Has there ever been anyone who said that they want to lose 20 pounds, briefly keep it off, then regain it all back plus more? It seems funny, right? But that’s exactly the scenario for lots of people who shed weight. Why does it seem to be so hard to keep the weight off? Below are some of the possible reasons why losing weight tends to be very difficult for some.

Most people want to fast track things.

It’s simply a no-brainer – a lot of people tend to seek instant results as a way of gratifying themselves. But really, nothing worth achieving comes easy, and this phrase applies to weight loss as well. Most traditional weight-loss plans involve a whole lot of dieting and adopting new lifestyle choices that common people are not able — or simply unwilling to – maintain for the rest of their lives.

Humans are wired to want to look for instant gratification. There are people who have tried a host of diets to no avail, who still willingly cut their caloric intakes if it can help them shed off the pounds. But the truth is, if people make changes that they cannot really sustain, then their efforts will all be for naught; they may lose the weight initially but it will come piling back soon enough. So with that as a given, it’s far more better to take a bit of time to improve someone’s intake of quality foods and learn to do some lifestyle adjustments to ensure a better chance at successfully keeping the pounds at bay.

People see weight loss as the finish line.

Long term adherence to dietary and lifestyle modifications sometimes does not happen even to people who successfully lost weight. Why? It is because people tend to see actual weight loss as the goal –something to see at the finish line. Once you’re able to cross that line, the diet’s going to be over and you can go back to your old ways – the precise mindset that leads to regaining your old weight. So if you really want to stay in shape, the efforts required in doing so should never end, even when you’ve already reached your target weight.

People diet for all the wrong reasons.

Another challenge is coming up with an effective and lasting reason as to why you want to lose weight. Health issues, an upcoming wedding, class reunions or summer vacations in some tropical island—these reasons often fade in time, and if you want to lose weight and maintain it off your figure, then you need to come up with something more concrete than those reasons. Waiting for inspiration to strike may cause you to slip back into your old habits, but being more action-oriented or being open to new ways to eat and live healthy may serve as fuel for your passion.

People tend to have unrealistic goals and expectations.

In the world of weight loss, you should make sure that your expectations are close to reality in order for you to stay motivated in maintaining your weight. Oftentimes, people who tend to be disappointed by the amount of weight they have lost are the ones who are more prone to gaining it back. The same goes for people whose mindset revolves in the idea that weight loss is the only thing that can make them happy in life. The truth is, almost everyone has their own internal struggle with body image, relationships, levels of job satisfaction and more, at a certain point in their lives.

People are not in the habit of being flexible.

People should be well-prepared for life’s unexpected curve-balls. Those who have the inclination to only look at things at black and white may turn out to be less adaptable to the numerous changes entailed with losing weight, and might be more likely to go back to old, more familiar habits. So treat weight loss as a journey and practice having a Plan B if in case something in life briefly knocks you off-tangent.

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