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Why Your Diet Isn't Working

nutrition Apr 01, 2024
Why Your Diet Isn't Working | Arangio

Do you struggle with a lack of energy? Are you dealing with achy joints? Or maybe it feels impossible to lose weight, no matter how hard you try.

When it comes to meeting your goals, nutrition is 80% of the battle. Some experts say 90%.

Have you ever heard of the saying, "The best nutrition program is the one you can stick to?" Well, it's true.

Let me share a story with you to explain why.

I once worked with a 50-year-old woman who was determined to get in shape and lose weight. She tried every diet out there, from low-carb to paleo to juice cleanses, but nothing seemed to work for her.

She would stick to the plan for a week or two, but eventually, she would get tired of the restrictions and give up. One day, she decided to take a different approach.

She started small by making just one change to her nutrition. In particular, she began alternating cycles of fasting and eating, also known as intermittent fasting. She didn't change anything else about her diet. And you know what? It worked. ​

She lost five pounds in a month, just by implementing intermittent fasting.​ Encouraged by her success, she decided to make another small change. She started eating a salad with her lunch every day, while still sticking to her intermittent fasting routine.

Again, it worked. She lost another five pounds in a month. Over time, she continued to make small changes to her diet while maintaining her intermittent fasting routine, and eventually, she reached her goal weight.

But the key was that she did it in a way that was sustainable for her. She didn't try to overhaul her entire diet overnight. She made small, manageable changes that she could stick to and kept up with her intermittent fasting routine.

So, why am I telling you this story? Because I want you to know that the most successful nutrition program is the one that you are capable of doing and that truly works for you.

Why Your Diet Isn't Working

Despite your best efforts and intentions, sometimes your dietary strategies hit a roadblock, leaving you feeling frustrated and bewildered. But fear not. In this lesson, I'll shed light on some common reasons why your diet might not be working and provide actionable strategies to help you course-correct and get back on track to optimal health and vitality. And don't be afraid to invest in good food because you will either pay your grocer or pay your doctor.

1. Choose nutrient-dense, whole foods

Many diets focus solely on macronutrient ratios or calorie counting, while neglecting the crucial role that micronutrients play in supporting overall health. And some nutritional strategies, like intermittent fasting, concentrate on windows on eating and fasting. If your diet consists mainly of processed foods devoid of essential vitamins and minerals, it's no wonder you're not seeing the results you desire.

Prioritize nutrient-dense foods such as leafy greens, colorful vegetables, high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and antioxidant-rich fruits. Aim to fill your plate with a variety of whole, unprocessed foods to ensure you're meeting your body's nutritional needs. And remember that calories always matter.

2. Manage stress and to control cortisol

In today's fast-paced world, stress has become a ubiquitous part of daily life. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your body, leading to dysregulation of the stress hormone cortisol, which can impair metabolism, promote fat storage, and sabotage weight loss efforts. If you're constantly feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, it could be hindering your progress despite your best dietary intentions.

Incorporate stress-reducing practices into your daily routine, such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, spending time in nature, or engaging in activities you enjoy. Prioritize self-care and make time for relaxation to support optimal hormone balance and overall well-being. And maybe chill out on your caffeine consumption.

3. Get adequate sleep

Sleep is often overlooked but is a critical component of overall health and metabolic function. Inadequate sleep or poor sleep quality can disrupt hunger hormones, increase cravings for unhealthy foods, and impair cognitive function, making it harder to stick to a healthy diet and achieve your wellness goals.

Prioritize sleep hygiene by establishing a consistent bedtime routine, creating a cool, dark, and quiet sleep environment, and minimizing exposure to screens and artificial light before bed. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support optimal health and vitality.

4. Listen to your body's hunger and fullness signals

Nowadays it's easy to lose touch with your body's natural hunger and fullness cues. You're bombarded with external cues to eat, whether it's advertisements, social gatherings, or simply the availability of food at every turn. Ignoring these signals and eating out of habit or emotion can lead to overeating and weight gain, despite following a seemingly healthy diet.

Practice intuitive eating by tuning into your body's hunger and fullness signals and eating only when you're truly hungry. Pay attention to how different foods make you feel and honor your body's natural cues to guide your food choices. Remember, true nourishment comes from listening to your body's wisdom.

5. Embrace flexible nutrition

Many diets promote a restrictive mindset focused on what you can't eat rather than empowering you to make positive choices that align with your health goals. This all-or-nothing approach can backfire, leading to feelings of deprivation, binge eating, and an unhealthy relationship with food.

Just choose fresh, unprocessed, organic foods. Literally anything that is fresh, unprocessed and organic. This is way easier than most folks think. 

Pair a lean protein (sauteed ground turkey) with a fat (grilled avocado w/ toasted walnuts). You could also pair a protein (baked chicken) with a carb (mixed vegetables). Whatever meal you choose, wash it down with water.

Shift your mindset from restriction to abundance by focusing on the delicious and nourishing foods you can enjoy rather than fixating on what you're avoiding. Embrace a flexible approach to eating that allows for occasional indulgences while prioritizing nutrient-dense foods that support your health and well-being.

All of the best-selling diet books have these principles in common:

  • 3-4 meals daily (just be mindful of calories no matter how many meals you choose)
  • 3 hours between meals
  • 16-20 oz water before each meal
  • Each meal consists of carbs (fresh fruit/vegetables) and a lean protein
  • Choose unprocessed and as close to nature as possible
  • Choose foods that give you the most volume for the least calories (spinach vs. pasta)
  • Prepare meals for entire week ahead of time. We prep on Sundays and Wednesdays

Truth is, it's not about following the latest fad diet or eating a certain number of calories every day. It's about finding what works for you and your lifestyle.

Please note that whatever nutritional habits you follow: Paleo, Keto, Occasional Fasting, Gluten free, Vegan, etc. The key is you must take action and actually do.

Maybe that means cutting out sugary juices. Or perhaps you eat smaller portions or add more vegetables to your meals.

Your mindset should be progress versus perfection.

So, take some time to think about what changes you can make to your diet that are sustainable for you. And remember, the best nutrition program is the one that you can stick to.

If you want to help others, you need to help yourself first.

To your success,

Coach Joe

Summary:

If you've been struggling with your diet and not seeing the results you desire, remember that it's not a reflection of your worth or discipline. By addressing underlying factors such as nutrient density, stress management, sleep quality, intuitive eating, and mindset, you can overcome common roadblocks and set yourself up for success on your journey to optimal health and vitality. Keep experimenting, stay curious, and above all, be kind to yourself along the way.

 


 

Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online longevity personal trainer, or you want to visit the best age-management personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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