Food is survival, it’s love, it’s comfort – and with the plentiful choices we have it can also become a problem.
Let’s face it – we’re assaulted by commercials advertising food all day long. Hamburgers, French fries, chocolate, cake, soda, chips, beer…man, if you bought everything they were selling you would be hospitalized.
An incredible $20 BILLION in revenue is generated by the weight loss industry through books, programs, drugs and surgery!
Wow, maybe it’s time to rethink my niche?
All kidding aside, those numbers are staggering and clearly illustrate our preoccupation with food and fitness.
Quick Guide: Why Do So Many Weight Loss Programs Fail?
- Unrealistic Expectations
- Lack of Sleep
- Food & Denial
- Programs are too Restrictive
- Peer Pressure
- Lack of Nutrients
- Caloric Intake too Low
- Emotional & Hormonal Issues
- Weight Loss Not Approached Scientifically
Unfortunately, dieting success rates are abysmal. 65% of those who lose weight through a healthy program gain it back within 3 years and incredibly 95% of those that used crash diets regain the weight.
So why do so many people fail when they embark on a weight loss program?
Here are our top 10 takeaways:
1. Unrealistic Expectations: How many of you look to celebrities on the beach for inspiration? Or maybe you have some clothes in your closet that fit when you were in your 20’s. No matter how you slice it, these images or goals may actually work to your detriment. Remember celebrities can afford trainers, chefs to prepare meals, spa treatments and may even use plastic surgery to achieve their fantastic physiques. Then there is photo shop…Remember to keep it real. Weight loss happens one pound at a time. Be the best that YOU can be.
2. Lack of Sleep: Sleep is a big part of weight loss. Get at least 7.5 hours per night to keep your hormones in balance. If you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to reach for food and drink that will give you a quick and easy jolt of energy – think coffee and doughnuts. Lack of sleep also slows the metabolism making weight loss very difficult. Early to bed, early to rise, with a great exercise routine if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
3. Food & Denial: To be frank most people lie to themselves about the caloric content of the food they eat on a daily basis. Come on, admit it – raise your hand if you ate oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch, lean chicken and veg for dinner and then conveniently forgot about that Starbucks Venti Mocha Latte. Hey it’s only a coffee! Sheesh – but that coffee just cost you a whopping 450 calories!? If you want to lose weight and keep it off, GET REAL. Don’t mindlessly snack and be sure to account for EVERYTHING you eat and drink throughout the day.
4. Too Restrictive: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. You are focused on your goals and you want RESULTS NOW. While in theory this sounds great– the reality is it’s unsustainable, unless you are a very dedicated person. Slashing your caloric intake, exercising like a fiend and ousting sugar even in natural form is not something you can maintain long term. Unfortunately this approach makes you feel as if you’ve failed every time you step out of line. A diet should be about healthy eating and taking care of yourself, it should not be punishing. All or nothing approaches have a tendency to end in binge eating when you fall off the wagon. Take a deep breath and loosen the reins. This is not a sprint it’s a long distance race so adopt a program that will become part of your life.
5. Peer Pressure: It’s sad to say, but quite often our friends and families are unwitting saboteurs. It’s hard to turn down a night on the town with people you like in favour of carrot sticks and water. There are also those who would like to see you fail. Be sure to surround yourself with people who are supportive of your goals. I think it’s important to connect with people who are on the same path – it provides a bit of additional positive energy on your journey.
6. Impatience: We live in a world where people want instant results. I have been dieting for 1 FULL week! How can these jeans still be tight? Losing weight may happen quickly – but losing fat is a different story altogether. If you can fit it into your budget, it’s great to work with a nutritionist who can go through the realities of losing weight with you.
Reality Check: Those pounds did not accumulate in a matter of weeks – it takes time to gain weight and it will take time and effort to lose it.
7. Lack of Nutrients: Yes you want to cut down the calories, but you need to ramp up the nutritional value of the foods you are eating. It’s incredibly important that you fuel your body properly or your diet will be a resounding failure. Superfoods are a great way to make ensure that you are filling in the nutritional gaps. Check out Health Magazine’s Guide for Slimming Superfoods for more information.
8. Cutting Caloric Intake Too Much: If you eat too little – you will NOT lose weight faster. Your metabolism will slow down. The body interprets the lack of food as a threat to survival and a stressor, which means your cortisol and adrenaline will go up and your body will try to hold on to the fat. Be sure to eat enough food while you diet or you could hold on to those pounds you’ve been trying to shed.
9. Emotional & Hormonal Issues: There are a number of emotional and hormonal issues that could impede weight loss. If you have any of these issues shedding pounds could be more difficult:
- Excess Insulin
- Inflammatory Disorders
- Toxic Estrogen
- Low Testosterone
It makes sense to have a full physical before you embark on any weight loss program. The good news is all of the above-mentioned issues respond well to exercise and healthy eating so you are on the right track – but a doctor’s input could help you optimize weight loss.
10. You Don’t Approach Weight Loss in a Scientific Way: Yes weight loss is a science. Most people think they can eat a few salads, lean meat and eliminate sugar and voila! They will drop the pounds like mad. Unfortunately most ill conceived diets actually slow down your metabolism and setting off the hunger mechanism nature out in place to keep you from starving. Consult a nutritionist for a solid eating plan that sets out achievable goals.
As you can see there are a lot of weight loss pitfalls. No wonder so many diets fail! IMHO diets are for the birds. I am a huge fan of lifestyle changes. If you want to be fit and healthy adopt of style of eating and exercise regime that is both sustainable and enjoyable.
Life is short – too short to torture yourself with meagre eating and brutal exercise that may or may not get you to your ultimate goal. With so much information out there regarding the science of eating there is no reason you cannot find a way of life that is fun and can be incorporated permanently into your world.
I personally eat clean 80% of the time and have eliminated processed foods altogether. Yes, I know, chips and soda taste great – but they are just not worth it from an overall health perspective. If you want to attain those great life insurance rates you sure won’t do it by eating at McDonald’s.
The other 20% of the time I eat what I like within reason. A little ice cream every once in a while doesn’t kill weight loss, binging does.
I highly suggest consulting with a nutritional professional. It may cost a bit of money but will save you lots of frustration in the long run.
Your weight can cost you a pretty penny emotionally, physically and financially. We love helping people save money on life insurance premiums. If you need to find out where you stand, how you might be rated, or how you can save money on life insurance by losing weight, give us a call today at 888-603-2876 . We are happy to answer all your questions!