Losing weight is challenging, even more so when you are looking for specifics such as time-bound goals and spot reduction. Long-term maintenance is the hardest part because most people struggle to sustain the results for the long haul. Many people encounter a frustrating experience when their weight loss plan suddenly stops working.
Research shows that obesity interventions often lead to rapid initial weight loss followed by a plateau and progressive regain. Imagine the pain of following a strict diet and intense workouts but getting zero results. You may feel angry, anxious, and depressed when the scales stop budging despite following your routine religiously.
It is time to accept that your current weight loss plan is not paying off and requires a hard reset. Here are a few telltale signs you should recognize as indications to switch your program:
Sign #1: You Have Hit a Plateau
A plateau is something most weight-watchers experience at some point. Timelines may vary, but it surely happens when your body adjusts to a diet plan. When a plateau hits, the number on your scales becomes stagnant. It is a clear sign that you should reassess your approach, quickly rework your current plan, and try something else.
Think what you are doing wrong and find solutions to these problems. If you are on a 16/8 intermittent fasting 7-day meal plan, you may reach a plateau by picking the wrong foods. You cannot expect to lose weight without giving up on sugar and processed food, right? That applies even when you stay off food for 16 hours daily, seven days per week.
Simple recommends preparing a food diary to check your daily diet. Figure out the potential culprits and eliminate them from your intake. Besides resetting your food choices, rework your workout program to break the plateau. The rule works regardless of the diet plan you follow. It is about giving your body a different challenge once it becomes accustomed to something.
Sign #2: You Have Zero Energy
Something is definitely wrong with your diet plan if you have zero energy. No diet should make you feel drained, even if it appears healthy and gets the scales moving. You cannot compromise your energy levels to lose a few pounds or inches. The deal is not worthwhile because low energy can make you lethargic, unproductive, and unhappy in the long run.
Rethink your diet and switch to a plan that makes you happy and energized. A well-rounded program contains enough healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to boost your energy levels without loading you with extra calories. It will enable you to double up on exercise and achieve sustainable weight loss goals.
Sign #3: You Experience Anxiety or Depression
Growing evidence links diet quality with mental well-being. According to multiple studies, healthy foods and micronutrients can stave off depression, while poor-quality diets elevate its risk. Anxiety and depression are glaring red flags that you are following a wrong plan. Even if it has good nutrients, they might not be good enough for you.
As a rule of thumb, an optimal meal plan should make you feel in control and empowered. What if you constantly stress about food selection? Do you worry about meal timelines? Are the portions too small to make you feel full? If the answers to these questions are affirmative, you may experience anxiety or depression sooner rather than later. The best piece of advice is to shuffle your diet plan before it happens.
Sign #4: You Constantly Feel Starved
Studies associate greater baseline hunger and craving ratings with less weight loss during dietary intervention. In simple language, it indicates your meal plan is wrong if you constantly feel starved. The worst part is that you may end up breaking your commitment to healthy eating and opting for the wrong foods.
Additionally, feeling hungry all the time might mean that you are not consuming the right balance of nutrients or enough calories to sustain. A restrictive diet does more harm than good, as it can harm your physical and mental well-being. It may also lead to overeating and bust your weight loss initiative, regardless of your commitment levels.
Sign #5: Your Diet Relies Too Much on Detoxes and Supplements
Fad diets are the worst because they include quick-fix solutions such as detoxes and supplements. A detox feels good because it cleanses the toxins from your body and promotes weight loss. However, you should definitely not do it too often. Moreover, a detox can help you lose a few pounds, but you may eventually regain them.
Heavy supplementation is also not recommended unless it is approved by your doctor and taken in the right dose. It indicates that your diet plan is not balanced. Reset it by focusing more on a balanced diet and whole foods. Alternatively, try intermittent fasting if you prefer to keep things simple and avoid counting calories.
Sign #6: You Want Your Plan to End
Healthy eating is a forever thing, while diet plans are limited by days, weeks, or months. Your initiative may need a refresh if you resent its guidelines and want it to end sooner rather than later. You hate the food recommendations, find the workout schedule too taxing, or think that the time gap between meals is too long.
These signs show that the plan is not apt for you, no matter how good it is. Remember that you should feel happy with your weight loss initiative to integrate it into your lifestyle for the long haul. That is the only way to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Weight loss initiatives are subjective because every person has different needs and goals. A plan that works for your friend or colleague may not deliver similar results for you. The best option is to personalize your goals, timelines, and milestones.
Most importantly, keep a close watch on these signs and quickly reset your weight loss plan if you encounter one or more of these red flags. You deserve a perfect plan tailored to your needs rather than settle for a cookie-cutter approach.