It’s no secret that losing weight, and more importantly, losing fat is tough business. There are many variables in play, and sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in all the confusion. Fortunately, the solutions usually aren’t that complicated, and oftentimes, it only takes one little tip for a light bulb to go off and get you back on track towards your goals.
So, just off the top of my head, here are 25 reasons why you might not be losing weight…
Keep in mind that although many of these may apply to you personally, there are probably a few that really undermine your progress more than the rest of them. So, while you’re reading through this list, make a mental note of the top two or three that are most likely to make a difference for you personally.
1) You eat too much. I’ll get this one out of the way in the beginning because it’s probably the most prevalent issue at hand. In a culture where practically any food you could ever want is available within minutes, it’s no surprise that we have an over-eating problem. The bottom line is that if you are eating more food (ie calories) than you’re burning on a daily and weekly basis, you will NOT lose weight. You must – and I repeat – you MUST have a calorie deficit to lose weight. So, if this could even possibly be an issue with you, then I’d start right here because nothing else will work until you achieve the calorie deficit – nothing. That’s right. And the rest of these tips are null and void if you don’t adhere to this one right here. Let that sink in for a minute.
2) You’re completely sedentary most or all of the time, and if you do exercise, it’s not hard enough or often enough. Pair up an over-abundance of food with historically unprecedented levels of inactivity and sedentary behavior, and you have a recipe for health disaster, and weight loss becomes exponentially more difficult. There is no direct (ie causal) link between exercise and fat loss that I’m aware of, but there are tons of indirect (ie correlative) reasons to prioritize physical activity if you want to lose not just weight, but fat – which leads me to my next point.
3) You focus too much on losing weight rather than losing fat. Outside of extreme ranges, total weight is not an indicator of health and fitness. Your body composition is a much better indicator, and too many people pursue weight loss rather than fat loss because they like the simplicity of using the scale to track progress. But the truth is that the best course of action is always to specifically target fat loss. It’s not just the most effective strategy; it’s also the healthiest one. And health is important for things like survival, quality of life, and longevity, just to name a few. But you probably don’t care about those things, right?
4) You reward yourself with food. Now, I understand that it’s a form of positive reinforcement to give Fido a treat after he does a trick, but here’s the thing: you’re not a dog. So, if you’re having a weight loss problem, don’t reward yourself with food. You’ve got enough things to worry about. So, don’t compound the problem.
5) You thought food was for pleasure, rather than for fuel. Food is fuel for the human body, and that’s the bottom line. That’s not to say you cannot and should not enjoy delicious food all the time. It’s an issue of perspective, and until you adopt the perspective of food being fuel, you will always have eating troubles.
6) You blame other things for your failures instead of taking personal responsibility for your circumstances. It’s so easy to point the finger, and in many cases, you would be perfectly justified in doing just that. Whether it’s an increasingly unhealthy food supply, multi-million dollar marketing campaigns that convince us to buy junk food, or socio-economic conditions, among many other things, there are definitely tons of factors working against us. But let me tell you something true: you do have the power to defy conventional thought and take responsibility for your health and your weight. And this is an absolute requirement for healthy and sustainable fat loss.
7) You work so hard at the gym and in the kitchen during the work week, but it all falls apart on the weekends. Even just a single day of reckless eating and inactivity can undermine an entire week of discipline and hard work. Two days can be catastrophic and can actually have you losing ground. Accept that healthy living is for life – not just for when you feel like it or when it’s convenient/easy. If you have a bad habit that undermines your progress (e.g. binge eating, binge drinking, sugar feeding frenzies, etc.), then start addressing it and working on ways to manage and eventually eliminate it.
