Why Fat Loss Diets Dont Always Work For You

In a perfect world you would decide to lose body fat….and BAM it happens.

But we live in an imperfect world and it doesn’t happen like that.

Losing fat can be easier for some people, but then very tough for others.

There might also be certain times when it’s easier/tougher for you.

In today’s blog, I want to go over the biggest reasons why I see online clients and prospecting clients fail with their fat loss diets.

Reason #1 Eating too little right away

While quick progress may result in better buy-in initially, quick weight loss progress also means a large energy deficit.  Read HERE on what an energy deficit is.

This large energy deficit usually means that the combination of exercise and food intake is at levels that are unsustainable after a few weeks. 

Not to mention, the larger the deficit, the more likely you won’t see muscle growth, or you may lose muscle in the process (depending on how lean you are). 

Less muscle = worse body composition. 

Instead, aim for a more modest energy deficit. A good rule of thumb is about .25-.5% of bodyweight per week. 

170lb= .4 to .8lbs weight loss per week. 

If you haven’t had issues with hunger in the past or you are experienced at fat loss dieting, then you can most likely increase this deficit and be fine.

But people who haven’t ran a successful fat loss phase in the past should look at a slower rate of loss and a smaller energy deficit to avoid excessive amounts of hunger and cravings, low energy levels, etc.

Reason #2 Not a good time to diet 

You try to diet during times when you’re stressed or super busy. 

I am all for getting uncomfortable, but sometimes it just isn’t a good time to try and diet for fat loss and you are better off waiting and just focusing on getting stronger, improving eating habits/better habits in general, and building muscle. 

The holidays are another example of this. 

Other examples of this would be something like having a newborn, stressful times like losing a job, a new job, financial issues, loss of a loved one, etc.

Fat loss dieting is a stressor on the body and adding that on top of a very stressful time is a recipe for disaster.

Times when you are traveling, are also a good example.

Reason #3 All or nothing thinking 

Your mindset towards fat loss is off. 

This is the person who has one drink and then is like well I messed up so now im going to have 10. 

The same applies to food, once they go off the plan, things just derail. 

You have to get away from all or nothing. 

Stop thinking about your fat loss diet as sudden death overtime. If you make a mistake then learn from it and move on. It isn’t a zero-sum game.

If you have a “bad meal”, then get right back on it the following meal. If you have a “bad day” get right back on it the next day. 

If the client has these tendencies, our first goal is to work on this before going doing another fat loss diet. 

Reason #4 One foot in one foot out

You aren’t committed to the process. 

One day you are dieting for fat loss, then the next day you dont care. Then Sunday evening rolls around and you are back on a fat loss diet. 

You have to be committed to the process. 

This is why with online clients we dont always spend time in a fat loss diet, we work in phases. 8-12ish weeks seems like the sweet spot. 

You cant expect to see great results with poor/mediocre work.

Reason #5 Expecting progress too quickly/expect progress 100% of the time. 

You think that after 2 weeks you should have your dream body. 


If your weight goes up one pound from one day to the next you get discouraged and either restrict more OR give up. 

This stuff takes time. Either you are on board with that or you will struggle to see true long-term results. 

There are going to be some good days, but there are also going to be some bad days. But sticking through it all is important.

Reason #6 Too big of changes

You try to make too big of changes. Im going to go from no exercise to 7 days a week. 

Im going to go from no focus on my nutrition to only eating chicken and broccoli (or going keto). 

Again this may work for a few weeks, but long term it won’t work. 

The trick is getting uncomfortable but not making too big of changes that it just isn’t sustainable. 

This is why with online before they go into a fat loss phase we make sure they have good habits in place to put them in a better position to lose body fat.

Reason # 7 Poor environment setup 

Your environment sucks. 

You have tasty foods all around you.  You can only use so much willpower before giving in. 

Even having foods that are easy to eat easily available, even if they are healthy, can be a way to overeat.

Your environment plays a massive role in your success or lack thereof.

Make sure you improve the environment around you. 

Reason # 8 Trying to diet too often

You are an endless fat loss dieter. 

The only thing you ever focus on is fat loss. 

This is mentally and physically exhausting. 

With online clients, we work on getting them away from always dieting for fat loss (we still do this in phases if the client wants) and instead focus on getting stronger and building muscle at times. 

Read HERE about nutrition periodization.

Reason #9 Not in the best position to lose body fat

Hormonally you aren’t in a good position to lose body fat.

You dont have the proper habits in place to lose fat.

As I mentioned earlier, maybe you have always been dieting for fat loss.

This is why it’s important to not just go straight into a fat loss diet.

With online clients we spend at least 4-6 weeks in a baseline/health phase where we work on the clients limiting factors to get their bodies set up to lose body fat easier.

Some common things that are off:

  • Sleep
  • Stress management
  • Diet quality
  • too much training or suboptimal training
  • Relationship with fitness/nutrition

In this initial phase before fat loss we work on these things so their body is more receptive to fat loss.

A healthy body is a responsive body.

Read HERE about the 3 step nutrition model we use with clients.


Our fat loss program is designed with these in mind so you can actually lose fat and maintain it long term.

If you are ready to finally end this frustration of your fat loss diets never actually working, fill out the link HERE and let’s talk about how we can end that once and for all.

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