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Losing Weight for All the Wrong Reasons: Common Barriers to Weight Loss

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Weight loss is a hot topic in magazines and on TV talk shows. New diets are showing up everywhere. Even food companies are getting in on the weight loss craze by coming out with new products that are geared toward dieters.

However, despite all the new diets on the cover of magazines, new food items, and weight loss support groups, many people will never be successful with their weight loss attempts. Others who are able to take the weight off initially will gain most of it back.

Why the high rate of failure? Is it because changing old habits is just too difficult? While making lifestyle changes to lose weight isn't an easy task, people often begin their weight loss attempts for all the wrong reasons.

Losing weight for a specific event

Opening the mail box to find an invitation to a class reunion, wedding, or party often sends people into crash-diet mode. The time frame for these events is usually a few weeks to a few months. It is unrealistic to think you can lose a lot of weight before an event, especially if you have a large amount of extra pounds to shed.

You may feel having a time limit is a great motivator to lose weight fast and to stay focused, but that is not true. Initially, an invitation to an event may be the thing that gets you started, but if you are only choosing to lose weight for a certain event, what happens when the event passes? Your motivation also passes.

Losing weight to fit into clothes in a smaller size

Losing weight to enjoy wearing smaller sizes may seem like a good goal to strive towards. It can be if you're thinking honestly about what size you will be able to wear when you shed the extra pounds.

Problems occur when your expectations are unrealistic. For instance, if you're in the middle season of life and you want to wear the jeans you wore in high school, you may be in for a big disappointment.

Many factors change the human body over time. Having children, taking certain prescription medications, health conditions, and age can all interfere with the ability to lose weight. You need to set reachable goals based on your lifestyle, age, and health.

Losing weight for revenge

Being dumped by your partner or going through a divorce are life events that make people start thinking about losing weight. If your motivation is to change your life for the better and move on, it can be a positive action. If you're only losing weight to make your ex-partner jealous or to want you back, it is not a healthy reason to lose weight. Your motivation should be about you, not your ex.  

Losing weight for all the right reasons

How can you tell if your motivation for weight loss is right? When you know you are doing it for you, when you want to feel better, when you want to get healthy, and when you desire to have a better quality of life.

Talking with a weight loss doctor or visiting a weight loss clinic is helpful when you feel you are ready to lose weight. A professional can offer you guidance and help you determine if your motives for weight loss are positive ones or negative ones.