Signs it Might be Time to Stop the Diet

Thursday, 10 Mar 16

By Jaime Rose Chambers

Diets; it’s a love but mostly hate relationship many of us have with them. They can work, in fact studies show that the faster we lose weight, the more we’re likely to lose and keep off. However studies also show that most of us will fail, by regaining the weight and more, here beginning the vicious diet cycle that weight loss companies are banking on in their multi-billion dollar industry. So if you’re on a diet and experiencing any of the above, it might be time to stop the diet and rethink if it makes you feel so bad, can it possibly be good for you?

1. You’re absolutely miserable, hungry and have no social life

This is a sure-fire sign that what you’re doing won’t last for long as it’s too restrictive, too difficult and just not sustainable. To lose weight AND keep it off or maintain any changes you’ve made, it has to be based on some lifestyle changes that can be continued long term. Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve got some big changes that need to be made, then a bit of hard work might be required to begin with but the long-term plan must be something that you mostly enjoy.

2. You’re dreaming about foods you CAN’T eat

Fixating on the foods you can’t eat means you’re relying on sheer willpower to stop you from eating them. Willpower is a fickle thing and only lasts for a short time so before you know it, you’re eating those foods you CAN’T eat again, in abundance, usually with a side serve of guilt. Not being able to eat certain foods is often also compensated with over-eating the foods you CAN have, which is also not so great.

3. You have NO energy

Making healthy changes to your diet should make you feel fantastic with bucket loads of energy. If not, in the short-term this can be because you’re eating too little, particularly of carbohydrates. Carbs are our fuel so when there’s no fuel in the tank, energy levels are low, day-to-day activities are tough and forget doing a hard training session. In the long-term, diets that restrict or limit red meat intake means you’ve spent some time not meeting your iron and vitamin B12 requirements so levels deplete. Iron carries oxygen around our blood so you have too little and you’ll feel fatigue, lethargy and sometimes, even dizziness. Losing lean muscle when you’re under-eating can also make you feel weak and tired.

4. You feel completely dopey

Our brains are fuelled solely on glucose, which is what carbohydrates break down to in our blood stream. So when we’ve eaten too little carbs it can become really difficult to concentrate, string a sentence together and be productive. This can also occur when our iron levels become low.

5. Bowel habits change, for the worst

Many diets, as healthy as they seem have you very suddenly eating a great deal more fibrous and high FODMAP foods (that’s fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols). These foods made up of complex carbohydrate molecules either draw water into the intestine causing grumbly bellies and loose bowel motions, or we don’t break them down effectively so they become the fuel for the bugs in our gut, which release a heap of gas causing us to look and feel 7 months pregnant, with a lot of gas and wind to go with it. On the flipside, some diets have no wholegrains or fruit, a major source of fibre in our diet so very quickly constipation can become a problem.

6. Your body isn’t changing

There’s nothing more frustrating and disheartening that when you’re putting in so much effort to make changes to your body, and nothing is happening! Keep in mind that one person’s weight loss wont be the same as another. The weight on the scale is also often an inaccurate indicator of your progress, particularly if you’re doing some resistance training and building muscle, fat loss on the scale may not show.

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