Being a personal trainer in Liverpool and Wirral for the last 20 years, I've seen thousands of successful weight loss transformations, but I've also seen a staggering number of failures. So if you're one of the people who constantly struggle on a weight loss journey, keep reading because, in this article, I highlight the 5 critical factors why you’ll never lose weight.
Despite the typical opinion from personal trainers and nutritionists, weight loss has nothing to do with calories or the gym! Yes, you read that correctly. The bottom line is this, it's you who decides what food and how much of that food you eat. It's you who decides if you'll go to the gym to do some exercise. Your weight loss starts and ends with you!
Side note, going to the gym is one of the worst places you can go if you’re looking for weight loss as most overweight/obese people are self-conscious about their appearance. Going into an environment full of fit toned bodies with big ego's is hardly appealing, and for this reason, I show my clients how to get in the shape of their life at home. Home Fitness can be more effective than the gym. For more details on home training, visit my previous article on Fitness at home.
So let’s dig into the real reasons why YOU won't lose weight… unless you embrace the following Mindset shift!
The combination of attitude and self-belief forms an integral part of your mindset. In her internationally bestselling book ‘Mindset’ Professor Carol Dwek provides an excellent articulation of two types of Mindsets, Fixed and Growth. Her book is certainly worth a read should you struggle with the way you think and your attitude towards your goals. Click here to watch her excellent 10-minute talk.
A fixed mindset struggles with failure and ceases to continue after just a couple of setbacks. You are the person who will give up when things get difficult or after you fail to achieve the outcome you wanted in the time you thought it would happen. You probably lack a great deal of belief in yourself, and/or your attitude is one constantly searching for the easy/quick option.
A growth mindset embraces challenges and engages deeply in the process required to achieve the outcome. They face obstacles as an opportunity to learn and become a better version of themselves instead of focusing on the result.
This mindset is so powerful because the individual will keep moving forward despite the setbacks they inevitably face. Over time they build resilience and confidence as they keep moving through their journey until one day, they reach their destination… and deservedly so!
In a 2016 research paper investigating the relationship of a growth mindset and achieving goals, a group of students were given the option to choose performance-based metrics for their exams or learn mastery of the subject tested on. The author showed that all students opting for learning mastery of the topic scored significantly higher than those choosing for performance scores.
If you do not have a growth mindset ready to embrace the journey, then once those bathroom scales stop giving you the answer you want, that's your journey over! So the best piece of advice I can give you is to start learning to adopt a growth mindset.
This is in tandem with point 1. Learning the process, you embark on is the key to your success. Most people will not want to do the work necessary to master new skills and implement them into their life. As a Home Personal Trainer in Liverpool and Wirral, I focus heavily on teaching my clients the intricate details and things they need to do daily to get fit and lose weight.
I show them the key areas and habits they need to adopt and repeat to learn the required skills. For all the years I've been a home and online personal trainer, I'd love to say that all my results are down to how awesome I am; however, that's simply not true! Ego aside, my results happen when my clients follow the processes I give them. Some of my clients do the work, and some don't. The ones who do and master the process always get incredible results, and those who don't get negligible or no results. Click here for more info on my programmes.
In a research paper by Western Oregon University on Mastery vs Performance outcome, they found several critical characteristics of people who focused on learning instead of those focused on results.
After reading these characteristics and finding that most of the ones related to you are under the performance goals list, it may be time to switch your goal orientation.
Here's a little more bad news for you. You're in the position you are today because of your habits and behaviours in the past. Your current way of life is causing you to gain more weight and probably worsen your health. If you genuinely want to impact your body, you're going to need to address your current lifestyle.
Most people are consistently gaining weight because of their lifestyle and behaviours around how they live. If you analyse the things you do where food & alcohol consumption accompany it, you will see it is always related to your partner, social events and routines.
If you’re a big social animal, then alcohol and eating out is probably attached to that. An investigation by the Good Housekeeping Institute reviewed 16 of the most popular UK restaurants. To be clear, these were not fast-food chains; see the list below. By analysing the restaurant's website nutritional information for the meals, they found that most dishes were approximately 1000 calories each. Desserts can range from 750-1500 calories, and then the usual glass of wine to accompany the meal approximating 150 calories.
