Weight Loss Survey Why Dieters Fail To Lose Weight

Current levels of​ overweight and obesity,​ together with weight-related disease,​ have made weight control a​ major health priority throughout America. Yet statistics indicate that average weight reduction on​ conventional diets adds up to​ a​ mere 5-8 pounds per year. So why do we​ find dieting so difficult? According to​ a​ new survey(1),​ the​ answer seems to​ be: because we​ make 3 crucial mistakes. we​ don't have a​ good enough incentive; we​ allow ourselves to​ go hungry; and we​ can't cope with "bad days".

The weight loss survey conducted by annecollins.com asked dieters to​ select the​ three biggest problems they faced when dieting. the​ most common problems reported were: "Inadequate incentive to​ lose weight" (76%); "Hunger" (72%); and "Bad days" (70%). Although these results will come as​ no surprise to​ most dieters,​ they highlight the​ importance of​ motivation in​ the​ dieting process. we​ examine how these problems occur,​ and what steps can be taken to​ overcome them.

Why Do we​ Need an​ Incentive?
We gain weight because we​ take in​ more energy than we​ use. Either because we​ eat too many calories,​ or​ burn too few,​ or​ both. So if​ we​ want to​ reduce weight,​ we​ need to​ improve our eating and exercise habits. And this is​ not easy,​ because let's face it​ - old habits are not easily discarded,​ especially if​ they involve cutting out our favorite treats. we​ need a​ powerful incentive to​ help us change. Specifically,​ we​ need an​ answer to​ the​ question: "How exactly will I benefit from losing weight?"

When faced with this question,​ many dieters have no answer. Those who do,​ typically reply: "I'll feel better" or​ "my health will improve". Others explain they are trying to​ lose weight to​ please their doctor,​ or​ their partner,​ or​ simply because they are "overweight". Unfortunately,​ none of​ these reasons are strong enough to​ help us succeed. So when temptation strikes,​ we​ are unable to​ resist.

What Type of​ Incentive is​ Best?
Our motivation to​ lose weight must be based on​ a​ selfish,​ specific benefit. a​ good example might be an​ upcoming beach holiday,​ or​ a​ family occasion,​ or​ the​ achievement of​ a​ specific mobility or​ fitness goal. it​ must be as​ specific as​ possible (general benefits are useless) and ideally related to​ a​ fixed date. in​ addition,​ it​ must be selfish. Losing weight to​ please others rarely works. the​ advice I give to​ my clients is​ very simple. Do not bother dieting unless you have a​ good incentive. Because no matter how good the​ diet,​ no matter how valuable the​ exercise plan,​ unless you have a​ powerful reason to​ change your habits you won't succeed.

Hunger Kills Diets
Most dieters are still convinced that calories are their enemy. So the​ less they eat,​ the​ faster they are likely to​ lose weight. This is​ not true. in​ reality,​ the​ less we​ eat,​ the​ more hungry we​ get and the​ easier it​ is​ to​ fall into temptation. the​ human body is​ trained to​ eat when hungry and no amount of​ willpower will neutralize this basic urge. This is​ why binge eating is​ such a​ common response to​ low calorie diets.

How to​ Avoid Hunger
No rocket science here. Avoiding hunger simply means eating regularly throughout the​ day,​ and keeping your calorie intake above 1000-1200 per day. This prevents hunger,​ thus reducing the​ urge to​ overeat,​ and in​ addition helps to​ maintain a​ regular high level of​ calorie-burning.

Eat Too Much Rather Than Too Little
We all have days when we​ feel extra hungry,​ even when we​ are dieting. This is​ no problem - simply eat more! it​ is​ always better to​ eat a​ little too much than not enough. Might this delay your weight loss? Yes. But so what? Taking a​ few extra days to​ achieve your goal is​ not a​ problem. the​ real danger is​ not eating enough and ending up hungry and depressed. This is​ a​ recipe for a​ binge.

Bad Days and the​ Problem of​ Perfection
No dieter is​ perfect. the​ truth is,​ all dieters experience "bad days" or​ fall into occasional temptation. Sadly,​ most dieters insist on​ "being perfect". They cannot tolerate these lapses. So if​ (say) they visit a​ friend and end up eating 2 containers of​ ice cream and a​ box of​ cookies,​ they go to​ pieces. "I'm useless!" they cry. "I'm a​ failure!" Overwhelmed by guilt at​ not being perfect,​ they then quit their diet in​ disgust.

It's the​ Guilt That Does the​ Damage
In this situation,​ the​ actual binge is​ typically fairly harmless. I mean,​ we​ need to​ eat a​ huge quantity of​ food (3500+ calories) to​ gain even one pound of​ weight. the​ real damage is​ caused by the​ ensuing guilt. And this is​ what we​ need to​ address.

Guilt Comes From Trying to​ Be Perfect
All dieters make mistakes and this is​ perfectly normal. Having an​ occasional binge is​ no cause for alarm,​ far less guilt. Even my most successful clients - those who have lost 100+ pounds - had regular lapses. the​ difference is,​ they didn't see themselves as​ "perfect" individuals. So they felt "entitled" to​ make occasional mistakes,​ and so should you. Once you accept this,​ you will find dieting a​ whole lot easier.

We Need Support to​ Make These Changes
In order to​ overcome the​ 3 problems described above,​ an​ essential first step is​ to​ find proper support. This is​ just as​ important as​ choosing the​ right diet plan,​ because no matter how good the​ diet,​ it​ can't motivate you to​ stay on​ track - only people can do this. Dieting is​ ten times easier when you receive encouragement from others. So when choosing an​ online weight loss program,​ choose one with an​ active forum. Because at​ the​ end of​ the​ day,​ it's all about people. When we​ are alone and isolated,​ the​ smallest obstacle can seem like a​ mountain. But when we​ have people behind us,​ anything is​ possible.

1. Weight Loss Survey (Oct 2005) by annecollins.com. a​ total of​ 17,​403 subjects replied to​ the​ survey. They were asked to​ choose 3 from a​ list of​ 10 diet-problems. the​ results were as​ follows:
(1) Inadequate Incentive (76%).
(2) Hunger (72%).
(3) Bad Days (70%).
(4) Boredom (69%).
(5) Stress (60%).
(6) Interference From Others (51%).
(7) Too Much Eating Out (32%).
(8) Eating on​ the​ Run (28%).
(9) Ill-health (5%).
(10) Lack of​ Sleep (1%).

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