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MYST 159: Three Ways to Fail

Okay, time for the ugly truth.

Most people who start a weight loss program do not succeed. And those who do reach their goal weight regain eventually regain most or all the weight they’ve lost. So with that in mind, let’s give you three guaranteed methods to find failure in your weight loss journey.

I mean, if most of my listeners will eventually fail, let’s get it done quickly!

If you enjoy this, excellent! But it is not the key to success.

Three Definite Methods to Fail on Your Weight Loss Journey

1. Rely on exercise alone to force the weight loss.

If you need to lose weight, you probably were not really into exercise much, and you really enjoyed eating. Is that a fair description? Well, while exercise has many very positive health benefits, you really cannot rely on it alone to get you to your goal weight. I talk about this in greater detail in MYST 84, but the bottom line is that weight loss happens in the kitchen. Fitness happens in the gym. You cannot out-exercise bad eating habits.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t exercise. On the contrary, I want everyone to increase their activity level, and how you choose to do that is your choice. But I am saying that if you don’t get your eating under control, and if you don’t have a reasonable calorie budget, the exercise is only going to cause frustration when you do not make the progress that you expect. You will eventually quit.


This is a great activity, but it alone won’t help you succeed.

2. Set a hard “due date” for success, especially if that due date is connected to a wedding, vacation, graduation or any other life event.

If you absolutely need to lose 50 pounds before your wedding, anniversary, birthday, vacation–whatever the special event–and you are closer than 52 weeks away, you are setting yourself up for a disaster. Most people cannot lose faster than 1 pound per week. It’s faster in the very beginning and much slower at the end, but overall, it’s 1 pound a week. If your event if 16 weeks away, you can realistically expect to lose 15-16 pounds. That’s it. Setting a 50 pound goal for an event that is happening sooner than 52 weeks is going to greatly increase your stress, because you simply can’t consistently lose as fast as you want. And stress will slow,  stop or reverse weight loss. I talk about anxiety and weight loss in MYST 102  and general stress and it’s effect on weight loss in MYST 138. 

If you need to lose weight for a big event, count the number of weeks, set your rate for 1 pound per week, and your goal is the number of weeks before the event. Will that be as much as you want to lose? Probably not. But it is a more achievable goal. And successfully losing that amount is better than trying for an unrealistic goal, and failing to achieve any loss at all.

3. Follow a diet. Any diet.

I don’t care what “diet” you choose, if it is not the way you intend to eat for the rest of your life, you are choosing a temporary eating plan, and any successes you experience will also be temporary. Any weight that you’ve lose will return (quickly) when you return to eating “normal” food.

This is especially true for any diet found in a book, on a magazine cover, or talked about on a television show.
Those “diets” are created and published for only one reason. It is not designed to help you lose weight, but rather to entice you to buy the magazine, book or supplement.

And if the diet in question is found in a book or magazine and the author is either a celebrity, or the guest or host of a television show, and they are talking about the diet, you will have more success simply flushing your money down the toilet.

But maybe the diet is not in a book or magazine. Are there any other clues that it is a waste of time an money? Yes, and here are the clues:

  • It requires that you buy “special weight loss foods” from a friend/relative/coworker.
  • That friend or co-worker wants to show you how you can make money by selling the product.
  • If any of these words (or anything similar) are found on the label or description of the product or plan: “Cleanse”, “Detox”, “Metabolism Jumpstart” or “Metabolism Booster”

  These will not help you succeed!

Okay, let’s make one thing clear. While I am serious about everything I said, I am confident that most or all of your have chosen a good method of weight loss. I am also confident that you will lose weight, reach your goal and stay at goal. You come back to this show each week because you are committed.

But this information is for you to share with others who may not be as experienced as you. I hope you are able to help your friends find success. (And tell them about this show!)

Photo via UnSplash by Maarten van den Heuvel (Runner), Scott Webb (Weights) and FreeStocks (Supplements)


Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over

work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All images are Creative Common Zero

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