So you’re trying to lose weight and had some great success only to put it back on?
That is literally the worst part about trying to lose weight. There is nothing more demeaning than spending all those hours working out, restricting your diet, and telling all your friends about your amazing plan to lose 20lb by Christmas only to get half way there and then putting all the weight back on.
You could have just watched TV and eaten chocolate and be the same weight as your are now. The statistics for the amount of people who lose weight just to put it back on are down right depressing.
A recent study from the International Journal Of Obesity showed the following statistics:
- 36.6% of those who lost at least 5% of initial body weight kept it off
- 17.3% of those who lost at least 10% of initial body weight kept it off
- 8.5% of those who lost at least 15% of initial body weight kept it off
- 4.4% of those who lost at least 20% of initial body weight kept it off
Now this may make you feel very unmotivated to even attempt to lose weight since you’ll probably just put it back on. However as human beings we tend to sabotage our own effort to reach our goals without really knowning it.
So here are some of the top ways to you may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
1. You’re too focused on achieving your goal weight
This may sound a little contradictory but stay with me here.
If you currently weight 190lbs and you desperately want to weigh 160lbs, you may be so focused on achieving that goal that you’ll do anything to get there. You’ll restrict your calories as much as you can handle and you’ll probably workout like crazy.
This will work great for a while but then the effort you are putting in starts to cost more than the benefit you gain. So you will usually slip into old habits and give up on losing weight.
The Solution: Focus on being healthy, AKA eat good food and only eat until you’re 80% full. Exercise everyday, even if it’s just a 20 minute walk in the morning before you start your day. Take small steps at changing your lifestyle. You’re body is resistant to change so give it time to adjust.
If you focus on being healthy, you’ll automatically start to lose weight. You can’t not lose weight if you are living a healthy lifestyle. If you focus just on losing weight, you are putting the cart before the horse.
2. You try to change too many things at once
Your will power is a limited resource.
You only have so much before it runs out. Time and time again people make the mistake of changing everything in their life to achieve their weight loss goal.
The human body and mind doesn’t like change. It is extremely adaptable and this is how we as a species has evolved so much. However this did occur over millions of years!
The Solution: Focus on changing only one thing at a time. Once you have fully mastered changing that aspect of your lifestyle, move onto another one.
3. You have unrealistic expectations
Some people get motivated by reality TV shows such as The Biggest Loser and this is a good thing. What people don’t understand is that losing more than 1-2lb per week is unrealistic.
Remember above where I said the body is resistant to change? This applies to your physical fat loss as well.
FYI in the Biggest Loser, each “week” isn’t actually a week. Sometimes they go upto 3 weeks between weigh ins and they have some seriously intelligently designed work out programs and eating plans. Unless you can afford to have a nutritionist and personal trainer on hand every day, you won’t get anywhere near the results they get on the Biggest Loser.
The research also suggests that the faster people lose weight, the more likely they are to put it back on. There have been many cases of previous Biggest Loser contestants putting most of their weight back on after they left the show.
The Solution: Don’t try to lose 10lbs every week, just 1-2 lbs every week is healthy and will result in a higher chance of long-term weight loss
4. You starve yourself
No doubt that in order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume.
However this does not mean that you should starve yourself. If you feel as though you are starving yourself then you are restricting yourself too much. If you keep doing this your body will rebel and no matter how much will power you have, you will binge!
Then the next day you’ll get back on the wagon and it’ll happen again and then you’ll give up completely. Remember what I said about your body being resistant to change?
The Solution: Consume enough calories for your body weight and do exercise on the top. Eat protein, fats and fibre to keep fuller. Give yourself one day per week where you eat just a little extra.
5. You’re a lone ranger
Have you told anyone that you are trying to lose weight?
Social support is one of the biggest indicators that you will succeed. Human being are social creatures and there is a reason that people are more likely to succeed if they have support from friends and family.
If you don’t tell anyone about your goals and you go it alone, then you are so much more likely to fail. Because if you give up, you don’t have to tell anyone. No one will find out about it. This makes it so much easier to give up.
The Solution: Tell some people close to you about your goals. If you can, get a workout buddy. Keep a food dairy and give it to your partner or a close friend every week. This way you are more likely to eat healthy because you are now accountable.
I hope you identified with at least one or two of these “risk factors” for regaining weight back. Let me know in the comments below.