Virtually everybody knows what you have to do in order to lose weight – reduce your calorie intake and increase your calorie expenditure – and yet this doesn’t appear to be working for a substantial number of people who are always on a diet but never actually seem to lose any weight. The theory behind weight loss is simple, but putting it into practice is often another matter, and so you generally find that losing weight is more difficult than you imagined it was going to be.
It doesn’t help that it takes time to lose weight, and most people don’t have the patience to adapt to a new healthy eating plan and stick with it for long enough to notice a difference. When you want to see results quickly it is tempting to look for a quick-fix rather than taking a more sensible approach to weight loss. Consequently, you can end up wasting money on pills and supplements that promise to speed up the weight-loss process, but rarely make any difference to the reading you get when you stand on the scales.
If pills don’t appeal to you there are always plenty of fad diets to choose from which might appear to work at first. You find yourself losing quite a few pounds in the first couple of weeks which can motivate you to continue following your diet plan, but generally your body gets used to being deprived of calories and learns to manage on fewer, thus resulting in a slower rate of weight loss. Usually these kinds of diet are extremely restrictive and so you will probably crave high-calorie junk food, as well as feel hungry and be irritable all the time, and before long you will give in anyway.
These diets aren’t designed to be followed for very long periods of time, and sometimes it is easier to have a list of foods you can and can’t eat, rather than having to make decisions for yourself when losing weight. If you decide to lose weight in a sensible way, though, then you have to re-educate yourself about the nutritional value of different foods, as well as the calorie content. You have to learn to exercise self-control, to know how much food to put on your plate, and to know when you’ve had enough. This can be difficult if you’re not used to paying attention to what and how much food you eat.
Losing weight is usually more difficult than people imagined because it is easy to forget that you have an emotional attachment to food, and so though you know you can survive on fewer calories, often the temptation of tasty, calorific foods is too great to resist, thus undermining your determination to lose weight.