Monday, April 13, 2009

The 5 Reasons You're Still Struggling With Your Fat Loss

You know what it's like.

You've tried everything in your power to finally shift that weight that's been hanging on for so long and yet, despite your best efforts (or so you believe) you're still far from the condition you're hoping to achieve and you're baffled.

What's wrong?

Why can't you shift that fat?

From my experience it comes down to one of these 5 things.

1. You're Cheating!

No getting away from this one. We've all done it.

You say you're going to commit 100% to your fat loss goal but then, as soon as you're within sniffing distance of your favourite foods you tell yourself 'just one won't hurt' and before you know it, you're chomping away on the very thing that contributed to your fat gain in the first place.

Here's the deal.

You're an addict.

'Just one' WILL hurt!

Like all addicts you need to go cold turkey to break the cycle of dependence. No ifs, not buts.

The thing is, cheating on your diet accomplishes nothing. it keeps things exactly how they are. It keeps YOU exactly how YOU are!

Don't cheat!

2. You've Lost Your Why

I can't remember who first said it but the quote goes 'those that have a strong enough why will overcome almost any how'. This means, of course, if you have a good enough reason for doing what you need to do, you'll find the way to to do it, even if it's hard.

The flip side of this should be obvious.

If you're not clear on why you're doing what you're doing then practically anything you need to do to accomplish your goal will appear difficult, if not impossible.

You'll experience everything as obstacles rather than opportunities and feel that you're more likely to fail than succeed.

That's not a great foundation to build your goals upon is it?

Identify your why.

Be honest with yourself, why do you want to lose that fat? Yes, to look good in your bikini, we know that but what else? What's the REAL reason? Dig deep and find the real why and you'll increase your likelihood to achieve it a hundredfold.

3. You don't know what you want

Sure, you've set a goal to 'lose weight' or 'get fit' or 'tone up' but you've never absolutely, positively set a specific target.

There's a big difference between a weight loss goal like the ones above and 'I'm going to lose 50lbs by June 1st 2009' isn't there?

See, the thing is, you can't hit a target you can't see. So be specific. Set a big, obvious, prominent target with a specific timeline and commit to THAT timeline rather than being vague about 'losing some weight'.

What goal are YOU aiming at?

This is critical to know. Ignore it at your peril!

4. You're Trying to do it alone

You're not an expert on fatloss. if you were, you wouldn't be trying to lose fat, right? : )

So why are you trying to do this alone or with limited knowledge on losing fat?

Stop it now!

If you didn't know about your car engine, I'm sure you wouldn't attempt to strip down the engine block on your own right? You'd get a mechanic to do the job.

Your body is far more important than your car so stop tinkering with and and guessing and hoping that what you're doing is going to work.

Instead, seek out fat loss experts who'll give you the PROVEN dietary and exercise guidance that they use to get results for their clients, follow their advice and get those results for yourself. Hardly rocket science, but the number of people actually doing this are few and far between. And funnily enough, practically all of them have great physiques!

Take a look at some of these results HERE for women and HERE for men and you'll see what a difference it makes to get professional advice.

5. You're Trying to do it alone part 2

Once you've gotten your professionally designed program, you're not cheating, you know your why and you have a laser like focus on the specific goals you want to achieve then make sure you find and join a support group to keep your motivation high. This is not just a suggestion, it's a necessity!

You see, those who are attempting massive changes in their health, fitness and appearance often undergo massive swings in motivation with huge highs and dramatic lows. It's during the lows that self-doubt and the feelings to quit come into play and, before you know it you've cheated, told yourself you'll never succeed and quit the program that you started out on with such high hopes.

Having support means that this won't happen.

Sure, you'll still get the swings, the highs, the lows but you'll be talking to people that are going through the same as you, experiencing the same problems and feelings and who know what you're going through. They'll drag you back up when you're flagging and you can return the favour when they need it.

This is win-win and is responsible for more people achieving their health and fitness goals than practically any other reason.

Get support and you're most of the way there, do it alone and the goal feels miles off.

There you have, the top 5 reasons why your fat loss goals fail.

And also the prescription you need to make sure they never fail again, right?

Apply all 5 steps and your fat loss is guaranteed!

Speak soon!

Dax Moy
The UK's Leading Personal Trainer


Todd I. Stark said...