8) You’ve tried too much, too soon – and you’ve striven for perfection. This is all-too-common and particularly when people are making New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you’ve made big plans to change your body for the better. You’ve got the perfect diet picked out, a customized meal plan, and an exercise program that would match a professional athletes training schedule. You’re ready to go and your program couldn’t be any more effective. If you actually manage to begin this massive undertaking, it might seem easy at first, but you get burned out after a few days, and have all but given up after a week or two. So, here’s the thing: changing habits is never easy, especially when trying to change several of them at once. Focus on making gradually lifestyle adjustments rather than all-or-nothing attempts. Excellence should be your goal, not perfection. It’s the more effective strategy in the long run.
9) You tried dieting, rather than lifestyle adjustment. There’s a statistic that gets tossed around the weight loss industry that 95% of dieters fail, and of the ones who fail, the vast majority of them rebound to gain more weight back than they originally lost. Whether or not that 95% figure is 100% accurate, it isn’t that far off from the truth. So, why don’t we take a lesson and admit that dieting doesn’t just suck, it doesn’t even work for the vast majority of people. Clearly, we need something else. And that something is a system for lifestyle adjustment. The difference is that diets are temporary, quick-fix solutions that you go “on” then “off.” Diets are a means to an end. Whereas, a lifestyle approach focuses on building healthy habits into your daily schedule that will help you not just achieve your weight loss goals, but also keep the weight off for the long haul because the new habits will support ongoing health and fitness. Speaking of systems…
10) You tried a random collection of “cherry-picked” strategies rather than using a fine-tuned, proven system. One thing I like to tell people is that their body is a current representation of their past and current daily habits. In other words, everything you’ve been doing so far has given you the body you have right now. This can only mean that in order to dramatically change your body, you must change everything (or at least, almost everything) about the way you live your life. It’s going to take a lot, and far more than just a few tips for most of us. So, rather than try to randomly piece together some winning strategies, instead consider adopting a fool-proof system like Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle that is science-backed and guaranteed to work if you do the work.
11) You never had goals to begin with. Goals don’t just identify where you’re going, but they also clarify how to get there in your mind. Goal-setting has been repeatedly confirmed to be a vital first step in any successful body transformation, and over-looking this crucial step is the surest way to getting nowhere fast. Set laser-specific S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals (specific, measurable, accountable, realistic, time-bound, emotional, reviewed often) and give yourself a deadline to accomplish them.
12) You “wing it” instead of making plans and sticking with them. If you just go with the flow and hope for the best, then you won’t be ready whenever something rocks the boat and doesn’t align with your goals. And here’s the thing: life is a pretty rocky boat all the time. Maybe I’m the exception, but it’s not often that things are constantly going smoothly for me, and if I don’t have a plan, then it’s that much easier to foil under pressure. Having a plan and preparing in advance to stick with that plan is always better than having no plan at all. ‘Nuf said.
13) You over-obsess about minor details instead of sticking with the primary effective strategies. This is a big one, and especially since the advent and surge of information sharing on the internet. Too many people are guilty of latching onto a new, hot trend that promises to deliver all their hopes and dreams in only five seconds a day. When in reality, their time and energy would be much better spent focusing on the strategies that we already know work (e.g. good nutrition, physical training, etc.). With so much information available at our fingertips, it’s becoming easier than ever to mistake the forest for the trees. So, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And don’t make the mistake of paralysis by analysis. When in doubt, take action on what you know will work and reevaluate your decision based on your results. Speaking of trivial matters…
14) You ate too many miracle berries and dark chocolate, and you drank too much red wine for your own good. Yes, I’ve read the headlines, and even some of the research studies about the health benefits of drinking red wine and how dark chocolate is good for your heart health, but here’s the thing: all the miracle berries in the world won’t help you lose weight and improve your health. And hopefully it doesn’t take a miracle for you to figure this out and admit to yourself that it’s the truth. So, stop buying into all the myths that the fruit-loops like to throw around to make themselves money off of what the general public doesn’t know or understand, and start doing the things that you know that you know that you know DO actually work.
