What to do when your diet isn’t working

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There are few things as frustrating as trying really hard at something only to find that your efforts have been fruitless. Many people have this experience when they try to lose weight. Despite their best efforts they do not get the results they are expecting on the scales, feel demotivated and throw in the towel. So if you have been trying to lose weight without success, here are some things you can try to get things moving.

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1. Check your calories

I mean really check them by entering everything you eat and drink into a monitoring program such as ‘myfitnesspal’. In many cases w are eating more than we realise but we can also be eating too little, especially if you have ramped up the training. The average female will lose nicely on 1200-1400 calories as long as they are not doing more than 40-60 minutes of exercise each day. A male, more like 1600-1800 calories.

2. Check your timing

Unless you are following a fasting regime and not eating until lunchtime, the earlier you eat your first meal each day the better, and the later you have your dinner, the worse it will be for weight loss. Ideally we need 10-12 hours overnight without food so you may need to make lunch a bigger meal, and add a more substantial afternoon snack so you can go light at night.

3. Try something different

The body responds well to change. This means if you always try and lose weight the same way it may be time to mix things up a little. If you cut back calories, try fasting. Or if you exercise a lot, try exercising less and eating less overall. Or try a couple of low calorie days or swapping dinner for lunch. Change is the key when things are not moving. 

4. Check your bloods

Low iron levels, low Vitamin D, thyroid issues and insulin resistance are just some of the biochemical factors that can impact weight loss. So if you have not been feeling your best, and know that your calorie intake and exercise is on track, it may be worth checking some of these variables with your GP.

5. Check your steps

While you may be exercising regularly, if you spend much of the rest of the day sitting you will not lose weight. Remember we need to move at least 10000 steps each day (to make up for the all the time we spend sitting) and exercise regularly to lose weight. Often it is a lack of movement that is letting us down.