Some thoughts on #1 (Cheating):

"Cheating" is absolutely true, but... Non-compliance is almost universal for most programs, and the more strict they are the poorer the long-term compliance. Short term attempts at strict compliance often succeed, at the cost of long term compliance. Most people who are successful in the long term seem to me to be those who find strategies that don't *rely* on unrealistic levels of compliance, but assume it will break down and allow for ways to recover from it (or which are effective at lower levels of compliance).

Todd I. Stark said...

Thoughts on #2 ("Lost Why"):

This is a great point. It is a lot easier to make the right decisions when you keep the goal in mind. Even though short term goals are more compelling than long term ones, remembering "why" lets you focus on strategies that help distract you from temptations. Also, remembering "why" leads you to think about planning "how" (rather than relying on the powerful momentum of habit) and planning focuses thought and fixes priorities. So if habits begin to break down for some reason, you can recover your original goal.

Todd I. Stark said...

Thoughts on #3 (goal):

This feels to me like a natural extension of #2. Having a compelling "why" and following it up by planning leads to goals. The trick becomes learning the skills for framing goals effectively and breaking goals into realistic subgoals and having good strategies for them, adjusting as neccessary. Feedback refinement is critical for most people since we rarely get it perfect the first time.

Todd I. Stark said...

Thoughts on #4 (using experts):

I work as a consultant, so I have no problem with the idea that an expert can be very helpful. I also know that relying completely on expert advice is just as bad as guessing at a solution yourself.

In general, if a field is complex and sophisticated enough to require true expertise, it is also complex and sophisticated enough that even an expert cannot possible have a complete solution for each problem. They have to rely on experience and pattern recognition in individal cases. That's part of the modern technical concept of expertise.

So if you find an expert who is giving you general guidelines, they are roughly just as likely to be wrong as right for your case.

So the trick is to use the advice of experts as a good starting guess, and then see what results you get and refine them yourself.

Obviously you also have to be able to recognize real expertise somehow. But the less you rely completely on the expert, the less you have to worry about a bad starting guess.

In my experience.

Todd I. Stark said...

Thoughts on #5 (support group):

This one is the trickiest because I think it is extremely powerful for some people but the kiss of death for others, depending on their situation. I'll tell you why I say that.

I've known a number of people, including myself, for whom involving other people actually consistently leads to failure, and going it alone leads more reliably to long term success.

Yes, this is probably partly a matter of gathering the "wrong" people around them sometimes, but I think there's something else just as important (perhaps more important!) involved.

It also has to do with the concept of self-efficacy. If you are able to produce results yourself, you create the expectation of self-reliance and you begin to feel less and less of the social pressures that sabotage most people.

Sure we can try to "avoid negative people" and surround ourselves with ones who share our goals and values, but this is sometimes impractically difficult, and for some people even the smallest amount of social pressure in the wrong direction can lead to sabotage, especially if they are relying on near-perfect compliance.

So for me, and some others I've known, building on self-efficacy and becoming less dependent on social support has been far more effective in practice than trying to build more social support.

Todd I. Stark said...

And a final comment:

Great article, very thought provoking. Thanks!!

I'm sorry, I know point by point responses are probably annoying to moderate, but I'm guessing they may be easier to browse rather than reading one long essay.

DaxMoy said...

Some interesting points Todd : )

I think that the term 'cheating' isn't about any specific action per se, more a term to describe actions that move us in opposition to our goals.

From my experience the opposite of what you describe has been true for my own clients and those that have followed the elimination diet. The strict compliance at the start has produced results that have then gone on to create belief and long term compliance.

I understand what you say though. Too strict and little reward creates non-compliance but short term and long term compliance are very different strategies and a strict start doesn't necessarily mean failure in the long term : )

Re experts, I agree with you here too. Picking an expert is the toughest part, however, a good place to start is always to look for people who are getting the kind of results you desire. Of course, results aren't guaranteed but are far more likely if the person whose advice you're following has a track record of success with the problem you're facing.

I get what you're saying on no5 but the experience i've had hasn't borne that out. We SHOULD be self motivated, self reliant etc but the truth is that humans are socially driven more often than not. We (for the most part) enjoy our experiences more when we're sharing them with others.

The trick though, is to share them with others who have the same vision as yourself.

There's no one answer to this. You may find a group with the same short term goals but who lack what you need for medium or long term.

No worries, change your groups to match your goal.

You're NEVER stuck, right ? : )

DaxMoy said...

Not a problem, made it very easy to answer : )

Thanks Todd!