15) You give up at the tiniest hint of difficulty. Let’s face it. Fat loss is hard work, especially when it is done healthfully and naturally (and thus, permanently). Anyone who tells you it’s going to be easy is lying to you. So, roll your sleeves up and get your boots on (or your sneakers) because it’s going to take some real work. And you’ve got to commit to yourself that you’re going to do it ahead of time. It’s certainly not going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it. When the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of making changes in your life, that’s when you’ll be ready. You can either spend 90 minutes a day in pain, or spend 90 years of your life suffering.
16) You’ve tried to do it alone. If there is one thing that makes fat loss easier, it’s when you don’t have to do it alone. Oftentimes, one of the best things you can do is find a support system to keep you on track and hold you up when the going gets tough. A training partner, or even just an accountability partner, can be just the help you need to see it through to the finish – and then some. But it doesn’t have to be just one person. You can join a group, and the internet has made this infinitely easier with places like the Burn The Fat Inner Circle (where I’m a member and the Training Department manager) thriving with activity and thousands of people supporting each other in their fat loss goals. It’s certainly not easy to lose fat, but it’s much easier with help.
17) Your sweet tooth (or other food craving/addiction) gets the best of you at all the wrong times. Sometimes, all it takes is for one unexpected treat or snack to push you over the edge and into a calorie surplus. A surprising amount of snack foods and goodies are incredibly dense in calories, and just a few bites can undermine an entire day of planned meals. So, anticipate the unexpected and come up with a plan for how to deal with it (e.g. complete avoidance, self-control, calculated indulgences, etc.).
18) You followed a low-carb diet for far too long. A low carb diet can be a great short-term solution for fat loss, especially to break through a plateau. But for most people, going on a low carb diet for extended periods of time isn’t a good idea, especially extremely low carb diets. It all comes down to your individual carbohydrate tolerance (aka carb sensitivity). Some people do much better on high carb diets, and others do better on low carb diets. So, what’s most important is figuring out your level of carb tolerance and then focusing on meeting your individual needs by eating complex carbs as the primary source. Save the low carb dieting for the wannabes or for those times when you need to push through a fat loss plateau.
19) You never identified your body type to begin with. Believe it or not, but there are great variations between people of different body types, and it directly affects how you lose weight. Naturally, understanding what type of body you have will help you to figure out the best course of action for fat loss. So, if the terms ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph are completely foreign to you, and you’re not sure which one, or ones, that you are, then be sure to do a little research to figure it out for yourself and adjust your plan accordingly.
20) You thought spending money on supplements, diet pills, or fat burners would cure your problem. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a pill that would enhance everything about our lives? Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but life doesn’t exactly work like that. I know, the truth hurts. But the great thing about the truth is that it’s always true. So, repeat after me: “I cannot buy better health. I cannot buy better fitness. I cannot buy fat loss.” Thank you. Carry on.
21) You thought starving and depriving yourself was the only way to lose weight. You don’t have to eat like a bird to lose fat, and eating too little can actually do more harm than good by weakening your metabolism and sabotaging your long-term progress. The key is finding a happy medium by using a conservative calorie deficit. For most people, that’s between 10-30% below your baseline calorie needs. If you push beyond that 30% deficit point, then you increase the risk of having your body enter starvation mode and kick in all sorts of health and fat loss hindering survival processes.
22) You thought you had to eat “healthy foods” and deprive yourself of tasty and delicious food in order to lose weight. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you absolutely don’t need to deprive yourself of “the good stuff” in order to eat well and lose fat. What is usually the case is that you simply don’t know how to eat foods that are not only healthy and nutritious, but also delicious. There’s a learning curve involved with preparing any new type of food, and those that want to not just eat good food, but enjoy good food will have to learn how to cook delicious and nutritious meals. Like anything worth having, it just takes time and practice. And when trying to decide whether or not to eat a slice of cake, or just have a beer with the guys, etc., just remember that nothing tastes as good as being lean feels.
