7 Signs You'll Fail at Weight Loss

By , SparkPeople Blogger
That headline got your attention, didn't it? Not to worry, SparkPeople hasn't changed our attitude about healthy living and weight loss. But what we have done, for the first time ever, is compile and publish the very best advice, tips and tricks from our "Success Stories"--more than 100 members who've lost weight and kept it off using SparkPeople.com to accomplish their goals. These members know that how you start to lose weight is the most important indicator of long-term weight loss. They shared their struggles and successes so that you can learn from their experiences and remove the guesswork from weight loss.

We compared their success against people who gave up on weight loss within the first two weeks. And you know what? We found quite a few red flags that determined--from Day 1--whether someone would succeed or fail.

Here are our top 7 signs that you'll give up on weight loss--and how to reverse your fate if you have any of these demotivating habits.

1. You think of this as a "diet." Diets don’t work. You want to lose weight for the short-term but never think about maintenance, so you never bother changing the habits that led to your weight gain in the first place. The weight slowly (or quickly) creeps back on as you revert to old habits.

2. You're not motivated. Give me a reason--any reason--why you want to lose weight. People who have a goal in mind, who have a reason or a motivation to lose weight, are more likely to actually lose weight.

3. You're skipping breakfast. There's a reason why it's called the most important meal of the day. And if your idea of weight loss involved skipping meals, especially this one, you're more likely to fail.

4. You're skimping on sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain, carbohydrate cravings, and all-around crankiness. If you're not getting enough sleep, it's harder to find the energy to exercise and eat right, and you fall back into old, unhealthy habits.

5. You're not eating three meals a day. As with forgoing breakfast, skipping meals or eating just once or twice a day can have a negative impact on your metabolism and weight loss efforts. The longer you wait to eat, the hungrier you'll be, and the more likely you are to overeat or reach for foods that won't aid your weight-loss efforts.

6. You're spending hours in the gym. There's a reason why the couch to 5K programs are popular, but few people do a couch to marathon program. You have to start slow. Spending hours in the gym after being inactive for a long time leads to burnout and injury. You're setting yourself up to fail if you're focusing on marathon cardio sessions to burn off all the calories you've eaten.

7. You deny yourself every food you deem "bad." Repeat after me: No food is good or bad. Eating one cookie or slice of pizza did not lead to your weight gain; it will not derail your efforts to get healthier. The trouble comes when you can't stop after one, but that's where The Spark Solution comes in.

Are you guilty of any of these bad habits? Don't worry--there's hope for you! Read through the 8 Habits to Ensure Lasting Weight-Loss Success, and learn more about these helpful hints in The Spark Solution, our award-winning book that is now available in paperback at an everyday low price!

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I fail a lot. but i keep getting back up, even though i don't get anywhere.
I think I need to be put in a locked room. can't eat unless someone brings me the food.. seriously!! Report
Great advice. Report
Considering the meaning of Breakfast its not really possible to skip it considering its breaking the fasting from the night. So by that thought the first meal you eat is technically breakfast. It would just be smarter to eat this meal in the morning after you wake up for the day. Report
Interesting. I believe I agree with this...skipping breakfast, not getting enough sleep are two big ones for me. Report
I agree with most of this. I discovered SP about a year ago, and did well with your help. Then my computer crashed, and so did I! I tried to get started again back in the fall, but failed. I hope to be more successful this time. I think I'm finally getting the idea that a 'diet' isn't the answer. . . A change of lifestyle is! Thanks SP! Report
Can't do it alone? Hmm, I did unless you count my dog that walks with me. SP? well I did a lot of reading here, and I used the tools, but I put in the actual 'work' myself.
Good article though! Report
Great article, BUT.... "Stay Motivated" and "Don't burn out" are too general. If people knew how to do those things, they wouldn't be trying to lose weight.... again. How about "Keep reminding yourself of the reasons you wanted to lose weight in the first place", and "Stick with it, even when you feel like quitting."? Report
This is very empowering! Thanks! Report
I so agree with this article. For me it is definitely a lifestyle change so I know I can not live on a "diet". But a healthy lifestyle definitely works!!!! Report
Good article, but I cannot agree with number 7. The 80/20 rule works really well for some people, but not for others, including myself. If I allow myself sugary treats I spiral and can't stop eating them. Therefore they are off limits for me, which has helped me maintain a 15 pound weight loss. Everyone has to find their own way of doing things, sometimes its 80/20, sometimes its all or nothing. To say its wrong to eliminate some foods is too broad a statement in my opinion. Report
LOVECHEETAS...I would like to be your buddy/partner. I sent you a message.
Yes.... this is a great article. I can definitely relate to it!!! Report
The First For Women article is what "Sparked" my interest! I'm so happy to have signed up. I love this site... Report
Yes!!! Report
This is a great article and after two years of being active with SP I can tell you the life style change is what makes you successful and is not only at the way you see yourself or how much you weight but it changes your entire life. Report
Great article SP. Report
yes, really great! Report
Great article!!! Report
This could have been written by me and my habits/yo-yo dieting. LOVECHEETAHS YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Concentrate on your groups and the ppl there. I like to read their comments and find they are having the same stuff going on as I do. Report
I may be doing this by myself, but I am not alone. I go to the gym by myself to take fitness classes, but I talk to the people in the class. This helps me to meet other people and create a group I want to meet every time I go to class. This is also true for the ladies I work with. We may not be watching what we eat at the same times, but we try to encourage each other be to better. Report
I'm guilty of nr. 4 and 7. Report
This was a great article. I am failing to lose and several of these points hit home. The one point that sticks out to me is "you can't do it alone." Well it seems I have to. I have tried several times to get a "buddy/partner" and each time they bail on me. I am very seriously thinking of deleting my SparkPeople account as it is not doing me any good. Report
Great article!!! Report
I know that I am guilty of trying to exercise away every calorie. I went really overboard in the last couple months on interval training as my only source of cardio and not only have I not lost any weight, I've noticed that I am tired a lot more than I was before I even started back on my exercise plan. Getting regular exercise is really important for my whole health (mind, body, and spirit) but over-doing it doesn't help anything. Balance, balance, balance!! Report
When I hear someone start with a laundry list of Can'ts and follow it up with a laundry list of Won'ts, I know they're not in the mindset to really change.
This is a great article! Report
Great article! And I love the 8 habits of successful dieters at the end - what not do do followed by easy to follow advice to do it the right way! Well done! Report
I was following the first set of rules when I started this site the first time and I wasn't very committed. I am following the second set this time and I had lost 14 pounds. I have gained a lot of it back because I got off track with exercise and food, but I'm back on the healthy train! Report
Great article, and very true in my experience!
The biggest one concerns completely cutting out food items. I find myself getting resentful towards my body if I deny myself too much of the foods I love. It is much better for me to have the occasional "splurge" - for instance, getting a regular-sized candy bar at the gas station every few weeks keeps me from wanting to buy the bulk bag at Sam's and tear in to it! Report
What a great reminder of the true focus of this journey that I am on. It is a life change not a diet. Thank you. Report
Great article! I will add one more, which was instrumental in my successful weight loss this time although I failed so many times before:

Guilt is your enemy. If you mess up one day, it doesn't mean you've failed, it only means you've hit the pause button for a short while and will continue making the right choices whenever possible. Guilt and stressing about food are the worst enemies of a healthy lifestyle. Report
I cried reading this!!!!!!!!

It's so true, this is for life not to please others or a short term goal! I'm motivated to stay on track. Thank you! Report