If during the summer holidays we allowed ourselves a few more vices, with the arrival of Autumn the word diet becomes topical again. A fact that is not surprising, given that more than one in four Italians (29%) declares to follow a diet or a controlled diet and that a similar quota (29%) say they will follow it over the next six months.
It detects it the Health Observatory of UniSalute created with Nomisma to investigate the habits of Italians in the field of health and prevention.
But the control of one’s diet is not only aimed at having a better relationship with one’s body and liking oneself more, it is mainly a choice to preserve one’s own physical well-being; 54% of Italians, in fact, see good eating habits as the fundamental factor for health.
As important as nutrition is considered, diets “Do it yourself” are extremely widespread: 31% of Italians, in fact, follows or will begin to follow shortly, diets found on the internet or known through word of mouth, while “only” the 24% refer to dieticians and nutritionists. L’11% entrust or will entrust their eating routine to the advice of your personal trainer, while 12% he will ask for help, if he has not already done so, to your GP.
In the face of these data, there are many who declare that they are not satisfied with the results achieved by the diet that they followed. A few pounds lost, or quickly regained, meals that are not satisfying for the palate or that still leave a sense of hunger and indications that are too rigid and difficult to follow. Result: frustration and abandonment of the meal plan. But why does this happen? And how to avoid it? We talked about it with Dr. Monica Artoni, Dietitian Nutritionist.
Doctor, why do diets often fail?
“The reasons for the failure of a diet are many, there is no one-size-fits-all reason. Starting a diet means working on changing your habits and here is the environment that surrounds us, the time available for preparing meals, stress have an important influence on the success or failure of the path.
Diets do it yourself and / or too strict, based on the exclusion of certain foods and on excessively fiscal weights, are the first cause of abandoning a meal plan.
Nutrition must be sustainable over time and the deprivation of certain foods that we like inevitably leads to a loss of control in which we get to eat excessive quantities of these foods, ending up inevitably feeling guilty and abandoning the meal plan. In this case, let’s not blame ourselves, but ask ourselves if the diet we are following is suitable for us or reflects the stiffness characteristics above.
Another factor that plays a fundamental role in the success of the course is determined by stress. When we are stressed we tend to eat poorly, to favor junk food and to use food as a form of gratification and compensation and here is that emotional hunger which is often the cause of abandoning good eating habits. In this case, the support and help of a professional who knows how to listen and guide you towards the right path to take becomes fundamental.
Returning to the expectations, it may happen that if the initial results do not correspond to the expectations we set ourselves, the loss of motivation and the consequent abandonment of the diet, due to not having satisfied what we had imagined, triggers. This is why, even here, the figure of the nutritionist or other specialist is necessary to guide the correct choices. To aim realistic goals and being accompanied along the path become basic prerogatives for obtaining long-lasting results ».
So what are the first steps to take to start this path correctly?
«First of all, as already mentioned, the first step is to contact the specialist (dietician, nutritionist, dietician) who will be able to provide all the necessary tools and a meal plan appropriate to the patient’s goal, thus avoiding do-it-yourself often dangerous to health.
Even before that it is important that reflect on awareness and motivation related to the path that will be done, without expecting magical “schemes”, which promise immediate results. Working on changing bad habits is the only goal to aspire to if we want the improvement (body and mind) to last over time.
Let’s imagine this path like a car trip, first of all we have to decide the destination (objective), then a check up of the vehicle will be carried out (analysis, anthropometric measurements etc.), after which we will have to take care to choose the right fuel (food) and in the end we just have to enjoy the journey ( positive mental attitude). Only in this way can we be sure of having obtained effective and lasting results ».
In the gallery above, other tips from Doctor Artoni to start a diet on the right foot.