Q: I keep starting diets and getting nowhere. Why is it so hard to lose weight?
A number of factors could be keeping you from reaching your weight-loss goals. Check your diet plan and see if some of the following apply to you.
Bad Information on the Internet
One of the reasons that weight loss is so hard is because of the internet. There's an abundance of misinformation online telling you if you do X, you will lose X amount of weight, and much of it has no real science behind it.
Everybody who has an Instagram or Facebook account is an internet weight-loss expert, it seems. As a result, weight loss is much harder now than it was 40 or 50 years ago because you have too much information to choose from. The average person will find it very difficult to lose weight when they are getting the wrong information from too many people who have no real credibility. Combine that with weight-loss companies promising you the new magic pill that will make you lose weight, and it's no wonder you are confused about what works.
If you go on a couple of different fad diets and fail, you may give up and believe that you will never lose weight.
Not making exercise a regular priority in your life and constantly making excuses for why you don't have time to exercise is one way to fail at dieting. It is very difficult to lose weight if you're not incorporating some form of physical activity into your daily life. Exercise will speed up your metabolism and help change your body composition.
Your environment also matters when it comes to eating right and exercising. If your friends and family eat unhealthfully and you are around them all the time, it will negatively influence the way you eat. If your spouse or partner is bringing pizza or fried chicken and alcohol to your home every day, it will be very hard to turn away. The appetizing smells of those foods will cause you to you throw away the fruits and vegetables you bought to snack on and bury your face in that pizza or fried chicken. So, the environment that you live in and the friends and family you hang out with regularly will influence your lifestyle decisions, which can affect your ability to lose weight and be healthier.
Genetics Can Be Your Friend—or Your Enemy
Our parents pass down a lot of things to us, such as hair color, height, and eye color, and sometimes we are lucky enough to be blessed with the skinny gene or even the muscular gene. On the other hand, we can be born with a genetic predisposition to be heavy.
Your DNA dictates what body type you are predisposed to, but that doesn't mean you are stuck with it for life. You can change your natural genetic body type. You may have to work harder on your exercise routine and nutrition than the next person, but it can be done. Your genetic makeup doesn't define your physical appearance long-term, your lifestyle habits do.
Find the Right Program for You
One-size-fits-all programs don't work. Everyone can't be on the same nutrition and exercise program because of differences in body weight, age, health concerns, dietary issues, injuries that may affect mobility, and specific goals. Those details are different for each individual who wants to lose weight, so it makes absolutely no sense to give the same program to everyone. A cookie-cutter program is a recipe for failure.
For example, a 75-year-old who lacks mobility and has bad knees should not be doing squats. Similarly, a 24-year-old should probably not be doing a slow walk for cardio.
If someone gives you the wrong program to help you lose weight, you will fail and give up. That is why it is important to take the time to research the trainer and nutritionist you hire. Look at their credentials, look at their weight-loss transformations, and see if any of those transformations resemble your body type or age range.
Check out the reviews on the people you hire before you hire them so you don't waste money or time. Just because someone has a ripped body with abs and can show you some funky exercise routines on their social media page doesn't mean they have the knowledge, credentials, or experience to help you lose weight. Take the time and do your research!
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