Every year nearly 45 million Americans make the choice to attempt weight loss through diets, but few are successful.  Chances are good at some point this year you or someone you love will attempt to improve their health through diet and exercise, here are some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen people make during their weight loss journeys.

1) You are bullying and shaming yourself.  If you’ve ever lost and then gained weight, you know the feelings of shame, embarrassment and withdrawal are strong and painful.  Many people try to bully themselves into choices or incentivize their weight loss with new clothes, pedicures and other such rewards which backfires for many when it worsens the guilt around food and body image.  I encourage my clients to start showing themselves compassion NOW.

Solution: Start respecting your body as it is right now because this process takes time.  My #1 suggestion is to buy a couple new outfits you feel good in to accommodate your body right now.  This will boost confidence and take away the sense of extreme urgency to lose weight which can lead to unsustainable measures and further mental harm.

2) Your numerical goal is unrealistic.  The time and effort you need to reach a certain size or number may not be realistic for the amount of time you have to give.  This is a huge struggle for new moms trying to get back into their pre-baby size.  They crave their old body but might not be able to dedicate the time needed to get there because they are sleep deprived, their body composition has changed, and their precious new baby requires a lot of time and energy. This can also be an issue for clients who have lost a lot, regained and want to get back to their lowest.  It’s hard for them to understand their lowest weight may not be the best weight for them to still be able to enjoy life.

Solution: Try focusing on consistent behaviors that lead to better health.  Example: Set a movement goal that works with your bodies needs and time constraints.  Lastly, I strongly encourage clients to choose a weight range rather than set number (because weight fluctuates) and be flexible finding the weight they are able to maintain while enjoy foods in moderation and movement they love.

3) You are hyperfocused on your weight loss goal and not focused enough on learning lifelong behaviors get to the goal.  My favorite question to ask people is: “If you weren’t trying to lose weight, would you still do _____?”  This could be banning carbs, taking a high intensity exercise class, buying expensive supplements, or going on a celery juice cleanse.  If you are only doing something for weight loss not because it brings joy and enhances your life it won’t stick around once you reach your weight loss goal.

Solution: Make your process joyful.  Stick with foods and behaviors you can do for life.

4) You have a diet mindset, not maintenance mindset.  “I can’t have that.”  “I’m on/off the bandwagon.” “I’m all or nothing.”  Doesn’t that just make you want to have whatever “that” is?  Similar to doing things only to lose weight, diets create a false sense of security with extensive rules while also encouraging temporary behaviors all at once.  Diets frequently focus on what you can or can’t have, rules to follow and don’t take real life into account.

Solution: Dig deep into the person you are and what you value.  Discover your non-negotiables and learn to work your favorite foods and activities into life throughout the process.

5) The method you are using doesn’t work with real life.  You started Keto but love popcorn and movie dates with your kids.  You love to cook but your program requires you to eat their special pre-packaged food.  You have an extremely demanding job requiring 60+ hours per week and your new workout plan has you working out for 90 minutes/day leaving you sore and more exhausted.

Solution: Similar to the last two, do what is enjoyable and beneficial- not just what will help you lose weight as quickly as possible.

6) Your only measure of success is on the scale.  When I begin working with a new client, one of the biggest concerns is that they aren’t seeing results (on the scale) fast enough.  It is common since we live in a world that praises quick weight loss and before/afters rather than seeing people for their other accomplishments.  By losing weight slowly you are setting yourself up for long term success.

Solution: Look at the BIG picture and celebrate all the little wins that lead to big results.  This could be learning to cope and feel emotions, inches lost, learning hunger cues, treating your body better, or many other things.

When it comes to health and weight loss, your ability to maintain is directly correlated with the right mindset and creating sustainable change.  Make sure you are choosing behaviors, habits and nurturing your body, mind and emotional health through the whole process.

Coach Sparkles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, Google Adsense and other affilaite programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Google Adsense and other such partners. This post may contain affiliate links and helps support my personal goal of providing women with upbeat, encouraging content, supporting my family, as well as helping me give back to my readers and community. Your support is appreciated ❤ You can view my full disclosure statement here. 

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