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Why Most Dieters Fail...And Why You Aren't One Of Them

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Old 01-07-2014, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Why Most Dieters Fail...And Why You Aren't One Of Them

I posted this on another forum a while back and thought you all here would benefit as well

I'm not the only one. I sometimes wonder why I should keep going. I sometimes get frustrated at the amount of foods I "can't have" and the imagined way people judge my choices. I get upset over the slowed and stalled weight loss. I get depressed at the image in the mirror never seeming to change despite the number on the scale. I'm not the only one.

Despite the fact we can easily lose between 1-2 pouds a week with proper diet and exercise, current statistics put weight loss at an average of 5-8 pounds...PER YEAR! YIKES! No wonder 70% of dieters give up! When faced with those stastics, suddenly my 70 someodd pound loss over the course of 16 months doesn't seem so bad. In fact, it seems flat out impressive.

But, why are so many dieters having issues? As Ian has expressed before, here on this board, a lot of us are "experts" and "pros", hitting the numbers most dieters dream of but think unattanable. What have we overcome that so many have not? According to a new survey, the answer seems to be (1)most don't have a good enough incentive(76%); (2) allow theirselves to go hungry(72%); and (3)most can't cope with "bad days"(70%).

Let's address each, shall we?

What is considered a "good enough incentive?" Surprisingly, most of the dieters that fail were losing weight to please someone else. In other words, they weren't selfish enough. WHAT?! Yep. We have to be selfish to want to lose weight successfully. We have to want to do it for ourself and no one else. Whether it is that upcoming Hawai trip, seeing a number lower than 300 pounds by a certain date, or refusal to be found half dead, you MUST be selfish in your weight loss to succeed. That doesn't mean you are selfish by nature. It just means you have to want this for you, and you alone. And we are all selfish, selfish people. For the first time ever, I like being called selfish in something. It means I am accomplishing the task of obtaining the holy grail of weight loss Plain and simple, 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. So be selfish.

Moving on...hunger. Why must dieters feel they must starve themselves? When I am hungry, I eat. I am sure you all do too. sure, I watch my calories, but I have a range I stay in. I know MOST days, I will be at about 1400 calories. But I allow myself to go up to 1700 when I am hungry. That is a sandwich. Or two eggs over medium with a slice of Canadian bacon. Or a handful of nuts with some Greek yogurt. Or a protein shake with a side salad and 2 ounces of lean meat. My point is, I do not starve myself. And I am sure all of you here don't either. Afterall, if you did, you wouldn't be here by now. Dieters fail because they don't pay attention to hunger pains or think they can't eat if they are hungry. Some people follow IE and some count calories, and some just know what works, but ultimately, paying attention to your hunger queues is key. Glad we all have that one down.

Bad days. Oh boy, do I have some of these. But I NEVER feel guilty over them. I mean, my binge days consist of a bowl of potato soup. That's a nice 950 calories on top of my 1700. Tally that up and I ate 2650 calories for the day. Get back on track and sure, I will probably see a gain, but it will mostly be water weight. Afterall, you and I both it takes 3500 calories to gain a pound. I am NOT going to beat myself up over one, two, or three binge days. But the dieters who fail? They do. The guilt gets to them. Much like a salad every once in a while will not make you lose weight, a hamburger every now and then will not make you gain weight. We aren't perfect. We are going to make mistakes and we are going to slip up. Successful dieters know this and accept this. And when they slip, they just get back on track.

So, there you have it. Top three reasons dieters fail. Now, aren't you glad you aren't one of them? Now, stop beating yourself up (me included) and get back on track you successful dieter you!

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Old 01-07-2014, 07:46 PM   #2
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That's good!

I'm a first time "dieter" and loser. Been maintaining for over a year give or take and give or take a few pounds. I'm 51 and never attempted to lose the weight before now. Why? BECAUSE of the 1st one (Good Enough Incentive).

I KNEW that if i tried it would 1)have to be for life, i would have to be ready to make permanent changes, otherwise WHAT'S THE POINT?? i wasn't in it to lose 20 lbs in time for summer, or fit into that new dress by such n such a time but if i did this, it was for life and for some reason i was never ready for that even though i was MISERABLE overweight. Which leads me to what i would have to do to make permanent changes--COUNT CALORIES. i would HAVE TO for the rest of my life portion control and be cognizant of calories. Until i faced that fact i wasn't ready and never would be. My motto that changed me courtesy of Einstein: Insanity is doing the same things over and over expecting different results. That was as key to me as portion control and calorie counting.
For some reason that May something clicked inside my head and i was just ready...

2nd one: Going Hungry. Eating became an event. Every time i put food in my mouth i sat down and focused on it. I also don't allow myself at all to OVER eat 6 days a week and it has to be healthy food that I ENJOY so i carefully chose foods that i love that were lower calorie and healthy.

