Top 4 reasons why dieters fail to lose weight

There are very few people who successfully achieve their weight loss target.

Despite that fact that two-thirds of people say they are on a diet to improve their health, very few are actually decreasing in size.

`Losing weight is one of the top resolutions made every year, yet only 20 percent of people achieve successful weight-loss and maintenance,` said Jessica Bartfield, MD, internal medicine who specializes in nutrition and weight management at Loyola University Health System`s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.

`Dieting is a skill, much like playing a musical instrument, and requires practice and good instruction.

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`You`re going to hit some wrong notes and feel frustrated, but eventually you will succeed and it will get easier.`

According to Dr. Bartfield, here are the top four reasons why many dieters do not succeed in losing weight.

The most important reason is underestimating calories consumed. Most people (even experts!) 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 favorite take-out meal or restaurant and select a healthy meal before picking up the phone or going out to eat.`

The other cause is overestimating activity and calories burned.

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

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