Why We ‘Fail’ To Lose Weight
Dieters quit dieting for all sorts of reasons, but in my experience, the root cause of most of these reasons is simply lack of motivation – specifically, lack of incentive.
We want to lose weight – we may be DESPERATE to lose weight – but within 3-4 weeks of starting a diet, we give up in disgust, and spend the next month or so trying to bury our sense of failure under a mountain of fattening food.
All because we didn’t have a proper incentive.
How come? Because dieting involves a change of eating habits. Usually, it involves giving up (or severely restricting) the type of food that has instant yumminess because it’s loaded with sugar, or fat, or both. It’s the sort of food that we often turn to for comfort, when we’re feeling bored, or angry. So when we give it up, we feel that we have nothing to turn to – nothing to comfort ourselves with. This feeling of deprivation gnaws away at us until we quit dieting.
Having a proper incentive will reduce this sense of deprivation, and make it easier to stick to your diet for longer.
So what sort of incentive do you need?
It depends what turns you on. It might be a sun holiday, or a skiing holiday, or a trip to Las Vegas. Or maybe a new set of clothes. Or simply the chance to reinvent yourself in time for Thanksgiving, Christmas or your birthday.
Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what your incentive is, so long as it gives you a powerful personal reason for losing weight. Dieting to please someone else – whether it’s your partner, your doctor, or your mother-in-law – doesn’t work. You must lose weight for yourself. So choose something that turns you on and makes your life better.
Here’s an unusual example that worked for one of my clients, whom we’ll call Jo-Anne.
Jo-Anne was a widow in her late 40s. Her husband had died 6 years previously in a car crash. One day she got a look-you-up call from an old male friend, also widowed, who was planning to move back to the state, in 5-6 months time, after a career in New York. It was exactly the excuse Jo-Anne was looking for. since the death of her husband she’d gained almost 50 pounds – from 130-180 – so she set to work. Cutting it short, her friend arrived 6 months later to meet a fabulous-looking Jo-Anne weighing in at about 135 pounds. One year later, they were married.
Okay, losing weight with a guy in mind may not appeal to everyone, but that’s not the point. The point is, it worked for Jo-Anne. She told me that whenever she felt miserable or bored with her diet, she remembered WHY she was dieting and the benefits she hoped to gain, and suddenly felt re-motivated.
That’s exactly what you need to find. Get yourself an incentive that re-motivates you when problems appear. Believe me, it makes dieting a thousand times easier!