yogaHow many times have you started a diet or exercise plan only to give up before you’ve reached your goal?  The best way to be successful and stick to it in the future is to understand what caused you to give up in the past.  Below are some reasons we give up:



Too many restrictions
One of the biggest reasons that people give up eating healthy is that they start a diet that is too restrictive.   It may be a low carb diet or a diet that only allows you to eat certain foods.  Sometimes people limit their calories so much that they are always hungry.  Many people think that healthy foods are those that don’t taste good, so they get sick of eating them.  When your diet is too restrictive, you lose your willpower quickly.  My biggest weakness is chocolate, so instead of completely eliminating chocolate I allow myself to have 3 Dove dark chocolate bite size candies each day.  Did you know small amounts of dark chocolate is actually good for you?

Another reason people give up on a diet is that they don’t see results soon enough and they think it’s not working.  When you start to lose weight it’s so gradual that you may not notice it.  That’s why it’s important to weigh yourself once a week or once every two weeks, so you can see the weight you’ve lost.  One mistake people make is weighing themselves every day.  Your weight doesn’t change that quickly, so you get discouraged.  Sometimes you may even gain a little weight and think that your exercising isn’t working.  However, if you are doing strength training, you are building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat.

Lack of Support
Many people give up on a diet or exercise program because they don’t have a support system or their family puts pressure on them to quit.  Sometimes a spouse or significant other criticizes or teases them for eating healthy or exercising.  Friends or family members can also influence whether you stick to a fitness plan by tempting you with unhealthy foods.  Many people want you to fail, because they are jealous and don’t have willpower themselves.  They don’t want you to succeed if they can’t.  It’s important to find friends that will support your healthy living and encourage you.

Lack of Time
Sometimes people get so busy that it’s hard to find time to exercise or make healthy meals.  They pick up fast food because they don’t have time to cook.  Plus, if they miss a couple of days of exercise, it’s harder to get back on track and they give up.  I’ve found that when I don’t eat healthy, I’m less likely to exercise and if I get out of my exercise routine, I eat more snacks.  It can be a vicious cycle.  The key is to work in at least 10 minutes of exercise throughout the day or at least once a day.  I know what it’s like to be busy all the time.  I work full time, I have 3 kids, I write this blog, I’m writing a book, and I volunteer for different organizations.  I have a hard time saying “no” and often take on too much.  I know how hard it is to find time to exercise.  You have to make time for exercise and make it a priority.

When people are overly tired they have a hard time being motivated to exercise.  They are also more likely to eat unhealthy.  Lack of sleep causes ghrelin levels to rise which increases your appetite.  You may also crave sweets when you are tired.  When you get a good night’s sleep, you are more likely to have willpower and make good healthy decisions.  Getting enough sleep also keeps your immune system strong so you are less likely to get sick, which can hamper your efforts.

Pushing Too Hard
Finally, many people give up on exercise because they try to push themselves too hard in the beginning.  They do an intense workout and the next day their muscles are too sore to exercise anymore, so they give up.  Another problem is when people do a hard workout that they hate and decide exercise is not for them.  I used to think you had to run or work out until you could hardly breathe to lose weight.  The reality is that you can get moving and enjoy yourself and still lose weight.  It’s important to start out gradually with exercise and do something you enjoy.

These are some of the reasons people give up on eating healthy and exercising.  If you know what can sabotage your efforts, then you can be prepared to avoid them.  It’s easy to give up, but it takes determination and self motivation to stick with a fitness plan.  Losing weight isn’t that hard.  You just have to be consistent and stick to it.  Have you got what it takes?