Did you know that people who diet try 4 times, on average, during the year? Having worked with hundreds of clients throughout the US and worked in the industry for many years, I have learned the many reasons most people fail to achieve weight loss goals or to keep the weight off.

Here they are:

#1 Impatience: Many people expect big or unrealistic losses fast or they lose motivation and quit. This is the “dieting” mindset. Time, consistency and the willingness to learn new lifestyle habits are essential for long-term success.

#2 Searching for Quick Fixes: Fad diets, diet pills and other “silver bullets” don’t work. If they did, no one would be overweight. Exercise DVDs, fad diet books, pills and appetite suppressants that promise “1 pill a day to melt the fat away” and other false claims do not work, can result in wasted money and a feeling of failure.

#3 Lack of Support: Trying to “go it alone” without support or accountability is hard and, as a result, makes it so easy to quit. In order to improve and to achieve goals (think golfers and football players wanting to improve their game), one needs a coach for support, accountability and learning. In addition, the five people closest to you will have the most impact on your habits and behaviors. Surround yourself with positive and healthy support.

#4 “Cheat Days:” Why would you want to cheat on yourself once per week?! You wouldn’t cheat on a spouse, would you? “Cheat days” can be extremely unhealthy, create setbacks and perpetuate poor eating and a bad habit.

#5 “I know what to do but……” You could be one of those who “knows what I need to do” but doesn’t take action. Most of the time, though, people don’t really know what to do anyway. And, this is understandable given all the conflicting information and fad diets out there resulting in confusion about what really works.

#6 Failure to Learn New Lifestyle Habits: This is what happens with dieting. People will “diet” for awhile, lose some weight, feel some relief, then stop and return to old habits. Establishing new lifestyle habits (eating, water, activity, quality sleep and more) replace the old unhealthy habits and lead to long-term success.

#7 Negative Mindset: The average dieter tries 4 times per year. This creates a sense of failure (“I know I won’t succeed. Nothing works.”) and negativity from the start. What you tell yourself is what will usually happen. Focus on what you want. Focus on the positive. Focus on the goal. Focus on success.

#8 Lack of Focus: Focusing on the number on the scale won’t do it either. Focusing on your goal and the day to day habits necessary for success WILL get you there. Health is a journey taken one step and one day at a time. Time and consistency are a winning team.

#9 You Think That Weight Loss Is All About Starvation and Calories: Severe calorie restriction wreaks havoc with your metabolism, blood sugar levels and can result in loss of muscle mass. Not only are extreme calorie diets unsafe but they are unsustainable for very long. When one gains the weight back, it’s body fat and not muscle that returns making it increasingly more difficult to lose weight.

#10 Setting Unrealistic Goals: Making weight loss the ultimate goal is not equivalent with getting healthy. And setting goals for big weekly losses as opposed to small goals, which can be measured and achieved, sets one up for failure. Get yourself mentally healthy (the correct focus), set measurable and achievable goals, seek the support and guidance of a Certified Health Coach and don’t quit.

You can’t fail if you don’t quit on your goals. Growth and learning occurs from the “failures” or hiccups along the way. You CAN do it!