10 Reasons Why Losing Weight is Hard

By losing (almost) 100 pounds in 6 months, some have told me that I make losing weight look easy.  While I certainly like to think I’ve been optimistic and energetic on this weight loss journey, I never meant to mislead anybody.

Losing weight is hard.

Here are some harsh realities of losing weight and why you’ll find it hard.

1.  You probably won’t lose 100 pounds in 6 months. You need to set goals that are realistic.  Keep in mind, the more you weigh, the quicker you can lose weight. If you’re only slightly overweight or obese you almost certainly can’t begin to think of losing 100 pounds in 6 months.  You need to set goals that are obtainable or you’ll fail, get discouraged, and quit.

Then again, I didn’t think I could lose 50 pounds in 6 months.

2.  Cravings will last for months. I had extremely bad cravings.  I broke my addiction to soda in a single day and it gave me serious withdrawals.  It got so bad 6 weeks into my journey that I would pour a glass of Pepsi, take a sip, and swash it around my mouth just to taste it.  I would then spit it out.  True story.

3. Bad habits die hard. I used to eat out all the time — I’d order sweet tea or soda and have several refills with every visit.  It took about 3 months before I could easily say, without reluctance, that I wanted a water instead of a soda.

4. Family and friends may not support you. Sure, they may encourage you to lose weight and motivate you, but when you go out on Friday night they may still want the chili cheese fries.  You may have to navigate your healthy lifestyle with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in the house.  You may need to go to the gym while everyone is still at home watching television.

Be prepared to lose weight by yourself.

You got yourself into the mess alone, don’t ask or expect other people to help you out of it.  If they do, great! But, as in my case, my wife was pregnant for the first 3 months of my weight loss journey — the hardest part — and I couldn’t even begin to ask her to give up the pickles and ice cream.

5.  You blame being overweight/obesity on something else. I used to say that I was cursed with “bad genes” that wired me to be overweight.  Being overweight all my life it was easy to use bad genes as an excuse.  By blaming something or somebody else for your weight problem, you’re giving yourself an easy out when you get discouraged and feel like giving up.  You might begin to say to yourself, “I should quit trying to lose weight, my (genes, wife, job, Bigfoot) won’t ever let me anyway.”

That’s bull.

While there are definitely people whom are inflicted with certain medical conditions that prevent them from losing weight, those people are few and far between.  More than likely, you’re not one of them so forget the excuses.

6.  The odds are stacked against you. Not only have you probably tried and failed to lose weight several times before (I know I have), but so has everyone else.  While I’m not big on numbers, statistics, or “facts” (read this blog long enough, you’ll see that), I know that the vast majority of people who try to lose weight fail.  And, not only if you do beat the odds and manage to lose weight, you have an even smaller chance of keeping that weight off.

Gee, it’s hard enough losing 150 pounds.  Then I have to maintain it?

7.  Information is readily available, but confusing. I love all the comments and e-mails I receive through the blog.  I’m also thankful for all the advice and weight loss tips I read on other sites and blogs — there’s no limit to the amount of information available.  Unfortunately though, a lot of it is conflicting and confusing.  Some information I read tells me to eat more, some of it tells me to eat less.  Some of it says workout more, some says workout less.

The list of conflicting advice goes on and on.

With that being said, I still love reading all the tips I receive about losing weight, both on my blog and off.  But you’ll realize, just as I did, that the tips, advice, and information other people offer to you all work — but for them.

Your body is different and you’ll need to find what works for you.

8.  You don’t want to sweat. If you’re having fun in the gym for the first month or two, you’re doing something wrong.  The gym isn’t about being comfortable, or having fun, it’s about being in pain.  I’m not talking about the pain that comes from improper exercise or sore muscles or anything like that, but the pain that comes from waking up a body and lifestyle from years of a boring, sedentary, technology-handicapped lifestyle.

It’s a good pain.  It’s the pain that originates from your mind telling your body it needs to change by way of treadmill and dumbbells.

9.  You’re not mentally strong enough. I can guarantee you that you will hit a brick wall sooner or later on your weight loss journey and you will need to be able to stay patient while you try to break it down.  I was able to lose nearly 5 pounds a week for months up until this last month when my weight loss slowed.  Before this last weigh-in, I had only lost 4 pounds in 3 weeks.

It wasn’t easy to keep going, but I did.  I just did.  You’ll need to, as well.

10.  Your lifestyle needs to change. Losing weight isn’t about setting short term goals like “lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks.”  Losing weight is about changing the way you live.  This means making consistently healthy choices not only at the gym and dinner table, but with the actions you take all day long.

Do you find losing weight is hard?  If so, why?

29 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why Losing Weight is Hard”

  1. Tyler, I don’t find losing weight hard. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish it were faster. I do. I think it is all about a decision. Once the decision is made, the rest is easy. Nevertheless, your points are right on target and should be heeded by anyone beginning a weight loss lifestyle change. Congratulations on your successes. May they continue for you!