Think about this for a second, if you go out to eat with friends and have a main meal, dessert and one glass of wine, then you'll be consuming between 1900-2650 calories in one sitting. This is beyond the total calorie consumption required for most people in a full day. But, on the other hand, if you add on a couple more drinks and side orders of bread whilst you're waiting, then you’ll be comfortably breaking the 3000-calorie mark.
If you’re a fitness freak exercising every day and your diet is good with a 20% calorie deficit each day, doing this once a week is not a problem. But let’s be honest, this probably isn't you!
The big message for you to focus on here is your lifestyle. It’s the things connected to your social life and/or the home weekend habits of Netflix, Pizza & Chocolate that are probably causing you a real big problem. The best advice is to identify the big offenders first, then look to see how you can adjust or manage them.
This isn't easy, but it is necessary to lose weight, look great and feel amazing. If you want a clear step by step strategy on how you can set up your lifestyle for success, then download my free Fast Weight Loss Guidebook here.
This may seem strange in relation to getting fit and losing weight, but it's crucial to your success! Following on from the previous point of making changes in your lifestyle, you will inevitably encounter a great deal of friction.
For example, you decide that you no longer wish to order the takeaway or sink 2 bottles of wine on the weekend. That's a smart decision but, here's where the friction comes in. If this is a routine you do with your partner at weekends because it’s the only opportunity in the week where you spend time to connect with each other, you’ll now encounter 2 big friction points.
Firstly, your partner. If your partner is not 100% with you on your fitness and weight loss journey, you will meet resistance here. Your partner might support your idea, but when the weekends come, and they still consume their regular takeaway, good luck trying to swap the Pizza & Wine for a Salad & Green Tea, whilst your other half sits next to you in a world of complete indulgence.
The second friction point is finding a replacement. What will you do if you decide to go nuclear on your body transformation and completely change the regular weekend patterns? Now you're faced with the apprehension of doing something new and the inevitable barrage of negative vibes from friends and/or partner for choosing to do something different which may not even involve them.
This is precisely the reason why you need Courage! Making changes with friendship circles, negotiating quality time with your partner and, starting new things will pull heavily on your emotional and psychological state. You'll need to be strong and brave to make these transitions, so start building your courageous muscles if you want to make that true body transformation.
If you want to Get Fit at Home, you'll need to create a burning desire to achieve your goals. This is the starting point I go through with my Online Personal Training clients and my Home Personal Training Clients. First, I get each client to focus on the critical details of their goal, so they have complete clarity of what they want and why they want it. From here, I then get them to write down all of the critical internal and external factors that mean so much to them.
If you don’t have a burning desire to lose weight and get fit, you'll struggle to maintain your self-discipline once things become difficult. I remember attending a lecture a few years ago by Legendary Strength Coach Charles Poliquin. I'll never forget his brutally simplistic philosophy. He said, 'It's impossible to maintain self-discipline if your desire for cookies is stronger than your desire to lose weight.' When a coach that's had dozens of Olympic Gold Medalists on his client books gives you this advice, then you should listen.
In his bestselling book ‘Start with Why, Simon Sinek describes his concept of the golden circle, a simple but effective illustration of creating a powerful meaning behind what you are doing. When you start with a Why you give your goal a serious purpose that creates a deep internal driving force. When you have a powerful meaning, you’ll overcome any barrier you face when moving through your weight loss journey. As the great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche put it, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost anyhow."
My advice is for you to create a powerful reason and meaning behind your goal. Then, start thinking about what achieving this goal will do for your life, how it will change things for the better, and consider how you will feel by staying the same or getting worse as time moves on.
Go deep into the emotional aspect and link everything that matters concerning this goal. Then, write it down in a journal and read it every day!
These 5-keypoints are potent components to achieving your goal. They are confirmed by science and have been practised for centuries, so take note of these critical components and take action to implement the mindset and behaviours for you to get fit, lose weight and become the best version of yourself!
Until Next Time