There are a lot of fad diets that promises quick and simple weight reduction is frequently discussed in today’s health-conscious society. Various regimens are available, including low-carb, low-fat, high-protein, very low calorie diet, and keto. Despite the variety of options, research indicates that the positive effects of diets last only briefly. Many dieters gain the weight they dropped during their diets back and, in many cases, even more. A feeling of failure, disappointment, and frustration may result from this.

How come diets don’t work? Does it have something to do with genetics, a loss of willpower, or something else entirely? We’ll look at the fundamental causes of diet failure in this article, along with some practical tips for taking control of your health in a long-term, sustainable manner.

7 Main Reasons Why Diets Fail

Unrealistic Expectations

Many diets set unrealistic expectations that can be difficult to meet. These expectations may include extreme caloric deficits, unrealistic amounts of weight loss in a short time, and other unsustainable goals. Often, these expectations are promoted by diet, influencers, or celebrities. This can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and an unrealistic body image.

When a person begins a diet, they may be motivated and excited by the promise of a new look or lifestyle. Unfortunately, as time passes and goals remain unmet, disappointment and demoralization can creep in. This feeling can lead to binge eating, which often does not result in the desired weight loss outcome but leads to further discouragement.

It is important for anyone considering a diet to have realistic expectations about the results. Instead of focusing on extreme changes quickly, regularly making small and sustainable changes is more beneficial. It is also important to ensure that the diet promotes healthy habits and allows for compensatory behaviors such as indulging in treats occasionally. Lastly, it is important to remember that there is no one size fits all diet; each individual’s journey is unique and should be respected.

Restrictive Eating

Restrictive eating is a term used to describe any diet severely limiting food choices or caloric intake. This type of eating is generally characterized by completely removing certain food groups from one’s diet, such as carbohydrates, fats, or dairy. In addition, many diets significantly reduce overall calorie intake, which can lead to feelings of deprivation and hunger.

Unfortunately, although restrictive eating may lead to some initial weight loss, it is not sustainable in the long run. Not only does restrictive eating tend to create feelings of deprivation for the dieter, but it also affects their metabolism over time. When someone drastically reduces calorie intake, the body slows its metabolic rate to conserve energy. This means the body will burn fewer calories at rest, making it more difficult to lose additional weight.

Additionally, restrictive eating causes dieters to become overly focused on food and constantly think about what they cannot eat. This often leads to an unhealthy relationship with food, making it difficult to adhere to a healthy lifestyle in the long run. Additionally, when dieters slip up and eat foods they have restricted themselves from, they might experience guilt or shame, which can cause them to give up on their diet altogether.

Lack of Personalized Approach

Many diets are marketed as the “one size fits all” approach to health and weight loss, but this is untrue. Everyone is unique and has different diet preferences, needs, and goals. Therefore, a successful diet should be tailored to the individual’s needs and not just rely on a generic plan.
Moreover, an effective diet should focus on creating long-term healthy habits to help individuals reach their goals while providing enjoyment and satisfaction. Eating should never feel like a chore, so a personalized approach that allows for treats and indulgences (in moderation) can help create positive associations with food and make it easier to stick to healthier habits in the long run.

Regarding weight loss, everyone’s body responds differently to certain foods and types of exercise. Because what works for one person may not work for another, listening to your body and discovering what works best for you is crucial. Individuals will have a better chance of long-term success if they handle dieting uniquely.

Inadequate Support

The road to weight loss is not always easy, and having a support system of friends, family, and healthcare professionals can be invaluable. With adequate support, dieters may feel supported and supported by the task of changing their habits.

Having an ally to turn to when things get tough can make a huge difference in helping individuals stick to their diet plan. In addition, having someone there to encourage you when motivation starts to lag can help people stay on track and reach their goals. This could include a friend, family member, or even a coach or counselor trained in helping with nutrition and health-related issues.

It is also important to consult with a doctor before starting any diet, as they can provide insight into any medical conditions affecting diet success. They may also advise which diets and exercise routines are right for you.

Not Understanding Nutrition

Regarding weight loss, diet is one of the most important aspects. However, many people need to understand how nutrition works and how different types of food affect the body. This can lead to mistakes such as eating too many processed foods, not eating enough vegetables, or simply not getting the appropriate number of calories per day.

To get the best results from any diet, it is important to have a basic understanding of nutrition. Education on the benefits of eating whole foods, proper portion sizes, and the caloric content of different types of food can help individuals make better food choices. Additionally, tracking calories and macronutrients can be an effective tool for understanding how diet affects weight loss.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that there is no one type of “perfect” diet. Instead, focusing on a balanced diet that includes a variety of healthy foods is more effective.

Lack of Exercise

Exercise plays an important role in any weight-loss plan. Not only does exercise help burn calories, but it also helps build muscle and boost metabolism. Additionally, exercise can provide numerous physical and mental health benefits – such as improved mood, increased energy levels, and reduced stress – essential components of successful weight loss.

Unfortunately, many people need to incorporate adequate exercise into their diets. But unfortunately, this can lead to slower results or even frustration which can cause them to give up on their plans altogether. For this reason, it is important to include physical activity in any weight-loss routine. Depending on an individual’s goals and physical abilities, this may mean anything from walking or jogging to strength training or yoga.

