Seven reasons why you can’t lose weight

Let me start by saying that I believe anyone can transform their body if they are truly committed and ready for change.

But most have not been able to do this simply because they are making fundamental mistakes in how they approach this whole process. I can say that because I was one of those people for a long time.

1. Your goals are too vague

And that is assuming you even have goals. Many don’t or think they do because they have proudly declared…

  • I want to eat healthy
  • I want to get toned
  • I will exercise regularly

The problem is those things don’t mean anything because they can’t be measured. What exactly does eating healthy mean? How do you measure that? How do you know when you are toned? And what exactly constitutes exercising regularly?

I made this mistake every time I launched into a new weight loss effort. I had no clue how I would know when I arrived at these “milestones.” I was like one of those kids being lugged around in the back seat of the family mini-van. All I kept saying was, “Am I there yet? Am I there yet? And you know what, I never was, because I didn’t know where I was going.

2. You don’t understand the math

You trade-off workouts for the opportunity to eat like crap and you do so because you think it is a straight up trade. You think it functions on a 1-to-1 ratio. Your logic goes something like this. “I worked out today so I can eat this.”

There are three BIG flaws in this logic however.

One, you don’t work out nearly as hard as you think you do and thus don’t burn as many calories as you think you burn.

Second, exercise in general doesn’t burn as many calories as you think it does.

And third, the crap you do treat yourself with contains far more calories than you think it does.

Here is a quick example to illustrate the point. A high impact one hour aerobics class burns about 660 calories. A meet up with friends after work could look something like this.

  • ten chicken wings with sauce (660 calories)
  • plus 1 portion of nachos (300 calories)
  • two alcoholic beverages (200 calories)
  • Total= 1160 calories.

You actually still have a surplus of 500 calories.

Translation: you gained weight and that ASSUMES your other meals that day were spectacular.

That’s why you see people who workout regularly and continue to gain weight over the years. They just don’t understand the math and make bad trades day in and day out.

3. You think the answer is out there.

You falsely believe that it is someone else who holds the magical keys to make you lean. That’s why you join a gym. That’s why you order DVD programs. That’s why you purchase diet plans. That’s why you hire a personal trainer.

You think someone else is going to give you that magical solution that will finally allow you to achieve that body you want. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. I know. I was that person.

The answers lie within, not out there. This is not a journey from the outside in, but rather from the inside out. You have the map pointed the wrong way and until you reorient yourself, you will ALWAYS be heading in the wrong direction and end up in the wrong destination.

4. You think it’s a diet and exercise issue

I thought this too. I thought that for 25 years. But it isn’t.

It’s a YOU issue. There are reasons why you do what you do. They are reasons why you eat what you eat. There are reasons why you have abandoned every program you have ever tried (but we blame it on the program-surely it can’t be our fault.)

This is an emotional and psychological journey first and foremost. It’s a journey into understanding you and why you do the things you do.

Until you are willing to plunge into the depths of your murky inner self and figure out why you do what you do, all the other stuff is meaningless, because it won’t last. You will blow it up long before the result can ever show itself.

5. You see you NOT as you are, but as you think you are

The best way to understand this is to view the dysfunctional relationship of someone you are close to. You know who I’m talking about. You talk about it with your friends all the time. There are a million things wrong with that relationship. Why don’t they see what you see. Because you see it as it is and they see it as they think it is.

It’s the same with you. You see yourself as you think you are, not how you actually are. There are things you do that you don’t even know you do. Oh your friends know what those things are. They talk about these all the time with their friends as well (oh did you think people weren’t talking about you like you talk about them? Welcome to reality buttercup).

Weight loss and body transformation can never occur until you are prepared to address the brutal facts about you and your situation.

I actually did this when I started. I wrote up a list of about 15 things. One thing I needed to come to grips with was the fact I am an emotional eater and when things go south I cry out for my friends Ben and Jerry.

That was a bit unsettling for me to admit because I’m a guy.  Guys don’t eat emotionally (we do, but we’re too stupid to realize we do).  I would not have been able to mend that problem if I wasn’t prepared to see myself as I am.

6. You don’t know when things aren’t working

Have you been running or going to the gym or taking that Yoga or Pilates class for years. How’s that working out for you? Do you now have the body you want?

If not its because you don’t know how to gauge whether something is actually working for you or not.

You’re not testing anything. You don’t monitor changes. You just eat “healthy” and exercise and assume the miracle will happen.

Here is a word of advice. If you make a change, whether in your diet or your exercise and you don’t see any difference in 2 or 3 weeks, then something is not working and more changes need to be made.

It doesn’t mean you throw out the initial change, but it does mean you need to keep testing and tweaking ideas to find the right combination of things that does bring results.

It keeps going back to this.

Are you seeing results?

Use 21 days as a gauge.  If you see nothing after 21 days then something ain’t working and something needs to change.

7. You want all the benefits without doing the heavy lifting

Be honest. This is exactly what you want. You want to keep doing exactly what you are doing (which is nothing) and get all the rewards of great health.

But if you are not prepared to make whole sale changes then forget about any chance of transforming your body. You can’t get something for nothing. If you aren’t prepared to…

  • give up fast food
  • get up 30 minutes earlier so you can eat a proper breakfast
  • get 8 or 9 hours of sleep
  • cut out processed foods from your diet
  • give up foods you love (but are killing you)
  • commit to an exercise program that actually works

then you aren’t emotionally or psychologically prepared for this journey and you are once again doomed for failure.


I would like you to complete number 8 by commenting in the comment section below.

What do you think is another big reason that prevents people (or you) from losing weight?

To making shift happen,