The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes You Can Make
Habits of the highly unsuccessful
Posted Jul 16, 2012
I have counseled hundreds of people for weight loss, some have been successful and others have not. Here are 10 habits of people who were not successful. These habits appeared to be key factors in their failure.
2. UNDERESTIMATE THE EFFORT — Unsuccessful losers often underestimate what it takes to lose weight. For example, someone might say, “I walked twice this week, but didn’t lose any weight!” Successful weight loss requires a keen awareness of how much effort is necessary to impact energy balance. In this case, burning 300 calories from walking is not sufficient to lose a pound, which is 3,500 calories. Consider what it takes to eliminate 3,500 calories for each pound and ask yourself how you can make a plan to do this.
4. TAKE IT PERSONALLY — Sally steps on the scale to see that she has gained 2 pounds. She is devastated. “I am hopeless! I have no self-control! I am so lazy too.” Sally is making a small weight gain into a deficit of personal character. Gaining weight is not a matter of your personal character, it is simply a matter of a mathematical equation gone off balance. Your task is to identify how that happened and how to fix it. Attributing your weight loss struggles to a personality insufficiency has a terrible impact on motivation and most often leads to failure.
5. DIAGNOSE SELF WITH RARE METABOLIC DISORDER. If a Volkswagon and a Ferrari leave Boston for NYC at 10am, which car will never get there? Huh? Of course both will get there, it’s just a matter of when. And who cares how fast, it is not a race! Some people assume that because their weight loss is slow that they must have a metabolic deficiency which makes them incapable of weight loss. Even if you are older, post-menopausal, and have a slow metabolism, you can still lose weight, it just goes slower. Never believe that you are physically incapable of losing weight though, because not only is it not true, but even just toying with the idea will undermine your motivation.
7. STRESS — People who are encased in an extremely stressful life that doesn’t allow much or any time for self-care are routinely unsuccessful at weight loss. For many people, losing weight is more about restructuring their life to allow them time to engage in healthy habits than it is about learning what to eat. If you are so overcommitted that you truly cannot find the time to exercise on most days of the week, you may be under too much stress. We only get one life. Make time to take care of yourself.
8. VASTLY UNDERESTIMATE INTAKE — We all underestimate our dietary intake, but the more accurate you can get, on both good days and bad, the more successful you will be. If you purposely skip a diet journal on a “bad” day you might be struggling with the ability to be fully aware and accepting of your habits. I challenge you to record your intake on a day you know will be bad (e.g., summer BBQ party) to practice tolerating the bad feelings that arise when you see that you’ve overeaten.
9. SKIPPING MEALS — Not eating for long periods of waking time is associated with eating more calories overall. People who skip meals perceive themselves as eating less because so much time goes by without eating. The truth is when we skip a meal, not only do we stockpile later but in the meantime our metabolism takes a hit. I suggest not going more than about 3 hours without eating something. This will regulate your appetite, blood sugar, and metabolism, all of which are essential to weight control.
What are the habits of successful people? Read the stories of Real Life Biggest Losers to find out!