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Almost everyone you speak to wants to lose weight. This is not to say that they are necessarily obese or seriously overweight – but just that most of us are less active than we should be and possibly overindulge on the sweeter things in life.

But if so many people want to lose weight, why are so many of us still not in the shape that we would really like to be?

The answer comes down to a few very common mistakes that tend to hamper our performance. In this post, I’m going to break down some of those mistakes and demonstrate which behaviors you should look to change to make your next diet successful.

  1. Being Overly Ambitious

One of the biggest mistakes that we will often make when trying to lose weight is to be overly ambitious in terms of our diet plan and our exercise program.

A common example of this might be planning to exercise 5 times a week for an hour at a time. This is too big a goal, and becomes unsustainable. Even if it works for the first few days, or even weeks, the reality is that it is going to eventually become too much.  Most people will then just stop there and give up.

Solution: When looking at any diet plan or exercise program, ask yourself if it’s something you can do long term.

You should not need to rearrange or disrupt everything and everyone to make your diet program work. Do something that’s easily achievable; like walking more often, cutting out sugary, fatty or starchy foods.

  1. Not Knowing What Foods To Avoid

Another common mistake is to overlook the impact that certain less obvious things have in your diet.

It is easy to remember to eat the right dinner and to avoid cake and deserts. There are also less obvious things like soda drinks, eating too much fruit, butter on your sandwiches, eating within three hours before bedtime.

Solution: Avoid eating at least three hours before you go to bed. Don’t eat fruits with a high sugar content. Don’t use artificial sweeteners. Indulge in nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, grass fed meats, green veggies, salads, etc.

  1. Waiting For That Perfect Moment

When I speak to people who want to lose weight, they will often tell me that they’re planning to start soon. Time is just not on their side right now, or they haven’t found the proper diet-plan yet.

Losing weight should not be over-complicated. There are some methods that are more effective than others but ultimately, if you are eating a little less and exercising a little more, you will begin to improve.

Solution: Stop procrastinating and just start. Eat less, take a short walk after dinner. Do light yoga for ten minutes. Buy a pair of running shoes, or a yoga mat.

  1. Not Adopting Healthy Habits

What’s the best way to lose weight and stick to our goals? Quit your job! You’ll have a lot more time, energy and much more inclination to train and to eat correctly.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the luxury of being able to just walk out of our offices, or work half-days to allow for other important things.

However, we can Likewise, focussing on sleep, on our emotional state and on our routine is also important if you really want to make a big difference in your health.

Solution: Pay closer attention to the role that our work plays in our daily lives, and organise our lives around that. Can you make time for exercise during your lunch break?

Take a healthy lunch box to work, instead of buying food. Eat healthy snacks in-between meals. Take the stairs.

  1. Using Willpower To Control Our Appetites, Instead of Science

Most diets encourage us to eat less. Unfortunately for dieters, our bodies are designed to protect us against starvation. Our metabolism slows down to store food and preserve energy.

Eating certain foods slows your metabolism and increases hunger.

Solution: Eat real whole fresh food, and only enough to satisfy your hunger. Avoid sugary foods, even certain fruits. Eat less carbs and consume more healthy fats.

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