Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by the thought method co.
When you struggle to lose weight, it is only natural to wonder why most diet efforts fail. Most (practically all) diets focus on physical things: exercise regimens, and the newest trendy eating techniques. Let’s see how that has been working out for us:
- In less than two years, “23% of people gain more weight than they lost”.
- Within two years more than half of dieters regain the weight they had lost
- “More than two years after dieting, 83% gain more than they lost.”
- “By year 5, more than 80% of all weight lost is regained.”
- “After 5 years 50% of dieters were 11 pounds over initial weight.”
So, why do most diet efforts fail?
Scientists are still puzzled by weight regain (more about that here), but as someone who has maintained a 40-pound weight loss for over a decade, the answer is obvious. The reason most diet efforts fail, and most people regain weight, is because they are not focused on their thoughts.
Thoughts get overlooked because they aren’t typically associated with physical weight. But science tells us that thoughts contribute to our physical health (more about that here). And it is time we accept that our thoughts directly impact our weight.
Let’s look at two dieters with different mindsets, their approaches to weight loss, and how it worked out.
Amina’s growth mindset diet
Amina approaches weight loss with a thoughtful and strategic mindset. She knows that if she wants to lose weight and keep it off, it would be a long-term lifestyle change, not a short quick-fix. Instead of opting for crash diets or intense workout routines, she starts by evaluating her lifestyle and habits.
Realizing she overeats when she is stressed she begins by creating a healthier relationship with food. She identifies her overeating triggers and learns healthier ways to manage stress, like yoga and meditation. And she made changes to her diet like adding more fruits and vegetables, eating smaller portions, and practicing mindful eating.
Amina also starts doing regular physical activity that she enjoys, like daily walks and dancing. With every step, she focused on the journey rather than fixating on the end goal. She celebrates small victories and learns from setbacks, understanding that lasting change takes time and patience.
Mark’s fixed mindset diet
Frustrated with his weight, Mark plunges headfirst into the latest fad diets and rigorous exercise routines, hoping for quick results. He cuts out entire food groups, creates a strict meal plans, and pushes himself to the limit in the gym. While he initially saw some progress, Mark struggles to maintain his intense regimen. He often feels deprived and exhausted, leading to periods of binge eating and guilt.
Caught up in the cycle of extreme dieting, Mark’s weight fluctuates, and he found it challenging to sustain any long-term progress. His fixation on immediate results overshadowed the importance of building a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Mark’s impulsive approach hindered his ability to form a balanced and positive relationship with his body.
Thought based dieting
While Amina continues to make steady progress towards her goal, Mark get stuck. And while Amina lost weight and experienced an overall improvement in her well-being, Mark gained a few pounds and decided to just give up.
By taking a thought-based approach to weight loss, Amina made sustainable change. While Mark’s fixed mindset and quick fixes offered immediate gratification, they lead to short-lived results. And by prioritizing her mental and emotional health, Amina developed sustainable habits that supported her long-term. Mark struggled with yo-yo dieting and emotional turmoil, unable to establish a healthy and lasting routine.
Weight loss is not just physical; it’s a journey that demands patience, self-reflection, and a positive mindset. Nurturing a thought-based approach, will help you achieve your goals while creating a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Click here to learn more about how thoughts become things.