  2. *I* find it hard. Not that I mind my actual eating plan (clean eating with a cheat day every week). I’ve been doing good stuff for almost 6 weeks now and I’ve lost about 8 pounds– all in the first few weeks. I’ve dropped a clothing size, I feel good, and my fasting blood sugars are coming down (the main reason I’m doing this). But peeling off the actual pounds is hard for me. And I get very confused about the “right” number of calories to eat, whether to eat back exercise calories, etc. It’s a journey, that’s for sure.

  3. I get up in the morning and dread going to the gym. Its that bad. I do not want to even get out of bed. And the bad thing is, I am actually a morning person.

  4. #4 is interesting and very true. Ask my wife if she supports my goal to lose weight, and she’ll unequivocally say yes. But she still bakes big batches of brownies and cookies just because SHE likes them. Even still, it’s my responsibility and decision not hers.

  5. I find it extremely hard to lose weight. Its been a battle for the last 10 years and I don’t expect it to get easier. I DO have a thyroid condition, but that is no excuse, the weight DOES come off but very slowly. I have to work my ass off on the treadmill so I can move a few pounds (2) a month. It sucks, plain and simple. I eat low GI which seems to work best for me and my dead thyroid :D
    For those that find it easy, I am truly envious.

  6. This is a great post. I have been halfheartedly trying to lose weight, but yesterday, I finally made the decision to really commit and do it. This post just strenghtens my resolve to accomplish my goals. Thanks!

  7. I feel that your fourth point is my number one reason i find it very hard to even get started. Even more now that I’m married. When I mate my wife I was overweight and since then (2001) it’s only gotten worst with weekly reminders that I need to lose weight from my new family members as they ask if hungry or want seconds. It’s been very hard to get started. But I Must. NOW before it’s to late.

  8. I totally agree that losing weight is both tough and rewarding. Inspired by this website, I started my own weight loss journey on April 4th. Since then I’ve lost almost 35 pounds. The problem with me is that I don’t really see the difference. My clothes are a little looser, but I don’t feel like I’ve lost a size or anything…

    But I do like the fact that I’ve actually stuck with the journey for this long–and that’s huge motivation. Also, as Tyler says, accountability is HUGE!

    Good luck, Tyler, on the 150–I hope I can do 120 in a year’s time.

  9. Very good and inspirational post, I find setting goals are the way for myself. keep up the good work Tyler.

  10. I wholeheartedly agree with #4. I’ve had to become an ‘Army of One’ in order to triumph over the temptations of would-be saboteurs. Another great post.

  11. It has taken me 3 years to learn the ins and outs of eating right and living healthy. Along the way I’ve lost 40 lbs… and hopefully in the next 3 years I will finally see the me that’s meant to be. Its all about not giving up on yourself and staying strong and true.

    You are doing amazing and I have no doubt you will be at that 100 mark soon.

    God bless you and yours……

  12. Just to be a contrary voice, at some times it’s very empowering to have a concrete goal like 20 pounds in 3 weeks. Okay, maybe 15 pounds. It’s something you can hold onto when you catch yourself walking to the soda machine, or tempted to skip a workout, etc. It’s a good goal since it’s concrete, specific, time-limited and you can clearly state whether action (or inaction) will help or hurt you.

    However it needs to be realistic, which means that you need to have a good handle on what your calorie deficit really is and what you have to do to reach your goal.

  13. With regards to point #4, I really don’t mind if people make or order food that I can’t eat, it’s when they insist on trying something and get offended or hurt when I refuse.

  14. I could not agree with number 5 more. Your body is the product of your diet and exercise.

    The problem is many people don’t know how to eat. I was in that boat. Unfortunately I had a medical problem come along and my insurance paid for a nutritionist. Best thing that has ever happened to me. Changed my life!

  15. Really good list…..

    I will tell you one reason why losing weight is incredibly easy!

    My wife and baby! I am sure you have someone special in your life as well!

  16. Losing weight was hard for me because I had an undiagnosed thyroid problem. Now that it’s on medication it’s STILL hard. Why? I hate exercising, and have to make myself do it. I love to eat. I eat because stuff tastes good. I eat when I’m stressed. I used to cheat on every diet I went on, because I needed a lifestyle change, not a diet. It’s also hard because it’s SLOW. I have lost 24 pounds in 24 weeks, and I know that’s healthy, but the idea of it taking 93 more weeks to lose the rest? Sucks.

  17. I find it to be extremely hard some days and effortless on others but yes, more hard than not. It is totally true that no matter how prepared you are, your friends will throw you curveballs with nights out full of food and booze. Because they’ve not struggled with weight before, the “Oh come on, just this once!” statements seems reasonable to them when for us, “just this once” always tends to lead to more and more instances of the same.

    Anyway, great list and I am so happy to find your blog!

  18. I experinced #4 last night at my mom’s house. not only did she serve an extremely unblanced meal, she then offered me the chocolately double dose ice cream for dessert. I had to nicely decline the ice cream and dig in the fridge for something to balance out the rest of my dinner. It is true, most of us are doing this alone.

