. This can help you avoid making poor food choices due to hunger or convenience. You could try meal planning and prepping on the weekends, or setting aside some time each day to plan out your meals for the next day.

#2. Not Having A Clear Goal

It's important to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve with your diet. This could be to lose weight, improve your overall health, or manage a specific health condition. Having a goal can help you stay motivated and focused on your diet.

7 Reasons Why Diets Usually Fail (But Don't Have To!)

#3. Being Too Restrictive

Diets that are too restrictive or eliminate entire food groups can be difficult to stick to long term. This can lead to feelings of deprivation and eventually giving up on the diet. Instead of eliminating entire food groups, try to focus on making healthy, balanced choices within all food groups.

#4. Skipping Meals

Skipping meals or waiting too long to eat can lead to overeating later on and can also affect blood sugar levels. Try to eat at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your energy levels stable and prevent overeating.

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#5. Not Getting Enough Support

It can be helpful to have the support of friends, family or a healthcare professional when starting a new diet. They can provide motivation and encouragement, and help answer questions you may have about your diet. You might also consider joining a support group or finding an online community of people with similar goals.

#6. Calorie Slashing

Cutting out too many calories sets you up for failure and more weight gain. Once you slash calories, your body goes into survival mode to save what calories it gets. While putting your body into this 'starvation' mode helps you drop pounds at first, it’s not long-lasting.

You’ll end up losing your willpower, getting stressed out, and eventually gaining weight back. It is not possible to stay on a diet with no calories.

7 Reasons Why Diets Usually Fail (But Don't Have To!)

#7. Binge Eating

Some people are good at cutting calories throughout the day, but eating too few calories throughout the day can lead to overeating at night. You want to eat healthily and eat enough to keep yourself full throughout the day.

If you don't, your body will be hungry in the evening and you're more likely to look here and there when you're preparing dinner, eating an extra portion or even snacking on goodies after a meal. Eating very little or skipping meals throughout the day, especially if you are stressed, makes you crave high-calorie and high-fat foods, so you need to eat throughout the day.

To Solve These Challenges...

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (JACSM), researchers found that dieting can lead to weight loss, but not long term weight loss. They concluded that most dieting fails because people don't change their eating habits or exercise habits.

That said, plan your meals and snacks in advance so you have healthy choices. Set clear, achievable goals and monitor your progress. Focus on making healthy, balanced choices rather than eliminating entire food groups. Also, don't skip meals and try to eat at regular intervals throughout the day. If you need help to stay motivated or have questions about your diet, ask friends, family or a health professional for help.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, dieting can be challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can achieve your health and weight loss goals. Start small, prioritise protein and fibre, pay attention to energy balance, stay consistent and don’t forget about the other factors that contribute to overall health and well-being.

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Most diets fail because they are not sustainable in the long term. They often involve extreme restrictions, which can lead to feelings of deprivation and eventually cause you to revert to old eating habits. The key to a successful diet is to make lifestyle changes that are sustainable, rather than looking for quick fixes.


Psychological factors such as stress, emotional eating, and lack of motivation can significantly contribute to diet failure. When you're stressed or emotional, you're more likely to reach for comfort foods that are high in sugar and fat. To combat this, it's essential to develop healthy coping mechanisms like exercise or talking to a friend instead of turning to food for comfort.


To make your diet more sustainable, focus on incorporating a balanced range of foods that you enjoy, rather than cutting out entire food groups. Portion control is also crucial; you can still enjoy your favourite foods in moderation. Additionally, regular exercise can help you achieve and maintain your weight loss goals.


While counting calories can be a useful tool for weight loss, it's not the only approach and can even be counterproductive for some people. The quality of the calories you consume is equally important. For example, 200 calories from a doughnut are not the same as 200 calories from a bowl of fruit and nuts. Focus on nutrient-dense foods that provide more than just calories, such as vitamins and fibre.


Exercise is a crucial component of a successful weight loss journey. Not only does it help you burn calories, but it also improves your mental well-being, making you more likely to stick to your diet. However, it's important to note that you can't out-exercise a bad diet. Both diet and exercise need to be addressed for effective weight loss.


Hitting a weight loss plateau can be discouraging, but it's essential to remember that it's a common part of the weight loss journey. When this happens, reassess your calorie intake and exercise routine. You may need to increase your physical activity or make further changes to your diet. It's also beneficial to consult a healthcare provider for personalised advice.

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About the Author Mary James

I am passionate about fitness, a healthy lifestyle, cooking, and well-being. This blog is about some of my thoughts that are occupying my mind and spirit daily over the last 10 years and my grand passion – weight loss and fitness, healthy lifestyle and healthy food, mindfulness and self-improvement.

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