For example, simply not eating enough could be the one thing that sets you up to fail. You may already have guessed that following celebrity diets isn’t always a good thing – but did you know that the government’s food guidelines not only can ruin a diet but make you gain weight? The good news is that once you know what you’re doing wrong, it’s easy to get back on track.
Click on the link below to read all 16 reasons why you can’t stick to your diet.
Have you been dutifully counting your calories, eating low-fat, following the government-recommended dietary guidelines and still gaining weight? It's not surprising, as these are three things that can trigger weight gain. Others, which might also surprise you, have been compiled in the link above, including:
Your "Diet" Could be Making You Fat
When many people want to lose weight, they start off by going on a "diet." This usually means cutting calories, eating lots of salads, skipping breakfast and/or restricting food intake even if you feel hungry. Usually "diets" are viewed as a short-term sacrifice intended to get the weight off, at which point many people revert back to their old eating habits and subsequently regain the weight.
This is, of course, problematic, and the crux of the issue is that in order to lose weight in the long run you need to adjust your eating habits permanently and adopt a new healthier lifestyle. This isn't a short-term Band-Aid, it's a foundational change, and as such it must be a change that you can live with.
This is why your long-term truly healthy diet must be satisfying, or else you will fall off the wagon. Further, if you're eating right, you should feel completely satiated and energized after a meal -- not hungry and looking for a pick-me-up.
So what does a truly healthy diet entail?
For the majority of people, severely restricting carbohydrates such as sugars, fructose, and grains in your diet will be the key to weight loss. Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause insulin resistance, which is the number one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.
As you cut these dietary villains from your meals, it is important to replace them with healthy substitutes like vegetables, proteins and fats.
Your body prefers the carbohydrates in vegetables rather than grains and sugars because it slows the conversion to simple sugars like glucose, and decreases your insulin level. When you cut grains and sugar from your meals, you typically will need to radically increase the amount of vegetables you eat, as well as make sure you are also consuming protein and healthy fats regularly. I've detailed a step-by-step guide to this type of healthy eating program in my comprehensive nutrition plan, and I urge you to consult this guide if you are trying to lose weight.
Counting Calories is NOT Enough
Conventional nutritional dogma states that if you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. But the issue is more complex than that, as the type of calories you consume is far more important than the number of calories.
In terms of your weight, calories from fructose are just about as bad as they come, as they will turn off your body's appetite-control system. Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the "hunger hormone") nor stimulate leptin (the "satiety hormone"), which together results in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.
My recommendation is to keep your total fructose intake below 25 grams of fructose per day, if you're in good health, and below 15 grams a day if you need to lose weight.
Fructose is also "isocaloric but not isometabolic," according to Dr. Robert Lustig. This means you can have the same amount of calories from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. This is largely because different nutrients provoke different hormonal responses, and those hormonal responses determine, among other things, how much fat you accumulate.
This is why counting calories alone is often not enough to lose weight successfully!
Even the most popular calorie-counting weight loss program, Weight Watchers, recently admitted this fact and changed their wildly successful formula. The new system instead tries to encourage dieters to consume more natural, less processed food, which I believe is the crux of any long-term weight loss program.
When you eat according to my nutrition plan, there's no need to count calories at all because it's all about eating the proper ratios of the right types of food for your personal biochemistry. It's not a one-size-fits-all type diet, which is perhaps why it's so often ignored, although some doctors have already incorporated it into their practices for that very reason.
Why Eating Low Fat is the Weight Loss Kiss of Death
For most Americans, when they think of a diet that promotes weight loss, they think of a diet that shuns butter, nuts, red meat, cheese, and virtually any other food that's high in fat. But let me stress to you that eating healthy fat does not make you fat! The sooner you let go of this deeply engrained myth, the sooner you will be able to reach your weight loss goals, as many people replace healthy fats in their diet with refined carbs, sugar and fructose -- which is the exact opposite of what you need to do to lose weight.
So let me repeat: eating healthy fats is conducive to weight loss.
When you eat fats as part of your meal, they actually slow down your food absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry.
Case in point is the fat conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), found in grass-fed beef and full-fat raw dairy products from grass-fed cows (raw butter, raw milk, raw-milk cheese, etc.), is also associated with reduced body fat and weight.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate 3.2 grams of CLA a day had a drop in fat mass of about 0.2 pounds a week (that's about one pound a month) compared to those given a placebo. Research also shows that women who ate at least one serving of full-fat dairy a day gained 30 percent less weight over a nine-year period than women who ate only low-fat (or no) dairy products.
When it comes to weight loss, I believe there are two primary dietary recommendations that directly conflict with most people's dietary choices but could make a very big difference for them:
- Severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your diet
- Increasing healthy fat consumption
Are You Gaining Weight by Following Government Dietary Guidelines?
If you live in the United States and have been following the Food Pyramid guidelines to help you lose weight, you have been sorely misled. As you may remember, the 1992 Food Pyramid had grains as the largest bottom block of the pyramid, and it encouraged Americans to eat 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta a day. This excess of carbohydrates, most of them refined, is a prescription for obesity!
The 2005 pyramid was not much better. It included a series of vertical colored stripes of varying widths to represent different food groups. It, too, advised that grains should make up the bulk of your diet, and was widely criticized for being confusing and offering little useful information.
The new USDA food plate icon, revealed this year, is leaps and bounds ahead of both the 1992 and 2005 Food Pyramids, as it finally cut down on grains and increased the amount of veggies recommended. However, it, too, contains some misleading information if you want to slim down, such as recommending that you eat lots of fruit and consume low-fat or fat-free dairy.
Why You Need More Than Regular Cardio to Lose Weight
The foods you choose to eat will be the driving force behind successfully achieving your weight loss goals, but exercise is still important, especially the right type of exercise. It's important that you are engaging in high-intensity activities like my Peak Fitness exercises, which engage a certain group of muscle fibers that you cannot engage through aerobic cardio. Engaging these muscle fibers causes a cascade of positive health benefits, including improved fat burning.
Peak Fitness is also unique because it is one of the only exercises that can actually increase your human growth hormone (HGH) level naturally, a vital hormone that is key for your physical strength, health and longevity. After age 35, your growth hormone levels radically decrease if you don't take steps to increase them.
Peak Fitness exercises are done once or twice a week, in which you raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery period. To perform these properly you will want to get very close to, if not exceed, your maximum heart rate by the last interval. Your maximum heart rate is calculated as 220 minus your age. You will need a heart rate monitor to measure this, as it is nearly impossible to accurately measure your heart rate manually when it is above 150.
The best part is, the entire workout takes just 20 minutes! You can watch a demonstration below.
Total Video Length: 0:22:17
Strength training is also important for weight loss, as one of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is actually to gain more muscle! For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day than you did before.
Furthermore, your muscles also participate in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, protecting you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Virtually everyone, from kids to seniors, can benefit from strength training; unfortunately many still make the mistake of equating weight training with "bulking up." Please understand that strength training is not just about "looking good." It's also an important part of maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening your bones, and improving posture, range of motion and functionality of your body.