Why Your Diet Is Not Working and How to Fix It
Nowadays, diet hacks are all the rage. Any fitness website or magazine has at least a couple of articles on how to hack your diet and build muscle or lose weight in no time. The truth is that these gimmicks rarely work. The word "hack" is overused and overrated. There are no shortcuts to a lean physique. If it was that easy, everyone would look like a model.
Why diet hacks never work
Trying to cheat way through is a recipe for failure. If you want a great body, you have to work for it. Also, it's important to be realistic and ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. Some people simply don’t have the genes needed to build six pack abs or look like a fitness pro. Stop expecting perfection from yourself. Accept your flaws and maximize your strengths. Here are some common diet mistakes or "hacks" that sabotage your progress:
Falling for the latest diet craze
Each year, the media promotes a new miracle diet or weight loss pill with overnight results. The crazier it sounds, the higher its chances of success. Like it or not, there is no magical way to shape your body. Waist trainers, crash diets, foods with negative calories, and revolutionary fat burners are nothing but marketing hype. These things might work on short term, but they're not sustainable in the long run. A balanced diet that supports health and well-being can do more for your body than any pill.
Switching from one diet to another
How many times have you found yourself quieting a diet just to start a new one? This habit will only stall your progress and slow your metabolism, making it harder to reach your goals. In the long run, it can affect your health and mess up your hormones. Regardless of what diet you choose, stick to it for at least two months or so. Consistency is the key to success.
Relying on diet food
Fat-free and sugar-free foods enjoy huge popularity. However, this doesn’t mean they're healthy or low in calories. For instance, sugar free chocolate often has just as many carbs and calories as the regular version. Manufacturers ditch the sugar, but use fructose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, and other types of carbs. Whether you want to get lean, build muscle, or perform better in the gym, real food is your best ally.
Overusing fitness technology
Most gym goers nowadays obsessively count calories and track their workouts using fitness wearables. These gadgets are designed to boost your motivation and keep you on track. But fitness isn’t all about numbers. When you focus solely on numbers, training becomes mindless. You become more preoccupied with hitting your daily calorie goals or number of steps rather that watching your form and making real progress. The same goes for your diet. If you’re always counting calories and macros, you could miss the big picture.
What's the best approach?
As you see, there is no quick fix to weight loss or muscle building. The things that really work are simple and timeless. Clean up your diet, train smart, and commit to a balanced lifestyle. Adjust your calorie intake based on your goals and get your macros from whole foods. Lean meat, fish, veggies, sweet potatoes, whole rice, nuts, seeds, and low fat dairy should come first on your list.
If your goal is to drop weight, cut back on carbs. Start with one or two grams per pound of body weight, and adjust these numbers based on your progress. Keep the fats in your diet and ditch the junk food. Give your body time to rest between workouts, relax in your free time, and don’t sacrifice your social life for the sake of getting fit. Remember that balance is the key.
- There are shortcuts to a better body. To get results, it's necessary to commit to your goals on long term.
- Weight loss pills, crash diets, and other quick fix are not sustainable in the long run and can stall your progress.
- The best way to achieve your fitness goals is to stick to time-tested strategies, such as clean eating, heavy lifting, HIIT, and adequate rest.
- Make real food your ally. Sugar-free and fat-free foods are not necessarily better, and may contain harmful ingredients that sabotage your weight loss efforts.