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zookeeny's avatar

Exercise, diet and weight loss - why is it so hard!

Asked by zookeeny (875 points ) December 25th, 2009

I used to be fit and healthy and felt great. When I started putting on the weight and stopped exercising I felt awful. Why does this not motivate me enough to eat well and exercise to feel the benifits I know will happen if only I cut out the bad stuff and put in more of the good stuff?

Its a common problem – what is it that stops you (and others) from doing what is prooven to be good for us?

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25 Answers

Fyrius's avatar

I’m afraid @Kelly_Obrien here is on to something.
Lots of people love eating and think exercise is unpleasant.

This is not really something that stops me, though – I think working out is fun.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

I have lost over 70 lbs. (and kept it off) over the past 20 years. I just decided one day that I did not want to be overweight. It was hard at first, but as soon as I started seeing results, it became easier and I was more motivated.

You just have to decide to do it. It’s a lifestyle change. Believe me, if you can just get started and decide it’s what you want… you can do it. The rewards far outweigh the difficulty. It’s never easy, but it gets easier.

One hint is to “reward” yourself once in awhile with a treat. That way you won’t feel too deprived all the time. Another is to find a friend to do it with you… find a walking/exercising partner maybe. Much easier to do it when you’re having fun chatting with someone.

Fyrius's avatar

@JustPlainBarb
I think you’re right about everything you said, but I’d like to add that deciding to change your life style overnight might not be the best approach; it’s certainly not the one with the greatest chance of success.
Improve your life style more gradually. It’ll be easier, you’ll be more likely to stick to it and the results will be the same.

cornbird's avatar

It takes alot of discipline to perform physical excersise and it is so hard because our bodies were accostmed to a certain lifestyle and our bodies need to be adjusted.

Just_Justine's avatar

I go through stages, where I am “fit” and work out, then I don’t. I never eat badly though, I find through training myself I actually hate junk food and fizzy drinks and all that. Having said that, although I am not fat at all, I carry weight on my stomach and NOTHING can get it off. I have tried everything to personal trainers, new diets, all that. So for me there was no pay off. When I go to gym I simply dont loose weight, all I do is tone. I have a very frustrating body.

If someone said to me, do this or that and I got feedback I’d do it even more. But for me I got no feedback!!! plus I did it for over a year the last time. I just felt better is all.

I think we avoid anything we dont like, and we seek pleasure. So I am considering new ways of working out that are fun.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

@Fyrius Oh yes, I agree .. don’t change overnight. That’s too drastic. It’s something you have to do… but really the sooner the better in order to keep the weight off.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

It;s a matter of getting into a pattern of exercise being part of your life. Always done at the same time, without fail or excuse. Like brushing your teeth. It will soon become automatic and you will feel strange if you don’t do it.

aprilsimnel's avatar

It’s the mindset that needs to change before anything else will. Change your mind that food that’s good for you tastes awful. Change your mind that exercise is not fun. Change your mind that you’re enjoying sitting around surfing the web or watching TV.

When you tell yourself that exercise if bothersome and that you don’t like vegetables, you’re reinforcing that belief. Tell yourself something else.

Dabria's avatar

It takes a lot of time and dedication and sadly its far too easy to sit back and eat junk food!!

CaptainHarley's avatar

One reason this sort of thing is so hard is that far too many people try to do far too much far too soon. Basically, what you’re trying to do is substitute several good habits for several bad habits. If you focus on one at a time, say… exercise, make out a schedule that gradually works up to where you need to be, and stick to your schedule, you’ll find it not nearly so difficult. Start with 20 minutes of exercise two days a week and gradually work up to 30+ minutes three times per week. Once you have that as a habit, gradually alter your diet from fatty/sugary/processed meat foods to one with veggies/fruits/nuts/fish. See if that doesn’t work better. : )

Xilas's avatar

Dieting is a constant mental effort.

philosopher's avatar

I think you are probably stressed out and spending time with people who feel as you do . You need to eat healthy food. Whole Foods . Read Ultra Metabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman . He is not a G-d . I do not worship him but many of his principals are true.
I am the Mother of an Autistic young Man. If I did not eat right and exercise I would not survive.
I have been working out since my Twenties and I am not young anymore.
If you eat poorly you have less energy and your mind and body suffer.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Why is it so hard? Let take a look.

