Why Over 90% of Diets FAIL (And What To Do Instead)

Why do diets fail?It seems that wherever you look, there’s a new diet claiming to solve your health issues like magic. While diets can absolutely help you lose weight quickly, they unfortunately don’t work in the long-run. Did you know that 90-95% of people who go on a diet gain the weight back or more within 5 years?

This unfortunate statistic is one of our biggest points of inspiration here at Smart Diabetes Solutions. That may sound strange, but we use this as a guide of what not to do! Today I want to show you our method for making sure you get the results you want, and that they last for life.

Before we get into how, let’s look at why 90% of diets fail:

  • Diets generally deprive you by eliminating certain foods you have strong relationships with (bacon or ice cream, for example). This is one of the top reasons people “fall off the wagon.” Going cold turkey is an extremely challenging if not impossible way to make lasting changes.
  • Dieting is temporary. Creating a weight loss goal linked with a timetable creates a situation where you can easily find yourself off pace with the plan. When this happens, people often chalk up the diet as a “failure,” quit, and try another “diet.” This is usually why people who diet will end up trying multiple types of diets and go through “yo-yo” weight loss.
  • Some diets require too much time commitment. Most people are on the go and don’t have a lot of time to do the meal prep or cook for an hour and a half each day. Those of us accustomed to very busy schedules don’t have the time to weigh foods, count calories, and cook complicated meals.
  • Some diets are too expensive. Depending on which diet you choose, you could end up having to purchase expensive supplements and foods that don’t work into your current financial situation. Not everyone has the money to buy organic, all natural superfoods to “exponentially boost your metabolism,” or daily frozen pre-packaged delivered foods.
  • Diets restricting calories are extremely bad for your metabolism. Consuming calories, in part, boosts your metabolism. You must keep your metabolism running at a high level if you’re going to burn calories throughout the day. Diets that are highly calorie-restrictive can actually slow your metabolism and your weight loss.
  • Dieting or eating right is only part of the equation for weight loss and management. You must add physical activity to your daily regimen if you’re to successfully keep weight off long-term.

As you can see, many diets ignore many important human needs! So the question now is what do you do instead?

Creating a Healthy Lifestyle You Love on Autopilot

If you’ve been following along with us for our 21 Day Jumpstart Challenge, you may already know that we focus on a series of gradual transitions and habit building.

(Note: Want to get started on the path towards well-managed diabetes and great health? We’d love to see you inside our 21 Day Jumpstart Challenge! It’s free to join and is an excellent way to build the healthy habits that will allow you to reach your health goals.)

Smart Diabetes 21 Day Challenge

Just like you likely didn’t develop diabetes overnight, you don’t need to create the perfect lifestyle overnight. What created your current health condition has a lot to do with your “operating system,” or the system of habits that happen on autopilot on a daily basis.

Part of our philosophy is that by gradually swapping out unhealthy habits for positive ones, you will be “re-coding” your operating system so that the healthy habits now take place on autopilot.

This method allows you to swap out your bad habits for good ones slowly so that you don’t feel the pain of giving up the comfort of your routine all at once, which makes it so much more likely that the new habits will actually stick! No more worrying about “falling off the wagon” – this method gives you confidence in knowing that by simply relying on your healthy habits, you will continue to stay healthy and feel great.

We also believe that a support system is one of the most important factors in your success.

According to a study from John Hopkins University, 90% of people with a life threatening illness who made healthy lifestyle changes would revert back to their old lifestyle within 12 months without peer support.  However, those studied with life threatening illness who were supported by their peers had an 80% chance of reaching their goals and making them stick! That’s huge!

This is exactly what we’ve build our 21 Day Challenge around:

The challenge is built around community! We’re overwhelmed by the kindness and amount of participation inside the challenge group (click here to join it if you haven’t yet.) This support system has resulted in some pretty amazing results for our participants just like you.

The support factor plus the gradual transition method is what is going to help you create great habits that stick and actually control your diabetes and health in the long-run.

Plus, we want to make it even easier for you to make progress during the challenge!

To help you accomplish these goals even faster, we’ve put together a variety of resources to help you through the challenge with the greatest possibility of success!

Meal-plan-kitOne of our favorite resources is our 21 Days of Meal Planning Kit. Meal planning is by far the most asked-for resource we get inside the challenge group, so we’ve created just that!

This Meal Planning Kit is going to give you three pre-made, simple and delicious menus to follow each week. They also include shopping lists and recipe cards for every recipe on the menus!

We are so excited by the results challenge participants are getting from these plans! Here’s what it did for Mary:

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 12.01.55 PM“Went on my shopping excursion. I had the shopping list for all three weeks so I was on a mission to save both time and money. Sure this took planning and a bit of time, but buying just the appropriate quantities from the lists resulted in me spending less than $50.00 for 3 plus weeks of meals. Eating has never been this inexpensive!” 

-Mary K.

Want to learn more about what the Meal Planning Kit can do for you? Click here to check it out and save $5!


Meg is the co-founder of Smart Diabetes Solutions. She is passionate about clean eating and helping Smart Diabetes members create their best selves.


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