A guide to making sure your diet doesn't fail

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Not counting calories properly & poor sleep contributes to your diet downfall…

woman eating cake
Despite two-thirds of people starting a diet in the New Year, only 20% of those ever actually lose weight.

'Dieting is a skill, much like riding a bicycle, and requires practice and good instruction,' explained Dr Bartfield, who specialises in nutrition and weight management at the Loyola Centre for Metabolic Surgery.

Speaking to Science Daily, Dr. Bartfield added, 'You're going to fall over and feel frustrated, but eventually you will succeed and it will get easier.'

Here are her 4 reasons why dieters fail to lose weight…

1. Underestimating calories

'Most people underestimate the number of calories they eat per day. Writing down everything that you eat- including drinks and "bites" or "tastes" of food - can help increase self-awareness.

Pay attention to serving sizes and use measuring cups and spoons as serving utensils to keep portions reasonable. Food eaten outside of the home tends to be much larger portion sizes and much higher in calories.

Try to look up nutrition information of your favourite take-out meal or restaurant and select a healthy meal before picking up the phone or going out to eat.'

2. Overestimating calories burned

'Typically you need to cut 500 calories per day to lose 1lb per week. This is very difficult to achieve through exercise alone, and would require 60 minutes or more of vigorous activity every day.

A more attainable goal would be to try to increase activity throughout the day and get a total of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week.

Buy a pedometer and track your steps; try to increase to a goal of 10,000 steps per day. But be careful - exercise is not an excuse to eat more!'

3. Poor Timing of Meals

'You need a steady stream of glucose throughout the day to maintain optimal energy and to prevent metabolism from slowing down.

Eat breakfast every day within one hour of waking up, then eat a healthy snack or meal every three to four hours. Try not to go longer than 5 hours without eating a healthy snack or meal to keep your metabolism steady.'

4. Inadequate Sleep

'Studies have shown that people who get fewer than six hours of sleep have higher levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite, particularly for high-carbohydrate/high-calorie foods.

In addition, less sleep raises levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which can lead to weight gain.'

How are you getting on with your New Year diet? Leave a comment below to be in with a chance of winning a £100 goodie bag

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