Whether it's the Freshman 15, breakup weight, baby weight, or can't-stay-away-from-the-dessert-cart weight, losing those extra pounds is not as easy as putting them on. It doesn't matter if you have five or 105 pounds to lose, here are the top reasons most people abandon their weight-loss goals, and what you can do to prevent it from happening.
It's Taking Too Long
Just as those pounds seemed to slowly creep on, it also takes time to slowly shake them off; coming to terms with this will make it easier to stick with your plan. Know that to safely lose weight and keep it off, you'll only drop one to two pounds a week, so do the math and you'll have an idea of how much time it'll be before you're near your goal weight. Find ways to celebrate your smaller goals and it'll help keep you on track.
Weight loss comes down to simple math: calories in cannot exceed the amount of calories out. If you choose high-calorie foods, you'll only be able to have a few bites, which will leave your belly empty and unsatisfied. Eat smarter by choosing low-calorie foods like vegetables, high-fiber foods like whole grains, and foods with high water content like fruit. These foods will keep you feeling full, preventing hunger pangs.
I Miss My Favorite Foods
French fries, pizza, burgers, chocolate cake, ice cream — it's hard not to spend every minute thinking about the foods you shouldn't eat. Plain and simple: diets don't work. You can't sustain an eating plan that is too restrictive. Of course, you won't lose weight on a diet of doughnuts alone, so eat healthy most of the time and allow yourself a little splurging to prevent feeling deprived; or find healthier ways to enjoy the foods you crave, like with this pizza quinoa polenta instead of a regular slice from the pizzeria, or this three-ingredient chocolate ice cream that's completely dairy-free.
I Hate Exercising
If you don't love it, find something you do. Maybe running on the treadmill isn't for you, but try giving that indoor cycling class a shot. Maybe you can't stand working out alone, and need to join a gym to get involved in some group classes. Or maybe exercise can't seem like exercise at all, and you'd rather go for an adventurous hike or mountain bike ride. If you look forward to your workouts, they're more likely to happen. Also be sure to mix up your workouts, because even though you're obsessed with Zumba, you don't want to go so often that you get burnt out.
I've Tried Everything and Nothing Works
When you're eating right and exercising and the scale isn't budging, it's understandable why that frustration would make a person give up. There are many reasons why what you're doing may not offer results, such as not doing the right kind of exercise, not exercising enough, overdoing it on healthy foods that are high in calories, or miscounting calories. Seek out the help of a professional like a nutritionist or a personal trainer, or sign up for a weight-loss program that offers support. Experts in weight loss can offer tips and shed some light about what mistakes you might unknowingly be making that are sabotaging your weight-loss goals.
Related: 100 Simple Ways to Lose Weight