To understand why diets succeed in the short term and fail in the long term, it is helpful to look at the different components of dieting. We are using the acronym DIETS to describe the Decide, Inform, Eat, Track and Support components of dieting.
Diets guide you on deciding what to eat. Low-carb, low-fat and meal-plan diets greatly restrict your choices while calorie counting diets provide food choice freedom with calorie restrictions.
To be successful, you need to be informed of what foods you should be eating. The low-carb, low-fat and meal-plan diets provide relatively simple “do and don’t” lists, while the calorie counting diets require you to inform yourself of the calorie content and portion size information.
The heart of any diet is in the eating. During your meals and snacks, are you able to stay on course or are you reaching for a forbidden food?
Calorie counting diets have a tracking component to help you keep within your daily limit. There are log books, worksheets, and a myriad of apps to help in this endeavor.
Successful diets often require difficult habit changes. Support in the form of friends, family, groups, coaches and nutritionists is often enlisted to navigate those changes.
We think the reason that many diets fail in the long term is because most people will drop any heavy handed decide, tracking and support scaffolding.
You need to develop the healthy habit of eating the right foods, in the right amounts, to be successful in the long term.