Research says that one in every five people has initiated a diet 6 or more times in the last months. That means a new diet program every four months. What does that say about the success rate of these programs? Diets are not the only weight loss instruments that don’t seem to work. Exercise programs fare even worse as people keep dropping out without achieving results.

So what is the basic reason why exercise/diet/weight loss programs fail in achieving the desired results? Is it a lack of commitment or is it something more fundamental? Are people doing it in the wrong way, or is the whole program flawed in the first place? These questions need an answer to and here are some points worth mentioning…

• People often overestimate their ability to diet. This means that they set unrealistic goals and chart out unrealistic diets that are both difficult and unhealthy to follow.

• Another reason that diets fail is that people do not know the real calorific value of foodstuffs. They make wrong assumptions on hearsay and set out on a diet that they think will help them reduce.

Not knowing when to stop is one of the major reasons why diets fail. If a particular food is known to be low in calories, people consider it safe to eat loads and loads of it. This completely robs the diet of any benefits that may have accrued.

• Similarly, overestimating your physical abilities is a major reason why exercise programs fail. When someone sets out on an exercise program in a really ‘big’ way, he/she is very likely to quit within a few days/weeks of starting. The body is not able to keep up with the expectations set out for it and quitting becomes inevitable.

• An exercising program that comprises only aerobics is not enough for weight loss. For desired weight loss results, it is essential that weight training be included in the exercise program along with aerobic activity.

Socialising and going out on weekends is one big reason why weight loss programs fail. Most people are lazy on weekends and tend to avoid exercising/cooking at home. Eating out or partying with friends undoes benefits achieved from weight loss program during the weekdays.

Being the dustbin of the family is never a good idea if you are trying to lose weight. So if you have any leftovers or if the kids do not polish off the stuff in their plates, fight the temptation to finish up. Use the dustbin to dump the leftovers instead of treating yourself like a waste bin.

In our next article in the series, we will discuss ways and strategies in which you can make your exercise program more fruitful and effective. So keep coming back…

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