5 Weight-Loss Myths Busted
By STEVE SIEBOLD
Many people have good intentions about getting fit and healthy, but they're stuck because of certain beliefs about weight loss which can hold them back from reaching their goals. These beliefs are keeping them fat, sluggish, sick and unmotivated to change. In order to successfully lose weight and finally get healthy, we must first break free of the misconceptions about dieting and reveal the truth.
Here are five common myths holding many people back:
Myth 1: "I can cheat on my diet."
Truth: Don't fall into the psychological trap of the masses thinking you can be 99 percent compliant with your diet and succeed. You may be able to cheat a little when you become fit, but in the beginning you must commit to a massive all-out action. Success is about sticking to the goal no matter what it takes. Don't delude yourself into thinking you can beat the system. If you could, you would have done it by now. Set a goal to be 100 percent compliant for 30 consecutive days, and give yourself a non-edible reward for achieving it. Rack up three successful 30-day sessions of complete dietary compliance and you will never be the same. Not only will you drop the weight, you'll begin to believe you can do anything -- and you'll be right. Success with your diet means 100 percent commitment, and that's why most people don't succeed.
Myth 2: "I can start over on Monday."
Truth: Start-stop syndrome is a common cause of weight-loss failure. This instills the belief that time is unlimited and another opportunity will be available to become healthy. Tell that to the millions of Americans who have had heart attacks, cancer and diabetes caused by obesity. Today is all you have. It's a psychological trap with the core belief being, "I can eat the same and get different results." Fit people force themselves to grow up emotionally and take control of their minds and bodies. Being semi-committed to your diet is no different than a schoolchild who refuses to concentrate on his homework, or a kid who goes kicking and screaming at the first sign of having to exert self-control. Uncommitted dieters will use every self-deluding tool in the book to justify their lack of discipline and self-control. Wake up and realize that today is the day to start down the road to better health and fitness.
Myth 3: "Diets just don't work for me."
Truth: Americans have been programmed to believe diets don't work because of the inability of the average person to persevere and their unwillingness to take responsibility for their own failures. Make no mistake: Many diets work very well. Because an individual lacks the mental toughness to stick to a diet doesn't make the diet any less effective. People can't accept responsibility for their own behavior, so they blame the diet. That's no different than a college graduate deciding to beg for money on the street and then blaming the school for his failure to get rich. The real problem lies in the thoughts, beliefs and philosophies of the individual. Diets work, but people often don't.
Myth 4: "Weight loss is so complex."
Truth: People who have failed on so many diets begin to believe there's something mysteriously complex about getting thin and healthy. It's a psychological phenomenon that holds people back from building the body they desire and deserve. Fit people know weight loss is as simple and straightforward as making a commitment to change and being mentally tough enough to stick to that commitment. The configuration of the diets themselves can be very complex, but adhering to a diet is as elementary as having the willpower to keep your word to yourself. People who constantly fail have no credibility with themselves because they've broken their promises so many times that they no longer trust their ability to do what they say they will do. This is a huge self-esteem killer. Unless you're a scientist or planning to create your own dietary formula, your job is simple: Stick to the diet. Nothing more, nothing less.
Myth 5: "A little extra weight isn't so bad."
Truth: Since human beings are emotional creatures, staying grounded in objective reality requires effort. If you want to successfully lose weight, it's time to become brutally honest with yourself. Don't let emotion cloud your judgment. Stop telling yourself that a little fat is not a problem. Take a good look in the mirror and stop lying to yourself. Fat robs you of energy, vitality and enthusiasm. It may even kill you. There's nothing good about it. The feel-good marketing scheme that tells you that "big is beautiful" and people should be happy with their body no matter how fat they are is a twisted lie. Fat sucks the life out of people. End of story. If you're going to win this battle, you have to identify the enemy -- and the enemy is you.
Readers -- Do you agree or disagree with Steve's take on these five weight-loss myths? Have you had trouble losing weight? Have you ever believed in one of these weight-loss myths? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Steve Siebold is the author of "Fat Loser: Mental Toughness Training for Dieters," and "Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People." To download a free copy, visit www.fatloser.com.