5 Reasons Diets Fail and How to Make Them Work Anyway

If you've been on a diet, and most of us have at one point or another, you know that there are a lot of pitfalls that can keep them from being successful. It's very difficult to not just give up once we run into an issue; however, here are some common dieting pitfalls and ways to get around them.

You're Hungry All the Time

This is the most common issue people run into while dieting, and it's the sign of a poorly constructed diet. If you are hungry, genuinely hungry and not just bored and wanting a snack, your body isn't getting enough of something. You may have set your daily caloric intake too low, and if that's the case, your body isn't getting enough energy. While this sounds like a great idea to speed up weight loss, you won't lose weight if you can't stick to the diet.

Another reason you may be hungry all the time is because you're not drinking enough water. The body isn't very good at telling the difference between hunger and thirst, and your body will often send signals of hunger when you are actually dehydrated. Try to drink more water and eat more fruit and vegetables, since most fruit and vegetables have high water content.

Finally, if you are hungry all the time, but are getting a solid amount of calories (usually around 1200 to 1500 a day) you may be missing proteins or other energy giving nutrients. Try adding low fat meat, nuts or beans to your meals to ensure you're getting all the nutrition you need.

Exercising is Boring

Exercising is also sweaty, tiring and feels like punishment for most people. If you have a sport that you love, good for you, but most people hate exercise for a reason. However, the reason that you are told to exercise when trying to lose weight is that the more muscle mass you have, the faster you burn fat and calories. While it is, sometimes literally, a pain in the rear to exercise, it can be very helpful in getting rid of excess weight.

There are several ways to make exercise less boring, and take your mind off the fact that you're doing it. If you have a kindle or eReader, bring it with you to the gym. You can prop it up on the digital display; as a bonus, it covers your time and pace, so you're not staring at the statistics and hating life. If you don't have a gym, or prefer running outside, download audio books to a smartphone or iPod. While music can get you going, if you focus on listening to a good book, it can help the time go by faster.

You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau

You start a new diet, things are going great, and the pounds are dropping off. All of the sudden, the weight loss comes to a screeching halt. This is incredibly frustrating, especially if everything was working as it was supposed to before. Instead of abandoning hope that you'll ever lose that last five or ten pounds, change things up. Your body can get used to a lower caloric intake and a particular exercise, leading to a weight loss plateau. To break out of it, change up your exercise; if you were running, try low weight high repeat weight lifting.

Dieting Makes You Sad or Irritable

When you eat carbohydrates and sugars, your body produces more serotonin, which is a chemical that helps regulate moods. If you stop eating sugars and carbs, or curb them sharply, it directly affects the serotonin your body produces. This can leave you feeling irritable or sad, and will also deepen your craving for foods with carbohydrates, making dieting very difficult.

To help curb your carbohydrate cravings, you'll want to look into other ways to stimulate your body to produce serotonin. There are several good foods for diets that will produce extra serotonin, some of which are: chicken, turkey, tuna, rolled oats, chickpeas and walnuts. Exercise and sunlight are also great contributors to serotonin production, so try to work both into your day to day life.

Healthy Food is Expensive and Time Consuming to Make

Food that is good for you is expensive, and usually not as tasty as cheap food that is not good for you. If you're on a budget, and many people are, how do you find the extra time to make healthy meals that won't make you go broke? The first thing is to avoid organic foods. If you can afford them, go for it, but studies have found there is no difference in nutritional value between organic and non organic foods.

That said, there are a few ways to cut down on the costs of healthy food and preparation time. One of the best ways to do so is to use frozen fruit and vegetables. Unlike their canned counterparts, frozen produce retains most if not all of its nutrients. Additionally, you do not have to worry about frozen produce going bad if you do not use them immediately, as you do if you are purchasing fresh products. As an added bonus, bags of frozen fruit and vegetables also tend to be cheaper than fresh varieties.

If you are limited on time, and who isn't, there exists a wide variety of low priced frozen dinners that don't taste like cardboard. Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice have a huge selection of frozen dinners that have oriental, Thai, Italien and Greek flavor themes.