3rd one: Will not work for a lot of people but i allow myself a day (Friday) each week where i can eat whatever i want in whatever portions i want and BOY DO I. But then Saturday i get right back up on that horse and exercise control until the next Friday. And it's doable for me, no guilt. I do think that is one of the biggest area's of slip up is we don't file a bad day and just get on with it but we sabotage ourselves for whatever reason and just slide.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:03 AM   #3
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In my opinion its due to a self-selecting sample of particularly dedicated people. I find that no matter what the benefits are, weight loss in general "sucks" and for most of my life, I felt like
Fun from overeating/not moving around >>>>> Maintaining or losing weight
I joined 3fc because my unhappiness with my weight exceeded my aversion to actually dedicating my weight loss, so it wasn't really joining 3fc that helped me, it was that spark that led me to explore effective weight loss options (and a great resource was 3fc) and actively think about dieting, instead of a small desire. Benefits came along, including tolerating cravings, paying attention to hunger, coping with bad days - I knew to do that in the past, but I didn't care enough to actually bother.

Even when I had periods of regain, once that spark hit me - I never lose that incentive to want to get to goal and maintain, so periods "off of 3fc" it was at least on my mind in a way that it wasn't "pre-spark." For me anyways, it was that feeling and I don't know what started it, or where it came from, but I am relieved that it is there.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:38 PM   #4
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Oh yeah motivation was the Number 1 reason I am succeeding this time.

After a long road I finally became a parent at 46 when we adopted. I realized I would be 60 when our daughter reaches 15. I saw my last grandparent have a leg amputated when I was 7 and die shortly thereafter from diabetes.

My beloved uncle who was my dad growing up has dementia and I am sure diet had to play.

So I had these things bubbling and then one day I couldn't fit into a jacket, by a few inches, I used to fit into. And I said ENOUGH. And it was like every cell in my body heard it. I also remember thinking there was no way I was going to remain fat, whereas the day before I was thinking there was no way I wasn't.

So I started exercising right of the bat. Then started thinking about my habits and why I was hungry and tired all the time. Which led me to target carbs and fast food.

And then I cut out snacks and candy and potato chips and, I am not going to lie, it was actually way easier than I thought.

What I didn't cut out was eating out. I just make better choices. But I have had more than my share of 'bad' meals out.

For me it has been OK. I just get right back to it. I am in this for life so I didn't have any time goals. It is in no way a 'diet'. There is no stopping point. But there are tweeks of course.

I thought if I could hit 250 by the end of the year that would be great. And I hit it was before that but then stalled in the 240s. Recently things have picked back up.

I'd like to hit Onederland in 2014 and think I will. But as long as I am getting healthier and doing the right things it is OK. Motivation/breaking point was definitely the key.

And also, and I know this is just me, but it gets EASIER. Why? I am not nearly as hungry as I was even though I eat fewer calories than before. I wish more people would believe this. If you are doing lifestyle changes correctly you will get less hungry and everything gets easier not harder.

Also for me I'd never go back. Moving, running, feeling great, energy is a gizzlion times better than the best food ever invented or that I've ever tasted. And I still have decadent food just not regularly.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:39 AM   #5
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Such an awesome thread! Thanks so much for posting, it has made a lot of sense to me! I am almost through the first week of my weightloss journey and I too am feeling the spark! I will do whatever it takes to stick to it!
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom View Post
Bad days. Oh boy, do I have some of these. But I NEVER feel guilty over them. I mean, my binge days consist of a bowl of potato soup. That's a nice 950 calories on top of my 1700. Tally that up and I ate 2650 calories for the day. Get back on track and sure, I will probably see a gain, but it will mostly be water weight. Afterall, you and I both it takes 3500 calories to gain a pound. I am NOT going to beat myself up over one, two, or three binge days. But the dieters who fail? They do. The guilt gets to them. Much like a salad every once in a while will not make you lose weight, a hamburger every now and then will not make you gain weight. We aren't perfect. We are going to make mistakes and we are going to slip up. Successful dieters know this and accept this. And when they slip, they just get back on track.SOURCE

Yes, yes, yes!! This is so important, and it is the main difference between how I was when I dieted in the past and how I am now. Now, I realize that success is about persistence, not perfection. I have vowed that NO MATTER WHAT I will not give up. That has helped me to maintain my weight loss for more than two years. I've even applied this to other areas of my life. This has helped me realize that in the past I would quit far too easily and too soon. Now, I will push through other challenges in my life. This one lesson has made a tremendous positive change not only in my weight loss, but in my life as a whole.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:36 PM   #7
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Fabulous post, as usual

I have failed many times, many, many times. So why is this time different?

First of all, I am not starving myself. I eat hefty 1800 cals per day. Before you go and say...well that is way too much, you must know that I also workout 2-3h per day, high intensity. I am talking about walking 4.7 mph speed on a treadmill (yeah..try that ) and circuit training AND swimming all on same day. So 1800 cals is not too much. Just right to fuel me.

I am exercising..see above.

I eat healthy. Well for the most part, excluding TOM time.