Failure to Address Underlying Issues

Lastly, it is important to remember that dieting does not always solve underlying issues. For many, emotional eating can be a major factor in weight gain and maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, people may struggle with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety that prevent them from adhering to their diets.

For these individuals, it is important to address the root causes of their eating behaviors. This could mean seeking professional help for emotional or mental health issues and implementing strategies for healthier eating habits, such as practicing mindful eating, scheduling regular meals, and learning intuitive eating principles.

How Can You Avoid the Pitfalls of Diets?

A diet is a set of guidelines for eating designed to help you lose or maintain your current weight. Because diets are often so strict, it’s important to be aware of their potential pitfalls to prevent unnecessary weight loss or weight gain.

Here are some of the best tips we can give you to prevent diet failure:

Choose a Sustainable Approach

A sustained approach to weight loss and health is more effective, supports the body’s natural weight-loss process, and has numerous mental and physical health advantages. Rather than depending on restrictive diets that can be difficult to stick to, developing healthy habits that can be maintained in the long run is essential. As a result, individuals can accomplish their weight loss goals while improving their overall health and well-being.

Focus on Health, Not Just Weight Loss

There is more to health than the number on the scale. It’s about feeling good about yourself and having a good quality of life. Achieving and maintaining your health begins with wise choices about what we put into our bodies. Many people struggle to lose weight because they focus on their weight rather than their health.

Healthy eating isn’t about cutting out entire food groups or exercising for hours on end. Instead, it’s about balancing healthy foods with fun activities to keep your body active and your mood uplifting.

Burning too many calories, fasting, or eating very few calories can deplete the body’s energy stores, causing the stomach to release the hormone ghrelin, which increases desire. (7) Another factor in overeating is hedonic regulation, commonly referred to as reward-based eating. This happens when tasty, high-calorie foods stimulate the brain’s reward system, leading to binge eating even when not hungry.

Seek Professional Support

Seeking expert assistance is crucial if you are having trouble losing weight. A registered dietitian (RD) can provide guidance and support as you strive to make healthy changes to your diet. RDs have a wealth of knowledge about food and nutrition and can help you create a diet tailored to your needs. Not only will this help you to lose weight sustainably, but it will also promote better overall health.

If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, seeking professional support may be your best step. A therapist can help you deal with any underlying issues contributing to your weight problems. They can also offer guidance on modifying your diet and lifestyle to improve your health. By seeking professional help, you can take control of your weight and health and achieve lasting success.


Diets are not the best way to achieve long-term health or normal weight loss. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving our health, so finding a plan that works for you is important. In addition, taking control of your health can be challenging. Still, plenty of resources are available to help you create a lifestyle you can sustain for the long term – from understanding nutrition to finding activities you enjoy to getting the support you need. Dedication and commitment make it possible to take control of your health sustainably and meaningfully.

Restless Coaching can help you break free from the endless cycle of failed diets and take a more sustainable approach to weight loss and overall health. Our comprehensive coaching services provide consulting and accountability partners to support you every step of the way. Let Dr. Mary and her team help you clarify your goals, identify your resources, and close the gaps between you and success. So, take control of your health today and contact Restless Coaching to learn more about our services. Reach out to us today!


To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns. This can be achieved by reducing your calorie intake and increasing your physical activity level. Eating a balanced and healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you lose weight effectively.

Studies on resistance training have demonstrated considerable increases in lean weight and resting metabolic rate because this sort of exercise results in larger muscle mass, which demands more energy for ongoing tissue maintenance and remodeling. This means that while resting, more calories are expended.

Weight Watchers is a popular weight loss program that can be effective for some people. It involves tracking your food intake and assigning point values to different foods. However, it may only be suitable for some and may work for some in the long term.
Many dieters regain weight because they return to their old eating habits once they achieve their weight loss goal. This can lead to weight regain over time. Therefore, it’s important to make lifestyle changes that can be sustained over the long term to maintain weight loss.
The Atkins diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to promote maintaining weight loss by inducing a state of ketosis in the body. It may be effective for some people who lost weight in the short term but not sustainable or healthy in the long term.
To maintain weight loss, it’s important to continue eating a healthy and balanced diet and to exercise regularly. It’s also important to monitor your weight and adjust your diet and exercise routine as needed.
Yes, losing weight can help lower blood pressure. Too much body weight can strain the heart and blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure. Losing weight can reduce this strain and improve overall cardiovascular health.

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Dr. Mary

Dr. Mary Coussons-Read, a Ph.D. in Psychology and an accomplished Professor and Higher Education Leader, brings extensive experience to her role as a Certified Professional Personal and Career Coach. With over 30 years of leadership and organizational development consulting in academic and corporate settings, Dr. Mary is well-equipped to guide higher education professionals toward envisioning and achieving positive change.

In addition to her academic background, Dr. Mary has a personal understanding of weight management challenges. Her transformative journey has inspired her to support successful individuals struggling with obesity. Through her expertise and compassionate approach, she helps them explore long-term options, including bariatric surgery or alternative strategies for lifelong weight management.

With her unique combination of academic knowledge, coaching skills, and personal experience, Dr. Mary is committed to assisting individuals in realizing their goals and making significant transformations in their lives.