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5 Possible Reasons Why You Can’t Stick To Your Diet

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

How to Stick to Your Diet

Do you know that over 37% of us pick losing weight as our New Year’s resolution? Sadly only 9% of us will stick to the New Year's Resolutions.

I get it. It is very hard to stick to a new routine. It requires a lot of determination and strength. And as a high achiever, I know you have it. Because you see, motivation is important, but it is not enough to keep going when the going gets tough.

There are internal and external factors that determine if you succeed or not. But the power is within you! Keep reading to find out the five possible reasons you can’t stick to your new diet and what to do about it.

But before we start, get your copy of my e-book The Wholehearted Diet. Discover the power of plant-based eating, stress less, and have more energy.

Why It Can Be Hard to Stick to a Healthy Eating Plan

First of all, I want to congratulate you on starting something new. It is always exciting to decide you want to improve your health, pick a goal and go full force on it. It is the anticipation, the novelty, and the hint of success that keep us going.

However, many of us find building momentum and sticking to our new plan harder than we thought. If that is you, don’t worry, you are not alone. Statistics show that 91% of us won’t keep our goals.

There may be various reasons why sticking to a new diet failed. There may be internal factors such as your biochemistry. Your hormone imbalance may impact your appetite and make it that much harder to persevere.

There may also be external factors that are outside of your control. It could be an unexpected event that turns your life upside-down. And making any changes seems impossible right now.

I want you to realise that when you set a new goal of eating healthy or making changes to your diet, you embark on a new journey. It is a journey of building a habit. And to succeed with it, you need to have the best conditions possible.

Think how easy it would be to stick to your plan if you had time, resources, and motivation to do so. Yes, you are right! It would be pretty easy. So if you are finding yourself wondering why it is hard to follow through, consider one of the five reasons:

#1 The Goal Is Too Big

I love hearing about your health and wellness goals. I also love setting my own goals. There is tremendous power in setting goals.

Goals are like signposts. Without them how would you know where you are heading? It’s simple, you need goals to get what you want out of life.

If you are reading this, then you most likely are a high achiever, and you set goals. This part probably was even easy. The hard part starts when you find yourself you can’t stick to them.

When we set goals, we are usually motivated and have the energy to keep going. But as time passes, it gets harder and harder to carry on. What I like to do in such moments is to re-examine my goals.

Goals need to be attractive and challenging because as they say in business: boring won't sell. Also as humans, we want to achieve our goals instantly. Preferably right now.

I don’t know about you, but I get very impatient if I have to wait for too long!

This can lead to setting goals that are too big. Yes, you need to stretch yourself a bit, but your goals can’t be out of reach.

When goals are too big, or unattainable, it is very hard to build momentum. It is very hard to stick to them because you can’t see progress. And when you can’t see the results of your hard labour why carry on?

It is a good time to check if you are stretching yourself too thin. Don’t be afraid to readjust your goals to fit more within your current lifestyle. It is better to achieve smaller wins than give up.

# 2 All or Nothing Mindset

I am a recovering perfectionist. I do much better now, but I still have moments when I won’t move forward if everything isn’t perfect.

Unfortunately, perfectionism is a motivation killer. It also kills all progress and willpower. It is almost impossible to get any traction if you always check where you are on the scale of being perfect.

Perfectionism is closely related to all-or-nothing thinking. It is the black-or-white kind of thinking.

Have you ever said to yourself you won’t eat a healthy dinner, because you didn’t have time for a healthy breakfast, and you skipped lunch? Do you convince yourself there is no point in keeping up because you already missed a day?

We all fall into the trap of all-or-nothing thinking. I would catch myself thinking that it is the middle of the day already, and I haven’t done what I was supposed to do this morning, so now is too late to start.

The danger of all-or-nothing thinking is that you never start. And even if you manage to start, you will hinder your progress. What’s more, you are using rationalization to prove yourself right.

There are bound to be days when you don’t do 100%. There will be days when you won’t be perfect. There will be days when things happen, and you fall off the wagon.

You need to recognise that this way of thinking is a pattern. And as with any other pattern or thought habit, you need to catch it in the act and reframe it.

My new motto is progress, not perfection. Can you use this mantra to break your all-or-nothing thinking pattern too? And you can rationalize that a small step is still better than no steps at all.

