Why do you think there are so many diet and exercise programs? It’s because everyone, it seems, wants to lose weight or shave a few inches or mold their bodies to some idealized goal.
The reality is, however, that most diet and workout programs fail. Estimates of diet program failures range from a conservative 80 percent to as high as 90 percent. Some reports suggest that only about 1 percent of people who diet lose weight permanently. The same holds true for workout programs, which many people begin and keep at somewhat diligently before falling off.
Causes for the FailuresDiet Program Failures - Diets that are the most restrictive are the first ones to fail. These are the very low calorie diets that limit caloric consumption to 800 calories per day (and often include replacing meals with shakes or cereal bars). That’s just a recipe for failure, since the human body cannot sustain itself on a continued regimen of deprivation.
There are two main reasons why diet programs fail:
• Dieters follow a plan that doesn’t include re-education about healthy eating habits.
• Dieters reduce daily caloric intake well below the plan’s recommendation.
Once the diet fails, dieters – especially women - feel demoralized over the failed attempt to lose weight and keep it off. In addition, the back-and-forth of weight loss/weight gain is a problem. Drastic weight loss, followed by equal or greater weight gain, can be even worse to the person’s health.
Workout Program Failures – Just as too restrictive a diet regimen is a predictor of failure, so, too is too strenuous a workout program. But there are other reasons why a workout program fails to deliver results – or the person abandons the program.
• Not enough cardio – Workouts require good cardio intensity. If the individual only does low intensity cardio, they’re probably not burning enough calories or increasing metabolism.
• Eating less than 3 meals a day – If the exerciser fails to eat 3 times a day, their metabolism slows – which further increases the likelihood of failure.
• No resistance training – A good exercise program includes resistance training to help boost metabolism and burns more calories. Without it, there’s no progress and the individual loses interest in the workout program.
• Too many isolation exercises – Crunches, bicep curls, and shoulder raises are ineffective at toning and do almost nothing for weight loss.
• Not pushing hard enough – To get maximum benefits from a workout program, a person needs to push ahead, to be motivated to continue to the next level. A flat, non-challenging workout yields no results – other than the person eventually gives up.
Tips to Stay Motivated
Want to see results? Here are some tips to stay motivated:
• Choose realistic goals.
• Go slowly.
• Don’t overdo it, but do push yourself.
• Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
• Get adequate sleep.
• Join a group – or get a friend involved in a joint effort.