23) You made excuses that you know aren’t true. There is no shortage of excuses out there, but the truth is that you are NOT: too old, too young, too fat, too injured, too sick, too far gone, or too anything else. People have a knack for overcoming incredible amounts of adversity to achieve something that is important to them, and the truth is that most people have it much harder than we do. I can virtually guarantee that someone older/fatter/weaker/etc. than you has achieved the exact same goal you have, and if they can do it, then you can, too. Everyone has excuses, but that doesn’t stop some people from achieving their goals no matter what. Be one of those people.
24) You followed a generic, one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter diet program that doesn’t account for your individual needs. There is no such thing as a perfect diet for everybody. The perfect diet is always – ALWAYS – personalized to an individual’s needs and goals. Therefore, whenever looking for a diet or nutrition program to follow, it must be customizable to an individual’s needs and goals. In the same breath, stay away from diet programs that espouse dogmatic policies and uphold restrictive rules about eating – telling you to only eat certain foods and not others, etc. Your fat loss program should not limit or constrain you. It should liberate you and provide a way to achieve your goals in the way you want to achieve them. Your individual preferences are also important. I mean, seriously, who wants to eat the same stuff all the time – especially when it’s not the things you’d like to be eating?
25) When you failed or hit a plateau in the past, you gave in and gave up. Nothing works forever – not even the best, most customized fat loss program will work forever because that’s not the way the human body works. We eventually adapt, and therefore, plateau is inevitable. Change is the only constant we can hold onto. The key is to never give up, and just keep going – no matter what. So next time you hit a plateau, or a particularly difficult time, instead of giving up: reevaluate your plan and your past results, start over based on the feedback you’ve received, and get right back onto the wagon. You’ve only truly failed if you give up. This next point will help prevent that…
26) BONUS: You stopped believing in yourself. Now, stay with me here because this isn’t just some positive thinking mumbo-jumbo. And I know, I know. I only promised 25 tips, but this one is so important, I just couldn’t leave it out. In order to enact positive change in your life, you must – you MUST – believe in yourself. And not just believe in your general abilities as a human being, but believe that YOU can do it – and will do it. Yes, you. Right now – even this very moment – you have the power to alter the course of your life and change your destiny. I’ll quote two men whom I admire to get this final point across:
“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without power to change our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.” – Steven Pressfield.
“There’s no secret to getting started. You simply decide and then take your first step. With each subsequent step, the next one becomes easier.” — Tom Venuto
So, sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with yourself, and admit to yourself that you really can do it, and that you can start right now.
How to Actually Benefit From This Article and Finally Start Moving Forward With Your Weight Loss Goals
It’s never too late to be who you might have been. George Eliot
Now that you’ve read through the list, and have picked out your top two or three things to work on, please acknowledge that this article was not for your information so much as it was for your action! Don’t just read about these things and make a mental note. You’ve done that too many times already. Instead, pro-actively seek to correct the problems that you’ve identified. And don’t wait until tomorrow. Start today, and right now if you can. A good first step is to write your list out on paper and post it somewhere you’ll see it.
And if you read through the list above, and found that several of the items applied to you personally (not just a few), then take action on some of the advice right now. If you feel like you need a change, admit to yourself that it’s not going to be easy. If it was, you would have achieved your goals by now – and probably long ago. So, do yourself a favor and make it as simple as possible for yourself to succeed. Take the guesswork out of the equation and use a time-proven and results-proven system that many others have used already. Don’t go it alone. Believe in yourself and banish the excuses from your mind. They are only an illusion anyways.
The Bottom Line
If you’re sick and tired of getting nowhere and you want to put a stake in the ground that TODAY you will commit to changing your life – once and for all – then pick up a copy of Tom Venuto’s of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle system. I’ve personally seen it work over-and-over again for people from all walks of life. It’s truly the best there is, and it’s the go-to system that hundreds of thousands of people have been using for the last decade to “burn the fat” together. You really can’t go wrong with it. Or, you could go it alone like you always have, and see how that works out, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Click Here to Learn More About Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle and Achieve Your Health, Fitness, and Fat Loss Goals Once and for All
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