5 Reasons WHY PEOPLE FAIL To lose weight (And Keep it Off)

By Ange

It is the start of another new year, which means a chance to start fresh!

Have you set some intentions for the year? How is your motivation to achieve them? And more importantly still, how is your ability to act on them?

Unfortunately, motivation alone is not as helpful as you might think.

This is because motivation is fleeting. The goals you set for yourself actually form part of a long-term journey that will require planning, discipline and resilience. If you have ever set weight loss goals, and failed… do not feel bad! You are not a failure. There were simply some challenges that you did not account for. 

Time and time again, we see the same issues holding women back from getting results and being about to maintain them. 

If you are ready to slay your weight loss goals once and for good, keep reading for our top 5 reasons why people fail.

1. Lack of longterm strategy

It is human nature to look for quick fixes and solutions and avoid the things that challenge us or cause us pain. 

For this reason we often see weight loss strategies that have women regaining any weight they did lose.

Weight loss is actually quite easy. Simply eating less for a period of time will allow you to lose weight. And most people are able to diet to achieve 2-3kg of weight loss.

To lose more than a few kilos, a strategic plan needs to be put into place. A realistic amount of weight loss is around 0.6% of total body weight per week. So if you are looking to drop 6-10kg, this would require a minimum of 12-20 weeks of dieting. A strategic plan may require diet breaks and additional time to account for slip ups.

Secondly, once the weight is off, you need to make dietary changes to support your new weight to maintain it. Therefore, crash or elimination diets will see you go back to old habits and lead to weight gain. 

So instead of focusing on the outcome of weight loss, we recommend instead to focus on the daily actions and habits that align with your goals.

More on these small but important habit changes in our next point…

2. Overlooking the little stuff

A quick way to make your weight loss journey impossible is by trying to make big changes all at once. Instead, you should start with the little stuff and build one habit at a time. 

This could include:

  • eating at the same time each day. 
  • increasing your non-starchy veggie intake at your evening meal. 
  • keeping a food diary
  • completing 3-4 strength sessions per week
  • having a daily step goal, or
  • getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night, etc

Habits such as these might seem ‘too simple’, but once they are stacked alongside other small, but powerful habits, they will yield long-term success. 

3. Repeating the same behaviours and expecting a different result

Have you ever heard of the marshmallow experiment? In this experiment a  child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period-approximately 15 minutes.  In follow-up studies, the researchers found there was a relationship between children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards and success in life.

Consistently choosing immediate reward over delayed gratification is a fundamental challenge of those struggling with over-eating and those unable to lose weight. We are all hardwired to chose the path of least resistance and this means repeating the same habits time and time again. That is of course until we consider how achieving our goals is worth the additional effort to change behaviours that are not serving you. 

4. No backup plan

Over the duration of your weight loss journey, there will be roadblocks and speed humps. Remember, it’s not IF life will throw a spanner into your plans, it’s WHEN. A well thought out plan will outline some plan B scenarios for when you may be likely to slip back into old habits.

This could involve having some frozen meals on hand when you are held back late at work or having some simple at home workouts you can do if your kids are unwell and you can not make it to the gym. Everyone’s situation is unique, but the age old saying holds up ‘Fail to plan… plan to fail”.

5. Your goals don't align with your values

To achieve your goals, they must align with your core values. There once was a time, where 100% of my effort and energy would go into my fitness routine. At this time I did not have a family or a business (I was also highly inefficient in the way I trained and fuelled my body). At the same time, I did not feel like I had good balance in my life. 

I now set goals based on what is most important to me and then probe further into WHY they are important. For example, if I set a goal to ‘wear clothes in 2022 that make me feel good’, I would unpack why this is something I want to do. I might consider how extra time considering my clothes are an act of ‘self care’ or that when I feel good in my clothes, I feel more confident and better able to connect with those around me.

Do you need help rebooting your goals?

If any of these 5 reasons resonate with you or you need help in clearing a path to long-lasting weight loss, now is the time to join our upcoming 8 week Reboot Challenge. 

Our Reboot Challenge will help you get clear on your goals and create a plan to help you achieve them. New members can sign up via our Introductory Pass tab for as little as $49 per week. Existing members, with a current membership can sign up via our ‘What’s On’ page.

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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