An estimated 45 million people go on a diet every year, and still, almost 2/3 of Americans are obese. Where is the disconnect? If you've ever gone on a diet and felt frustrated by your results, you're not alone! If you're currently working on a diet plan, try keeping these 5 things in consideration to stay on track and achieve your goals.

1. Sugar Substitutes

While diet sodas are better than regular, their sugar substitutes can affect some dieters differently than others. Some dieters observe a retaining of water as a side effect of the substitutes. If your weight loss has stalled, try cutting out the diet sodas and other sugar substitutes for a few days and see what happens. Many people will notice a drop in weight after cutting out the pop.

2. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is the time when your body and mind have the chance to reset. Not getting enough sleep strains your body and does not allow any recharge time, which can affect your weight loss. Try to get 6-8 hours of restful sleep every night and you'll notice the change in your attitude, your feelings of exhaustion, and the scale!

3. Not Giving Your Diet Enough Time

We all hear stories of folks losing 20 pounds of fat in their first month, but this can be deceptive. Many of the weight loss stories you hear do not account for the fact that many of these pounds are actually water loss, not fat loss. Remember that you did not get to your current weight overnight, so getting back down to your goal size will not happen overnight, either. Learn to develop better eating habits over time and you'll not only drop pounds but also have a better shot of keeping them off in the long term.

4. Stress

Much like the lack of sleep, excess stress strains your body and can prevent weight loss, especially if you're an emotional eater. Try to be intentional with your stress reduction and you'll notice changes on the scale and on your life much faster.

5. Not Eating Enough

Contrary to what you might think, eating too little does more damage to your diet goals than staying within a healthy caloric range. Going under 1000 calories regularly can send your body into “starvation mode” which can make you retain water and fat, as your body is not sure when the next round of nutrients will come. Starvation can also do damage to your bone density and immune system. Do not fall into the trap of some caloric restriction, as you may be doing more harm than good.

Always make sure to speak with your doctor for advice on the best way to begin a weight loss regimen for your body type. If you follow these 5 steps, you'll be on your way to noticing a difference in your clothing and on the scale in no time.