Billions of dollars are spent each year on diet pills, programs and surgeries, yet weight loss success rates overall are low, and the problem of obesity continues to grow in this country every year. If you've tried and failed to lose weight, you are not alone! So what's going on here?
Well, there are many possible reasons why people fail at losing weight. Even if weight is lost successfully for awhile, it may return again! And again. And again.
Here are some of the reasons why people fail at losing weight and keeping it off:
1) Lack of Decision/Commitment – We tend to have great intentions, but don't commit to a decision to do what it takes. Tony Robbins has said "A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided." Anything worth having is worth working for. A decision is backed up by taking the actions necessary to see the results you are striving for. As I keep reminding my kids, especially when it comes to chores and homework, "Thinking about it and doing it are two different things!"
2) Playing the blame game – We can be masters of excuses, but it comes down to taking personal responsibility. It's ultimately not the fault of your parents, your slow metabolism, your busy schedule, or any outside factors. Chances are that making bad choices, eating too much of foods that harmed rather than nourished your body, and not being active had a lot to do with it. Zig Ziglar said in one of his seminars, "For 24 years of my adult life, by choice I weighed well over 200 pounds. I say by choice because, you see, I have never accidentally eaten anything." Even if you have obstacles, there are ways to overcome any obstacle if you make the effort to seek out your options.
3) Wanting instant results – Becoming overweight doesn't happen overnight, and there is no HEALTHY way to lose it overnight. I love an insurance commercial I've been seeing lately where people's problems just disappear in an instant. A guy is standing in front of a full-length mirror and… Poof!- his spare tire disappears and he has a flat belly. If only it was that easy! But unfortunately, that is not reality. Reality is that you CAN get that flat belly you want, but it is a process. Look at this venture as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary "diet." You must create lifelong healthy habits if you want to lose weight and keep it off, and that takes a bit of time and effort.
4) Lack of Planning – If you take a road trip from where you are to an unfamiliar destination several hours away, what happens if you don't prepare for the trip? If you don't have a map, plot your course, gas up the car, bring money and supplies, carry a phone… you won't know which way to turn coming out of your driveway, no less have what you need to get there! Just like a road trip, much planning must take place before you jump in and try to move forward. First, consider where you are now, and where you want to be (destination). How big is the gap between the two points? How long will it reasonably take to get there? What route will you choose to get to your destination? What roadblocks do you anticipate along the way? What support will you need along the way? Whatever your goal, mapping out your journey will help you move ahead efficiently and not be slowed down or thrown off track by obstacles and challenges.
5) Lack of Consistency – Not always, but most of the time when I talk with folks who are discouraged about their lack of progress, the number one problem is lack of consistency. Yes, they are making changes, but they give themselves more credit than they actually deserve. I used to tell my husband, "You have more exceptions than rules!" And our minds are good at playing tricks on us. Since the subconscious mind doesn't really distinguish between what we think about and what we actually do, our perception is often that we are doing more than we actually are. A good way to track your consistency is to keep a log of your exercise and eating. You can't argue with what is in black and white. A log can also help you detect patterns and pinpoint areas for improvement.
6) Perfectionism – On the other hand, life is not perfect, and your plan won't be 100% perfect either. Life happens, and you want to be able to roll with the punches and also enjoy special moments. So leave room for life in your plan. If 95% of the time you are sticking to a plan of nourishing foods, portion control, and exercise, then go ahead and enjoy that holiday dinner, birthday party, or whatever. Just make sure to get right back on your plan afterwards. I suggest building a few 'free' days into your plan, so you can splurge now and then without feeling guilty for 'falling off the bandwagon.' You haven't fallen off if it's part of the plan. And chances are, if you are eating healthy and controlling your portions consistently, those junk foods at the party aren't even going to appeal to you as much anymore and you'll eat less than you think you will:)
7) Lack of Nutrition – Losing weight and being healthy is not just a matter of burning more calories than you eat. It's about equipping your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Without proper nutrients, your body may not even have what it needs to metabolize your stored energy properly. What would happen if you put propane in your car's tank instead of unleaded gasoline? How long would it run? It's the same concept with our bodies. Processed, modified, nutrient poor 'food' may keep you going for a little while, but your body will break down and systems will fail if you don't feed it the nutrients that it needs. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I see commercials that tell people, "Eat whatever you want and still lose weight!" Follow that program and you could be digging yourself an early grave with your fork. Of course you want to enjoy the tastes of your food, but don't let taste or simply taming hunger pains be the reason you eat. Eat to fuel the detailed, intricate, efficient and amazing vehicle that is your body. 'Cause unlike a car, you don't get to trade this vehicle in for another one if it crashes – not in this life anyway!
If you have tried again and again unsuccessfully to lose weight and keep it off, you are not alone. And you do not have to face this challenge alone! Having a plan that fits your lifestyle, the right tools, and adequate support are some of the key factors in the stories of those people who have achieved and maintained success. I would be honored to serve you and accompany you on your journey to abundant health and success! I invite you to share what your greatest struggles are with weight loss in the comment section below, or click here to work with me.
To your health,