And last; I am ready. I am ready to unleash the skinny chick inside of me.

I am down 12 pounds since Jan 1st. 32 pounds total. I still have 17 more to go.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lin43 View Post
Yes, yes, yes!! This is so important, and it is the main difference between how I was when I dieted in the past and how I am now. Now, I realize that success is about persistence, not perfection. I have vowed that NO MATTER WHAT I will not give up. That has helped me to maintain my weight loss for more than two years. I've even applied this to other areas of my life. This has helped me realize that in the past I would quit far too easily and too soon. Now, I will push through other challenges in my life. This one lesson has made a tremendous positive change not only in my weight loss, but in my life as a whole.
Exactly this! It's all about getting back up on the horse and persistence. Guilt isn't your friend. Face it, you're gonna have days where you indulge. Enjoy it and then move on.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:57 PM   #9
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I am also a failer many many times. Here is the sad part. I am a Cardiovascular nurse so I know the extremes what bad diet and no exercise does to your heart and body but I did not care anyways. I was not overweight til I became a nurse, the stress of the job and eating on the run packed over 15 years 100 lbs. I have been on a diet probally 50% of my time as a nurse so what makes this time different????
I decided to be selfish. Yes I decided last june I was tired of doing for everyone which I love to do and not caring about my self. My blood pressure was over the top and I felt like **** when I was called in a code blue. Would you want an overweight nurse working on you that did not have the energy to do the job?? Of course not. I finally decided I was worth it and joined a gym and got a trainer who got me on track. I know this has to be a lifestyle not a diet. By the way now I am the first one at the code. I may not be at my goal but running ahead of the young chicks to get there.
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:41 AM   #10
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So much inspiration in this thread! Just what I needed.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:11 PM   #11
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This is an amazing thread!

I'm surprised, it's not more popular!

The thing that resonates for me, is why? Do we think? We are not important enough?

I admit! I have been selfish on this journey!

However, my selfishness, has given me, back the life I really want.

To be honest, the selfishness, does not amount to all that much time.

3-4 hours a week, for exercise.

Another 3-4 hours a week, researching yummy recipes, and shopping for food, and executing.

Then I dedicate 1.5 hours to Weight Watcher meetings.

Most of us waste more time than that watching tv, or playing games of hanging on facebook.

Selfish, not a bad thing. We deserve to treat ourselves good!
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:26 AM   #12
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Fabulous opening post and it's great to read the experiences!

I read somewhere once (maybe here) that it takes a certain kind of misery to lose weight - and for me that's absolutely true. I lost 50lbs because I was 'miserable' about my weight and how it held me back from having the life I wanted. At -50lbs one of my parents was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer but that kind of misery led to me eating my feelings and gaining every single pound back. All fifty of them! Back at my start weight and still reeling from the cancer diagnosis and the reality of the treatment, I met a guy, and I started to think maybe my weight wasn't holding me back after all.

The relationship had its ups and downs like all do, probably more downs than ups on reflection. And looking back I was eating because I was upset about that too. I broke off the relationship, and my parent went into remission from the cancer, and suddenly there I was again, where I had started, in that kind of misery about how my weight was holding me back from things I wanted.

So I hopped up on the horse and am happily back to losing again I'm doing it for myself and myself alone, and it feels FANTASTIC! I take care of myself and I'm kind to myself, and the very occasional 'cheat' doesn't derail me, because I want it bad enough for myself this time.

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Old 02-11-2014, 02:01 PM   #13
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I'm so glad so many people like this! And I LOVE reading how so many of you figured this out eons ago and have been applying it prior to me ever posting it. Crazy how we suddenly just "become aware" like that. And it makes a world of difference between "I mean it this time" and " I REALLY mean it this time!"

YEAH EVERYONE!
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:24 PM   #14
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I would say my experience so far has been a little different. I always thought about rock bottom and feared I was headed there. I'm approaching my 40s and really scared of going into them an obese person. But I haven't hit rock bottom, I'm scared to even think of what rock bottom is.

For me it's not about being miserable enough to change, it's about accepting who I am now. I don't need to hit rock bottom in order to propel change. I'm going through some tremendous changes right now that are not focusing on change, but acceptance. Accepting myself as I am, admiring myself for who I am, grateful to myself for who I am and so forth. I'm also taking great pains to aleviate my stress and anxiety and let go of my pain, fear, guilt and anger that I destructively aim at myself.

I've been dieting (and failing) for years. And I've finally realized that my journey has led me back to me - home base. I've realized that I don't need to change any external factors to be healthy. I don't need to be angry with food or blame food, I don't need to scrutinize society, I don't need to schedule my meals, I don't need to punish my hunger, I don't need to finish everything on my plate, I don't need to eat to be polite, I don't need to follow someone else's food rules. It's the me and the now that I focus on. This line of thinking has very naturally led me to IE without hardly even noticing and all of a sudden I'm seeing results despite of myself.
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