The 3 most common obstacles to successful and permanent weight loss

I’ve been working in weight loss, helping people lose weight for the past 14 years, and I have  found that there are definite patterns to  the obstacles that people run into when trying to lose weight.  

Think of these patterns of obstacles as falling into three general buckets.  Some people may find all three buckets apply to their struggles whereas others may find just 1 or 2 of the buckets are relevant. 

The 3 overarching buckets of obstacles that stop women from being able to lose weight and keep it off are:

  1. Body is stuck – They have tried many methods and even when they do stick with the plan their weight will just not budge  or if it does budge it is minimal, 1-2 pounds but then they find they put on those few lost pounds again  very very easily.
  2. Lack of consistency – They cannot stick to a plan for a long enough period of time to get consistent steady loss to reach their final goal.  They go off track whether it is after a few days, a few weeks or even a few months resulting in them not reaching their goal and also gaining back the weight.
  3. Unsustainable results – They do lose weight and even reach their goal but once they hit maintenance they cannot seem to find a sustainable way of eating long term so  they end up putting the weight on. 

It is helpful to reflect on one’s efforts and struggles with losing weight to identify which of these buckets played the biggest role in preventing them from reaching their goal or maintaining the lower weight if they did reach their goal.  When a person really understands their obstacles then they are in a better position to choose their next program or plan that will actually give them the right method and support they need to override their past obstacles so  they are set up to succeed rather than repeat the same setbacks.

Here is a breakdown in more detail of what typically  contributes to each of these three buckets.  

Body is stuck due to:

  1. Hormonal changes that happen with age
  2. Hormonal changes due to poor sleep or increased stress
  3. Changes to metabolism due to age and past unhealthy weight loss efforts
  4. Carrying fat around the belly which has a  hormonal impact resulting in no weight loss

When any of these are relevant and the reason behind why the body is stuck then an approach needs to be used that will address these internal hormonal changes because the usual calorie in/calorie out method using special diets or hours doing a new workout will not address the internal hormonal obstacle.

Lack of consistency due to:

  1.  Poor weight loss results because of 1st bucket (Body is Stuck) so motivation naturally decreases when no progress is being made
  2. Motivation being unsustainable because it is not based on deeper more value based reason 
  3. Method being used for weight loss is too complicated so they cannot stick to it
  4. Lifestyle being very busy making it harder to stick to any plan
  5. Other priorities that keep coming up in life and interfering in ability to follow through on weight loss commitment
  6. Powerful cravings and hard wired unhealthy habits that seem  too strong to overcome

The lack of consistency can happen for several different reasons listed above but once a person can identify which one(s) are the main reasons why they have not been able to stick with a plan to reach their goal then they will know specifically what they need the next time they try.  Is it that they need to see results in order to stay motivated so they need to make sure the plan will help get their body “unstuck” (obstacle 1).  If they have a very demanding lifestyle then they need to make sure they choose a plan that is simplified and will fit into their lifestyle or they will not stick with it til the end.  If they suffer from low unsustainable motivation then they need to get help doing some mindset work so they establish very powerful value based reasons for wanting to lose weight this way they can hold the course for the long term.  If old eating patterns are difficult to overcome for the long term because cravings unhealthy habits are too powerful then they need to make sure they get support and accountability throughout the process that will help them handle the triggers and create new patterns and mindset. 

Unsustainable Long Term Weight Loss Results The YOYO Effect

  1. Old mindset beliefs and patterns have never been dealt with while losing weight so they get  easily re-triggered during maintenance
  2. Method used for weight loss did not lock in the new body set point so final weight is unstable and they end up putting weight on very easily
  3. Method used for weight loss was not a long term lifestyle way of eating and there was no structured process to transition from the losing weight component to long term maintenance that is lifestyle friendly so they can stick to it
  4. Do not have  simple strategies that are straightforward to make a course correction when maintaining weight so if they do put on a few pounds they know exactly what to do to shed those few pounds easily. 

For people who have a history of losing weight just to gain it back again usually one or several of the points above are contributing to this pattern.  Being able to identify what happens when they are trying to maintain their weight will help tremendously in choosing the best plan or program for weight loss that will actually set them up to having what they need to keep the weight off permanently.  They may need more mindset support while losing weight to tackle those old triggers and habits so they have all the strategies they need to manage those old patterns for the rest of their lives.  They may need to make sure that when they are losing weight they are doing it in such a way that it sets up their body to lock in their new body set point so the weight is easy to maintain.  They also need to make sure they have the structure to help them transition from eating in a way to lose weight to eating in a way to maintain weight.  Lastly they need to make sure that they are given very simple clear cut strategies to make temporary course corrections to their food plan so if they do put on a few pounds in maintenance that they know exactly what they need to do within a short period of time to shed those few pounds.  Inevitably when it comes to long term maintenance of weight there will be time periods when weight can increase such as after holidays, special occasions, old unhealthy habits creep in a bit too much.  That is part of life but it doesn’t need to start the path to ongoing continuous weight gain.  Having simple strategies to burn a few pounds of fat will prevent that steady gain so that overall weight is being maintained long term with short periods of times with small temporary gains. 

Generally before starting another attempt at losing weight, it is best that people learn from the past unsuccessful efforts and identify the  obstacles and reasons behind those obstacles that are specific to them.  This way they can ensure that they will choose a new approach and program that handles all those obstacles so they will set them up for successful weight loss and maintenance.

I hope you found this information helpful.If you want to learn more:

  1. You can book a complimentary call, and discuss your challenges, and obstacles, and together we can determine if my program is right for you.
  2. You can also go to my Facebook page, @DrSherBovay, where you can find and join my Private Facebook group, The FastLane Mind Body Reset Mastery Group. Here, I host Facebook lives and frequent posts where you can engage and learn more