I’ve been in the personal training and life coaching business for years and these are the five most common reasons people don’t lose weight (or keep it off). These reasons aren’t stand alone -- they’re often combined -- which is why getting to the root of it all is the powerful key to lasting weight loss (and life!) success.
Not losing weight or losing it then gaining it back? Do any of these reasons resonate?
#1 Underestimating how much you’re eating and drinking
You can’t out-train a bad diet. Tis true. We tend to conveniently forget about that extra helping at dinner or get amnesia when it’s time to recollect how many glasses of wine we had with friends.
Do you reward yourself too much? “Oh, I just ran that 5K and now I get to indulge the rest of the weekend!”
It may be tedious but log everything you're consuming for 1-2 weeks so you can see it in black and white and start course correcting.
(FYI: There are a lot of free calculators that help you determine your calorie intake based on your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).)
Be mindful! You're probably eating on autopilot so slow down and experience your food. Use your senses to bring awareness to what's going in your mouth -- how's it taste? Look? Feel? Sound? Are you full?
#2 Overestimating your activity
We were made to move…all day. Not just sit at our desk and then do an hour workout after work.
Plus, we tend to do the same comfortable workout and our bodies get used to it and when that happens our results diminish.
Be mindful about getting in extra movement throughout the day. Set your alarm to go off every hour and get up and move around.
Do walking meetings (I love these!), walk 10 minutes after dinner or during your lunch break -- a few extra minutes done consistently is positive progress and get results!
Mix up your routine. If you’ve run on the treadmill at 5.5 MPH for as long as you can remember mix it up! Change intensity, duration, or even add in intervals where you mix-in weights between bouts of running.
#3 Vague reason why
Ever say you want to lose weight and tone up? Who cares, everyone wants a healthy and toned body. What’s your compelling big why that fires you up to get out of your comfortable bed in the morning and get in your workout no matter what?
Dig deep for your big why. It’s more than an arbitrary goal, it’s something that will change your life and/or others around you. It’s something that really matters to your soul and it’s something that WILL get you through the painful and tough times so you won’t quit.
Ask your self WHY at least five times — Why is this weight loss goal important to me? And keep asking…Why? Why? Why?
#4 Underdeveloped FLI muscle
Is your FLI (Feel Like It) muscle puny? Want it to grow big like Popeye’s bicep? Then you must atrophy your I Don’t FLI muscle by doing what it takes every day to reach your goal and bigger why. Yeah, you’ve got to do it when you don’t feel like it in order to FLI.
The five second rule. Wallow in ‘I don’t feel like it’ for five seconds and then get the hell up and FLI — do the action that moves you forward.
Make an extensive list of all the reasons you DO want to FLI. Train your brain to move toward your awesome future!
#5 Mindset and Inner Critic
I list this fifth but it’s actually #1 . If you’ve never done mindset or Inner Critic work chances are great it’s a big reason why you’re not losing weight (or keeping it off). Your critical voice is the devil and if you don’t know how to identify it and move past it you’re screwed (I know, it screwed me for decades.)
Your Inner Critic sabotages your weight loss by telling you you need to…
- Do it perfectly and then when you don’t that voice calls you a loser which typically leads to quitting or binge eating or some other destructive ‘sooth’.
- Compare yourself to others and measure up to a standard that your Inner Critic tells you is important and then if you reach it she tells you to get cracking, there’s a next level waiting
- Use negative motivation and control to keep your willpower high yet ironically willpower is what makes it all hard and trips you up
- Please others first which leaves no time for you and your health and if you do take time for you and your health your Inner Critic calls you selfish
- Play small because losing weight will be too hard, take too long, not worth the effort because you probably won’t succeed anyway, etc…
Of course you must STOP listening to and giving credibility to this voice. It does nothing for your life, health, or happiness AND it’s not even a real voice so get rid of it!
The first step in making it quiet is to be aware of it and then start questioning it. You’ll see with practice that it’s not valid, practical, or even true.
Which reasons resonated with you? Pick the one that is calling to you the loudest and start there.
Want positive pressure to take action? Post your accountability step in the comments. I'll be sure to reply and encourage you!