#3 You Are Not Prepared

You set your goal and you got your plan ready. You mapped out what needs to happen to achieve your ideal weight or to improve your health through diet. And you were doing really well, to begin with.

But then you got stressed, you had to take on another project at work, your daughter found it harder to fit in at school, and your aging parents required more attention. All in a sudden, there is not enough time to cook or prepare your meals.

Or to even think about keeping your eating regime. So, you slip into your old habits.

Don’t be hard on yourself. The speed of life increases with every minute. There are constantly new responsibilities you need to take on. There are expectations you didn’t know about.

There are so many things that can derail your progress, that the only way to make sure you succeed is to be prepared.

Have you ever told yourself that you are going to do it only this time? You will eat healthier tomorrow, you will prepare your lunch in advance tomorrow.

I hate the tomorrow trap because it happens to me too. We often put off what needs to be done to do tomorrow. However, as they say, tomorrow leads to a town called nowhere.

You most likely can’t stick to your diet because you either leave your prep to the last minute or skip it all together. But preparation is key. It takes the guesswork out of the picture, and it makes you go further, faster.

How can you find time to prepare your meals in advance? When can you do the grocery shopping so you have healthy food at home?

#4 You Don’t Have a Peer Group

I have recently completed a seminar with Tony Robbins. We talked a lot about getting momentum and building lasting change. But the concept that kept coming up was peer group.

If you are an athlete or in business, you know exactly what I am talking about.

A peer group is a group of like-minded people who have achieved the goal you want to accomplish or who are striving to get the same results as you. In other words, a peer group is a group you want to hang around with.

You most likely had a group like that when you were growing up. It was a group you wanted to belong to. You dressed the same way, watched the same movies, and liked the same people.

The reinforcement from your peer group kept you going.

Do you have a peer group to support your weight loss or healthy eating journey? Do you surround

yourself with people who make it easier for you to stick to your new eating regime?

I remember when I was doing I quit sugar program. Nobody around me was doing it or even looking at doing something like that. I didn’t have anyone to talk to about the changes that were happening, or that I was on the right track by removing refined sugar from my diet.

What’s more, I had to redo the whole menu because it wasn’t catered to vegans. I had support from my partner, but I didn’t have a peer group.

I stuck to it and to this day I don’t consume refined sugars. However, it would be much easier if I had others around me doing the same. So, do you have a supportive peer group?

#5 You Are Not Consistent

Thursday nights were my yoga nights for a really long time. Every Thursday after work I would rush home, get changed and go to my yoga class. I loved the teacher, and the people there, and I had a great time.

I was looking forward to Thursdays because I loved how I felt after the class. And then the timetable changed. I tried other classes and different days, but it wasn’t the same. And there were weeks when I missed the class completely because I couldn’t make the time.

A simple change in a timetable hindered my success. Why?

Because I stopped being consistent.

Consistency is the most important element in sticking with your diet or any other goal you set for yourself. After all, you want to change your behaviour and that is never easy.

Consistency is needed to build a habit. You build a habit by repeating the same activity over and over again. You can’t build momentum if you are not consistent in your actions.

So be honest with yourself. Are you doing what you said you would do consistently? Do you do everything possible to keep going? Or are you using excuses as to why you can’t carry on?

It is normal to lose motivation or feel like you can’t keep up. If you feel like your energy drops, go back to your goals and your why. Check if your goals are small but challenging enough, so it is easy for you to keep the momentum.

It may be you are not consistent because the task is too big or takes too much time, and you can’t fit it into your schedule. If this is the case, then break it down into smaller steps.

Remember taking smaller steps is better than not taking any.

How to Stay Committed to a Diet

There isn’t anything more rewarding than seeing ourselves moving forward on our goals. So congratulations on going full force on changing your diet and eating healthier.

However, if you are finding it hard to stick to your new plan, try to re-examine your initial goal. Is it too big and you can’t keep up? Is it still attractive and challenging? If your goal is out of reach you will lose your motivation.

The true power is in taking small steps. When you take small steps, you can avoid all-or-nothing thinking and stay consistent. Be as prepared as you can and seek the support of a peer group and you will see yourself sticking to a new diet with ease!

Ready to get started with a plant-based diet? Get your copy of my e-book The Wholehearted Diet. Discover the power of plant-based eating, stress less, and have more energy.

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