5 Surprising Reasons That May Prevent You From Losing Weight

2 Weeks to Health recently surveyed 226 people who have attempted to lose weight. Of the 226 people, 38% claimed they reached their weight goal and were able to keep the weight off for at least a year. The other 62% were unable to reach their goals and keep the weight off. 2 Weeks to Health analyzed the differences between those who were and were not successful and found 5 surprising methods that actually hurt your chances of reaching your weight loss goals. All of these methods have worked for many people under certain conditions, but based on our survey doing any one of these make you at least 10% less likely to achieve your weight loss goals.

1. Signing up for a gym membership

percentage-of-successful-weight-losers-that-had-a-gym-membership
Only 29% of people who successfully reached their weight goals had a gym membership.

We all know that there are tremendous benefits to buying a gym membership. However, our survey showed that you are 10% less likely to reach your weight loss goal if you have a gym membership. Only 29% of people who achieved their weight loss goals had a gym membership. Why is this? Usually one of the first things people will do when they decide to lose weight is to purchase a gym membership. Whether or not the gym membership is used is a different story. By just owning a gym membership, statistically you are less likely to lose weight, but consistently using what the gym has to offer will inevitably help your weight loss goals.

2. Going on a low-carb diet

Percentage-of-people-who-sucessfully-lost-weight-on-a-low-carb-diet
Out of everyone who successfully kept their weight off for a year, only 18% claimed to have lost weight using a low carbohydrate diet.

Besides purchasing a gym membership, when someone decides to lose weight they usually choose 1 of 2 diets, the low-carb diet or the low-calorie diet. The low-carb diet has become popularized by diets such as the Adkins diet, and are also on par with most ketogenic diets. While low-carb diets have been proven to help people lose weight, a crash low-carb diet is never sustainable. Our bodies and minds need energy from carbohydrates to function normally, which means people who lose weight on a low-carb diet are usually unable to keep it off for a full year. While many people would benefit from a reduction in how many carbs they eat, a strict low or no carb diet is usually unnecessary.

3. Going on a low-calorie diet

percentage-of-people-who-used-a-low-carlorie-diet
44% of people who were successful in losing weight used a low-calorie diet, while 55% of people who were unsuccessful used the same technique.

This is the one that surprised me the most. Out of everyone who attempted a low-calorie diet to lose weight, a higher percentage of the unsuccessful people tried this diet than the successful people. Overall, roughly half of people on a weight loss mission try this, but out of everyone who was successful, only 44% of the success stories incorporated a low-calorie diet. But how? Calories in, calories out, right? Well, yes, the basics of weight loss are that you must use more calories per day than you consume to lose weight, but you don’t particularly need to go on a strict low-calorie diet to achieve this. Instead of going on a low-calorie diet, you can try exercising more often and promising yourself that you remove soda and/or dessert from your diet. You can set a standard for yourself to eat only whole foods with plenty of lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. It appears that most people who successfully lose weight and keep it off for a year don’t specify a low-calorie diet, but focus on eating good foods and exercising, which in return leads to a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss.

4. Being a woman

percentage-of-men-and-women-who-sucessfully-lost-weight
According to our recent survey, 62% of males achieve their weight loss goals and keep the weight off for a year while only 38% of women achieve their goals.

Almost 2 out of every 3 men who attempted to lose weight reported they were able to achieve their weight goal and keep their weight off for a year. Meanwhile, only 1 in every 3 women reported they were able to do the same. Unfortunately for women, human physiology makes it easier for men to lose weight than women. The average man has less body fat and more muscle than the average woman. This means the man’s metabolism is going to run faster than the woman’s, and the man will burn more calories. Men can naturally eat more and burn more calories than women, which means if you are a woman, you are automatically 33% less likely to reach your weight goals as compared to men.

 

5. Adopting a diet that requires a strict program such as Weight Watchers

Success-rate-of-weight-watchers

Compared to the successful group, the unsuccessful group was 10% more likely to attempt Weight Watchers to lose weight. Of those who tried Weight Watchers, only 19% were successful. Taking on a strict and quantitative meal and exercise plan like weight watchers may work for some, but the majority were unable to reach their weight loss goals using this plan.

 

These 5 reasons that may prevent you from losing weight can all be very useful for certain people in certain conditions and when used correctly. Next time you set a weight loss goal, ask yourself “does this work for me”. If the answer is no, then you have 2 options, change yourself or change your methods. While changing yourself by increasing your discipline and motivation is always a good option, it is even better to look at your methods for losing weight and ensure they are sustainable. Just because you bought a gym membership and put yourself on a diet does not mean you will see results, and based on statistics you are less likely to reach your goals. You must always put in the work and adapt your strategies to fit your needs.

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Quote of the Week – Dec 19

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it” -Art Williams

Whether you’re doing the 2 Weeks to Health Challenge or your own steps to become a healthier individual, set your goals knowing it’s not going to be easy. Along the way you will encounter sweat, tears, and often a lack of motivation. You must push through because health goals are worth it in the end. There’s no better feeling that hitting that first weight milestone, running your fastest mile time, or increasing your weight on the bench press. But in order to reach that feeling it won’t be easy. Push on, work hard, and stay motivated. It’s going to be worth it.

Do you have a favorite quote? Send it to 2weekstohealth@gmail.com and we will feature you in one of the upcoming weeks!

