While wanting to lose weight is certainly a good goal to set, it’s also a goal that many people fail at – oftentimes repeatedly – and there are many reasons why this happens. Fad diets, for example, are a huge problem. Unlike the South Beach, Paleo or Ketogenic diets, which are geared towards long-term weight maintenance, fad diets are designed more toward being short-term, quick fixes. Unfortunately, fad diets are bad diets. While the idea of losing weight quickly certainly sounds like a great idea, they’re usually too good to be true. In addition, many of the fad diets that are out there today are geared towards eating very specific foods while eliminating others; and, by eliminating certain foods, you’re also eliminating certain vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body’s ability to function properly. 


Another reason why people often fail at their goal to lose weight is because they put all of their focus on weight itself. While it’s okay to be aware of how much you weigh and how much weight you want to lose, you shouldn’t necessarily have that be your main focal point. Rather than having your primary focus be on numbers, you should instead shift your focus on how you’re going to make that happen, the reasons why you want to lose weight, as well as on how weight loss can be of benefit to your overall health and wellness.  


For example, one of the ways people go about losing weight is through exercise – and when you exercise, this can have a positive impact on your mental health. Some of the most common mental health disorders that Canadians are diagnosed with include depression and anxiety. When you exercise, the brain goes through a number of changes, including neural growth as well as change in the brain’s activity patterns that allow you to feel calmer. Exercise also releases powerful chemicals known as endorphins, which help to increase your energy level and boost the mood. If you’re stressed or anxious, you may also notice an increase in muscle tension, as well as experience other symptoms such as insomnia, diarrhea, and frequent urination. When you get regular physical activity, you are helping to relieve much of this tension and therefore reducing your stress level and anxiety. 


Another reason why individuals may not initially be successful in their goals to lose weight is if they don’t like the exercise they’re doing or aren’t a fan of the healthier foods they’re eating. There are ways to get excited about fitness and food, however. Ask yourself what type of exercise you enjoy, and more important, make sure the physical activity you do is something your body can handle and feels right, as the last thing you want to do is over-exert yourself and cause injury, which can happen if you aren’t doing the right kinds of exercise or if your body isn’t warmed up enough (something you should do both before and after your workouts.) Experiment with different types of exercises, and, as your body gets used to it, different levels of fitness, too. Also rethink how and when you exercise. If you’re used to driving to work, walk or take the bike. If you’re used to staying at your desk at lunch, go for a walk around the block. The good thing about exercise is that is can be incorporated into anything you do at almost any time. 

When it comes to eating, you need to be mindful. While that slice of chocolate cake or those plate of cookies might look good, ask yourself how consuming those foods will benefit you in the long-run. The answer, most likely, is that they won’t. If anything, they will increase your risk of things like heart disease, cavities, and weight gain – which is something you’re trying to avoid. That being said, try to focus less on what you need to eliminate from your diet and more on what you need to include more of. Fruits and vegetables, for example, are high in a variety of vitamins and minerals that the body requires for proper function; while things like fibre and protein are also essential. 


It’s also important to have the right mindset if you want to lose weight. Remember that it’s normal to have setbacks, and that you’re not alone. Remind yourself of all the reasons why losing weight will help your overall health and wellness, and remind yourself of your own worth by telling yourself some positive affirmations on a daily basis.