Fact—98% of all dieters fail. This statistic is beyond staggering. I find it amazing that people can even muster up desire to continue down a path paved with unyielding disappointment and frustration. But many do—with only failure to show for their efforts.
Instead of becoming part of that disheartening statistic, why not become part of the 2% that have achieved success instead? To pull this off, we will need to discover the secret to their seemingly impossible accomplishment. Let’s investigate.
If we turn to the fitness “experts,” we typically hear that dieters fail because they follow a flawed plan that slows down their metabolic rate and sets them up for the dreaded rebound. How do I know they say this? Because I used to spew the same BS! Hey, what can I say…20 years ago, when I started in this biz, I didn’t know any better. Luckily, since then, I’ve learned a few things!
On the other hand, if we seek out the latest best-selling diet author, we will be told that dieters fail because they aren’t following whatever the latest “secret” nutritional philosophy is. Then we’ll be pitched to buy this author’s book, which promises to help us achieve PERMANENT weight loss once and for all! Yea, right. I think we all know what happens next.
Believe me, there have been thousands of diet books written in the last 50 years. So why is our rate of dieting success more dismal now than ever? Obviously, we are not in need of another “latest and greatest” diet philosophy.
The truth is that if long-term, sustainable success is your goal, you must look within yourself. You see, your body is simply a physical manifestation of what’s going on inside.
If you have a negative body image or unresolved emotional issues, you will never achieve long-term success. Short-term mediocre results may be possible, but they will not last. You can only outrun your demons for so long.
The good news is that this issue is fixable. The first step is to be honest with yourself and acknowledge that an emotional issue is stopping you from achieving your goals. Then we can take it a layer deeper and figure out what your triggers are and work towards healing them.
Here are some issues that I’ve seen time and time again:
1) Food Addiction- Food, like a drug, is a highly addictive substance. Unfortunately, it’s not the cruciferous vegetables that get our addictive juices flowing. Instead it’s the junk foods that we gravitate towards to get our “high”.
And “I just love my chocolate” is no excuse or justification. I love chocolate too, but I choose not to eat it regularly, in an uncontrollable, binge-like fashion.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with occasionally treating yourself. It becomes a problem, however, if no matter how you try to rationalize it, you simply lack the self-control to say no.
That is addiction, my friend. And nobody who is emotionally healthy is addicted to any substance. (If you happen to know a happy, well-adjusted crack addict, please let me know so I can change my stance on this issue!).
2) Self Sabotage- Being overweight is often an unconscious choice. The reasons for this type of sabotage can vary from having a need to be a victim (now you can blame your metabolism/thyroid for all of your problems/failures), having an incredibly strong fear of intimacy (being fat makes you feel safe because you’ll assume that no one will want to be close to you), or self-hate (when you hate yourself, you’ll validate that hate by doing things that make you unhealthy and unhappy).
3) Unhappiness- If you lack pleasure in your life, you can often try to fulfill this need by indulging in foods that taste good. Junk food gives you a few minutes of pleasure that you are missing elsewhere.
4) Laziness/Lack of Discipline- Clearly everyone has different levels of strength and motivation, but I believe that laziness and lack of discipline are usually symptoms of deeper emotional stuff that is lurking beneath the surface.
Working on your emotional health often helps to remedy these undesirable attributes. In other words, when you really value yourself and you truly believe that your goals are worth fighting for, extreme effort comes pretty easily.
There are definitely other causes for failure than the ones listed above, but these are the big ones that I usually see. Be open-minded and see if any of these resonate with you.
If you don’t have any of the above issues, why have you failed again and again? The honest answer to this question must be discovered if you are to be truly free.
Instead of falling into the painful trap of running from your issues with food, and then denying that you are running, I challenge you to confront yourself head on.
Make changes in the areas of your life that are truly lacking. Once you do, the need to squeeze five minutes of pleasure from a brownie binge will soon dissipate.
It takes great courage to make real changes. But the relief, happiness, and success in all areas of your life (including dieting and looking great) that result from these changes are mind blowing. You want great fat loss results that are TRULY permanent? Change what’s going on inside first.
Now don’t get me wrong, the inside stuff isn’t all that needs to be addressed here! Any successful dieter needs a solid plan consisting of sound training and healthy eating. That goes without saying.
But, as you now see, focusing on the physical factors alone will only get you so far. By ignoring the root of your problems, you will always be controlled by them. Instead, face the truth, and find success waiting for you on the other side!