Quote of the Week – 12 Dec

“Don’t stop when it hurts, stop when you’re done!” – Anonymous

We will all have those workouts where we get 3/4 of the way through and our lungs are burning, we can’t talk without gasping for air, and our muscles want to quit. Even when it hurts, it’s important to remember that you will get the most out of your workout if you push through and finish what you started. Your body might tell you no, but your mind is more powerful that your body. Go in with the mindset that it will be challenging, and that you will conquer the challenge, regardless of the efforts it takes. Then when you’re done, you will know you are in full control of your mind and body.

Do you have a favorite quote? Send it to 2weekstohealth@gmail.com and we will feature you in one of the upcoming weeks!

 

Quote of the Week – Nov 28

“Don’t ever, ever ring the bell” – Admiral McRaven

This week is another Admiral McRaven quote. William McRaven was a U.S. Navy SEAL, and during SEAL training if you wanted to quit, all you had to do was ring the bell mounted for everyone to see. Quitting was easy, succeeding in training was not. If you set a health goal for yourself, it is very easy to ring the bell and give up. But don’t ever, ever ring the bell. No matter how hard it gets, always keep your goal in mind, and keep pushing yourself until you achieve it.

The Grassroots Health Movement

Encourage, Educate, Exercise

In a study released by the CDC in 2015, almost 40 percent of American adults over the age of 20 are obese, while an additional 30 percent are overweight. This means 70% of Americans are putting themselves at a greater risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease. With such a high number of us on the heavy side, I began wondering what kind of culture this is creating.

The American culture as a whole has begun to accept that being overweight is okay. With modern medicine being as advanced as it is, and most people holding jobs that do not require strenuous work, it has become culturally ok if someone wants to live their life in the 300-pound range. I understand that it is wrong to push people to change when they are not seeking change themselves, as it can make people feel uncomfortable. However, we need to begin to create a culture that fosters more people taking time out of their day to work on their health. I don’t think it will take government programs to bring down the overweight percentage from 70% to a lower level. Instead, it will take a cultural shift driven by us, the citizens.

In my recent article about a grassroots solution to obesity, I mentioned that words become action, and action becomes habits. To add onto that, collective habit becomes culture. Culture has a drastic effect on how a member of that culture behaves. Let’s look at the military as an example. When young men and women join the military, they are all within weight limits, but vary in their levels of fitness. Immediately from day one, military culture takes hold, and part of that culture includes daily workouts. Within a few months, someone who maybe has never worked out a day in their life may crank out 20 pull-ups at a time. The military culture drives soldiers to stay in shape, the same as the current American culture drives people to underestimate the importance of their health.

What does this culture look like in the office? Let’s say you are working in an office with 10 colleagues. Statistically, 4 of them will be obese, 3 of them will be overweight, 2 of them will have a healthy weight and exercise often, and 1 will be in great shape and work out regularly. Regardless of which one of these employees you are, you can take the same three steps to change your office’s culture to make it more healthy: Encourage, Educate, and Exercise.

Encourage: Any time one of your colleagues decides to make a healthy decision, offer positive feedback. If George decides to eat a salad instead of a burger, go to the park with his kids instead of a movie, or hit the gym after work, be friendly and say something “That’s awesome, I love going the park with my kids. It feels great getting out and stretching after sitting all day. Do you plan on making it a weekly thing?” This is a subtle encouragement for going to the park again, helping George stay active.

Educate: Learn and teach. Always try to learn more about how to live healthier, and spread your knowledge. If your colleagues enjoy bringing desserts into the office to share, try bringing in a kick butt sugar-free dish one day and see if anyone notices. Take small steps to show that healthier eating doesn’t mean you have to eat tofu for every meal. If the office likes to have a company outing every once in a while, volunteer to organize the next event and choose to do something active and fun like dodgeball. Show that exercise can be a lot of fun. Overall, share your knowledge in a non-intimidating way.

Exercise: This means set the example. To try to change the culture, get out and exercise, and try to eat healthy yourself. Don’t be like crossfitters and tell everyone every minute what you’re doing. When you’re looking good, eventually someone will mention it or ask for help, providing the opportunity to share your knowledge.

If everything goes well, encouraging, educating, and exercising will motivate a couple of your colleagues to start making some changes to live healthier. Now you might have 3, 4, or even 5 of your co-workers talking consistently about your health as common office talk. A culture of healthy living has begun to form.

It only takes one person to change the culture of a small group, but it takes time. As more small groups, families, or friends groups change their health culture, soon the collective American culture will begin to change, and the obesity percentage should begin to decrease. So be the change, start the movement toward better health, it only takes one to make a difference. You are the root of change.

Quote of the Week – 21 Nov

“Sometimes you have to dive in head first” – Admiral McRaven

Although I’m sure a lot of people have said this before, to me it is most memorable coming from Admiral William McRaven, Navy SEAL, in his UT commencement speech. With regards to health, fitness, and weight loss, so many people don’t know where to start, so they never do. They spend so much time trying to find the best diet plans and exercises that they never begin to achieve their health goals. To live a healthy life you do need to learn some basic skills such as how to prepare healthy food and keep good form on workouts, but these will be learned over time. If you are just starting out, I believe it is most important to dive head first into the deep end and begin exercising using your current skills. Get your workouts in, and learn as you go. Never procrastinate and keep the momentum up.