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As a personal trainer, and now as a life coach, there are many things I have heard and seen over the years about diets. Most of them seem pretty clear-cut, and most of the time, there’s a pretty good reason why the diet fails. The reason why most diets and weight loss plans fail is mainly due to the dieter not having a clear, defined goal for the end goal. Often, the goal is vague, like ‘I want to lose a little weight’. But, there needs to be more than just a vague goal. Maybe you want to get stronger, live longer, sleep better, have more energy, get better abs, whatever! Perhaps you will lose some weight by running for 45 minutes instead of just sitting on the couch.

What I’ve learned about diets over the years

The strengths and weaknesses of many are based on this bigger, more specific goal. So, there is strength in this variety of strength; but it’s only useful for the small Rarely, someone doesn’t just want to lose weight. They don’t want to be healthier, and they don’t desire rock-hard abs. They want to get off their medications, or relax more, or have more energy. That’s all. Sometimes-rare, but there can be such a rarefication.

But, ironically, the most common practice is the least effective carryover from diet or exercise program. And, it’s also the one that is most discouraging to the dieter.

Set the correct goals

I’ve seen people fail to lose weight because they didn’t start one. They didn’t become aware of their new goals by starting with a goal of ‘I want to lose weight.’ They just began with a goal: ‘I’m going to exercise 3x a week for the next 3 months, and lose a little weight each month.’ They could have, and maybe did, lose faster, easier, and just simply might have become more aware of their goals without starting with any goals, but I doubt it.

So, this is what happens at the beginning of new diets: They get a rush of self-confidence, or self-control, or focus, or whatever else the diet claims you will have, and immediately they’ll fall off the wagon and fall into old (or sometimes, not so new) behaviors and patterns.

And, as a result of this new behavior drop, they become vulnerable, and the dieter can use their newfound freedom to start by ditching that crap for the next month, and things even work better, or not so much better.

And, before you know it, they quit the diet, never to regain the weight, or the self-confidence, or whatever else it took to start the diet in the first place.

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