This may be your first or tenth attempt at trying to lose weight. You’ve probably even lost weight in the past, but it never seemed to stay off. You might be in the throes of dieting RIGHT NOW and thinking, “what am I doing wrong?” or “this weight loss is just not happening fast enough for me”. We hear you.
Weight loss is probably one of the toughest ventures that a person can undertake. It’s even more frustrating when those efforts seem fruitless for the slow, gradual rate of weight loss that’s often recommended by health professionals (you know, 1-2 pounds per week max). Well, we’re certain that you’re probably tired of hearing this messaging and just want to see results that are significant and lasting.
Insert burst bubble here. We joke, we joke, but honestly though, we’re always going to be as transparent as possible. Remember, the story of the race between the rabbit and the turtle? The moral of the story tells us that ‘slow and steady wins the race’. We like to apply this same theme to weight management. We know that weight loss is a massive struggle. However, we also know that the best kind of weight loss is the type of weight loss that sticks.
Now let’s consider what may be holding you back from losing weight effectively.
Seven Reasons Why You’re Not Successful with Losing Weight:
1. You’re doing it for someone/something else
This may single-handedly be the worst reason to lose weight. Why? Because it’s not about you! When thinking about weight loss, the motivation should be intrinsic in nature (triggered by your own internal or personal motivation) and not for extrinsic reasons (external factors motivating change), such as being told by your doctor to lose weight or that you need to fit into a bridesmaid dress for your best friend's wedding in three months. Losing weight for anyone else (aside from you) is a sure fire way to fail.
2. You’re not being realistic
Just picture it: you’re revving up to start your weight loss journey. You’re super excited. You don’t currently exercise or cook at all, but you’ve decided to set up a plan that involves weight training seven days per week and batch prepping all of your meals for the week ahead. Now imagine this: day one starts and you can barely make it through the first workout or you’ve prepared the same dinner for the entire week and by day three you’ve had enough. Guess what? The likelihood of you continuing to muddle through this plan is slim to none.
3. You have an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach
As an extension to the previous point, not being kind to yourself and allowing yourself a break from your weight management plan can also set you up for failure. Maybe you didn’t get to the gym today or you had some chocolate at work. So what? Does that mean that your exercise efforts to date have been useless? Will you never allow yourself to eat chocolate, have carbs, or indulge in a few glasses of wine ever again? We think not...One day missed or one indulgence are not reasons to punish yourself.
4. You’re not mentally prepared
No one said weight loss was easy. If anything, the process of weight loss can feel like a mind game on many levels. Whether it’s mental preparation in the form of getting your depression under control before trying to lose weight, getting through that mental block of finding exercise that’s appealing, or preparing yourself for comments about your appearance or physique, you need to have the right mindset before embarking on your weight loss journey.
5. You think diet and exercise are the only things that matter
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘energy in versus energy out’ or maybe how ‘eating less and moving more’ is the magic answer to weight loss. This couldn’t be more wrong. Oh. So. Wrong. If weight loss was as simple as eating less food and exercising more, there wouldn’t be nearly as many people struggling to lose weight. Remember our previous blog post, Weight Management: The Big Picture (Everything That’s Not Nutrition) ? We got into the nitty gritty details about what factors affect weight. Spoiler alert: it’s not as simple as just food and exercise.
6. You lack support
You might be thinking right now, “why does it matter if someone supports my weight loss efforts?” Well, consider this: when was the last time that you’ve made a big life decision without consulting someone that you trust? For example, when you bought your first house, you probably talked it over with your parents before taking the plunge. Maybe, before buying your new car, you spoke to a few of your close friends to get their suggestions or input. Alternatively, maybe you live with a spouse or family member that doesn’t support your interest in eating better or leading a healthier lifestyle.
Any big life change often goes more smoothly when the people that you trust and who care for you are supporting you. If you feel like there’s no one in your life right now that would be supportive of your weight loss journey, consider external sources of support, such as a weight loss support group online or in person.
7. It’s just not a good time
Fact: Just because you want to lose weight right now, doesn’t mean that it’s a good time to lose weight. Whaaaaaattttt?????? You heard us right. Weight loss requires a lot of dedication and commitment over an extended period of time. If you’re not able to prioritize yourself right now, wait until you’re more prepared.
The information in this blog was shared to help you get thinking about how to set yourself up for success. Hopefully, you’ve just read this post and are now able to identify any areas that may be holding you back from being successful with your own weight loss pursuits. In a world that constantly feeds into the idea of yo-yo dieting, we always hope that our messaging helps clear up the many misconceptions about weight management, while supporting your efforts towards being the best you that you can be.
All the best,
Adam, Sarah, and Stephanie