  19. Boy, #4 is so true. When I lost my weight, I stopped eating out. Completely. My friends got offended that I didn’t do “Friday lunches”, and I got kinda ticked when they took me to lunch to this fried food place on my birthday.

    I’ve had to accept that I just can’t eat out anymore. My friends get disappointed. I turn down cake at birthday parties. My mom doesn’t understand either.

    You have to stay the course. When I do eat out (parents visiting and they insist), I order salad. At birthday parties, I turn down cake.

    At my own house, though, it’s healthy food. I’m the cook. Spouse wants the bad stuff, he gets lunch out once a week and can keep cookies in his desk (he doesn’t often, but he could). You might be alone but you shouldn’t have to live with it in the house.

  20. I think my boyfriend has been very supportive of my weight loss. He is helping me find exercise tips and is always careful that my determination to lose weight doesn’t turn into an eating disorder. I find that amazing as he didn’t particularly think I needed to lose the weight (I had a starting BMI of 26.9, which at my short height means actually only a few kilos to head back to the “healthy” range). And yet, I think losing weight when in a relationship or when having a very busy social life can indeed be very hard. He’s not baking brownies, but it still makes me feel sad when we have to cook different things because he really, really craves sausages for the third time in a week. Or when he has to eat my “sad” cucumber salad just to support me. Or when I can’t really spend time with him when he’s back from work because I haven’t been jogging yet.
    And yet having his support is absolutely essential to me because I am not following a strict diet. I eat out whenever social life calls, and if I go to a birthday I do eat the cake! This is because I want to teach myself not to be gluttonous rather than be on a strict diet now, and then three months down the lines when I “start eating normally again” gain all the weight back. So if when social life requires I eat normally (although less second helpings!), when I am at home I have to be more restrained, otherwise there is no point. I think that’s truly why having the support of the people you live with, whether friends or family, is really important.
    It is also important for those times when your weight loss plateaus, to tell you you are still doing well, you are better off than you were when you started. Often it annoys me how it seems almost more important to lose 5 pounds in a week than to lose 10 pounds in six weeks. You can go through patches of your weight loss in which you even gain weight, the most important thing is that you can build a weight loss rhythm that you can turn into weight maintenance as easily as possible once you have reached your target.

  21. Wow! wow and wow – I just fell onto your blog today & after reading a few posts – you are amazing. An inspiration to me – and to my losing the weight by my self – that was a very hard one for me to read, I’ve been waiting for someone to pick me up and make me do it. I’ve tried to blog about it, and then just let it drop – how di dyou get enough of a following that you felt accoutable – instead of talking to a wall. :)

  22. Way to go, Tyler. Congratulations on all you have accomplished, and will accomplish in the weeks and months ahead. I like your honesty and straightforward approach. I do believe that this is the only way to achieve lasting results. As far as my weight-loss experience–I am 53 years old, had a coronary stent placed last April, and have type 2 diabetes to boot. Since my procedure, I have greatly modified my diet (and the amount I eat), am participating in a cardio exercise program (3X/week) at the hospital that performed the angioplasty, and try to walk 1 to 2 miles on the other days of the week. Indeed, losing weight is hard, as I was able to drop 12 pounds the first three weeks, then very little since then. Nevertheless, I remain vigilant in my efforts. It’s also important to note that the exercise has been extremely effective in lowering both my blood pressure (was was already in the “normal” range), and my blood sugar readings. So, I am sticking with it, and keeping your blog in mind to further inspire me. Good luck!

  23. I’m scared that I may not lose the weight. I’m trying really hard every day,getting up 5:30 walking on ny treadmill for one hour.( fast past) Drinking a case of water a week and eating a balance meal before each work out,but I see muscles in steed of weight lose. I look great,but I’m toning in my butt and legs my abs look great. I just want to see the scale at 175 not 205

  24. A really motivational article..
    I have begun my weight losss journey yet again! this time theres nothing stopping me..theres no reason for us to be over weight..most of the health issues people have r coz of being overweight!!! Eat right and always eat in moderation.
    I have started to eat till im kinda full but not full till i feel full..and i have started to feel that how little it takes to make me feel satisfied .And just drinking water after my meals makes me really full.. ofcourse EXERCISE is key,have to be active and exercise at least an hour a day start with 30 mins then gradually progress into an hour..it maynot be easy in the first week,u may not feel energetic ,u may feel bad,u may not lose a pound! because ur shocking ur body with the new change but by the next week ull feel energetic and feel like a whole new person!! And more than exercising physically we need to
    EXERCISE PATIENCE !!!! didn’t gain the wait in a few weeks..aint gonna lose in a few weeks..and even if i lose the weight its not for a particular time or for a particular event….this is a lifestyle change,its a body chance,its a mind change..
    think and eat like a thin person!!!
    I must say this is really helping me lose the weight..And hopefully we all lose the weight and become healthier,stronger,confident and successful individuals..just a matter of time..
    The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, “No man fills a vessel worse than his stomach. A few mouthfuls that would suffice to keep his back upright are enough for a man. But if he must eat more, than he should fill one third (of his stomach) with food, one third with drink and leave one third for easy breathing” (Ahmad).

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