Exercise: it usually encompasses doing something physical, and of a nature we don’t do naturally. It is taxing on the muscles and leaves them sore. A lot of it is repetition which gets boring especially when working out by oneself. It is sweaty, you have to change in workout close in order not to smell and sweat up your regular clothes, all that equals effort not in on the preparation of it but during and after. Too much effort spent for most people doing something they don’t like so it is an anti-motivator.

Diet: A no-no word most hate. Diets mean giving up something –or many things—you really like or love, it is equal to suffering and being denied. No one wants to suffer even to et healthy.

Both of those facts lead to the by product of weight gain. People don’t want to change to their metabolism. They will adjust many things in their lives to the aging of their bodies –avoiding things that could break bones they did not when younger etc—but when it comes to food and such they hate to budge and inch if they don’t have to.

People should think that it is not what you what it is what you keep. Having had to lose weight which I put on because of me and wanting to lose it I kind of know what you are thinking. However I did not know diet from shinola, and I KNEW I could never stick to one. My 1st advice is NEVER GET ON A DIET WAGON to start. There is no way on God’s green Earth was I going to give up lasagna, mashed potatoes, burgers and such. I knew if I did I was setting myself up for failure. That is when an epiphany hit me; it is not what you eat it is what you keep. I look at a bank account, when you run out of money but you keep writing checks or charging that card you overdraft. If you have overdraft protection then money is charged to your checking account from your card or pulled off another card to cover the 1st. I started to see my fat cells as the overdraft account. If I could spend more calories than I was taking in then the fat overdraft account would have to kick in. I could not do much at the beginning but I could walk. Started off with maybe half a mile, worked my way up to a mile and then some. After a time I started doing weights. I never got back down to my starting weight because 20lb shy of that I stopped. But the extra 20lb was muscle so I looked thinner and better than I was even though I was 20lb heavier. If you can’t or don’t like exercising and there are many things you can do even small things through out the day to serve as exercising take up an activity that burns a lot of calories like ballroom dancing. DO NOT deny yourself treats like ice cream and pizza. When you feel you cannot have it you will think of it more. Change the way you eat. Have pizza just have less. Have candy just have less. Think eat 80% healthy I can eat 20% whatever I want. I bet you will find it more fun, and you won’t feel like you are depriving yourself.

ShanEnri's avatar

I started gaining when I quit smoking! Now it’s been 4 years and I want to lose the weight, but I want it to be quick and simple! I know I can’t lose the weight unless I diet and exercise, I just really don’t want to! I have exercise equipment to start my own gym, but no one uses it! I really love to eat, I just love food so dieting will be the hardest part for me. Basically what I’m saying is I want to, but I don’t want to commit to it!

LeopardGecko's avatar

Probably because you’re doing it wrong. Are you eating 2000 calories a day and exercising? If not, you’re not going to lose weight, and if you do, you will gain everything and more back when you stop your diet. Or you continue it until you die. Look up how to do a diet properly don’t listen to any of the shit you see online posted by a dumb ass.

kokko's avatar

sometimes we refuse to listen to our body. it craves to eat living stuff.
once i added lettuce leaves to all my meals , it helped me feel stronger with less food.

plethora's avatar

The food you are eating is making you lazy and sluggish. I hired a nutritionist a year ago who literally took me to the grocery store (Im a guy) and showed me how to shop to eat in a low glycemic way. (low sugar). I weighed 218 when we started (5 9) and dropped 9 lbs the first week. After that it just has gradually dropped to 204 and I expect to go to 190. Guys my age don;t lose weight. I do. Find yourself a nutritionist who will work with you. Don’t think you can do it on your own. The food companies publish bullshit about their products. Get the help of a nutritionist. Yeah, it cost me $1200. But it works….and nothing else does.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

It’s not that hard for me. I just tell myself this is what my man wants and diet. All men want skin and bones.

Fyrius's avatar

@MorenoMelissa1
And the rest of the girl, between the skin and the bones.
But you’re absolutely right, a girl with no skin and no bones would be creepy as heck.

sacamano's avatar

It’s hard because the result are not immediate. In addition to lose weight it’s so important to change your lifestyle and that sometimes is very hard.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It’s hard because you’re not use to it. When I was 53, I use to run ten miles every other day and work out with weights on alternate days. I didn’t get there overnight. I started walking, then walk/run, then run one day and walk the next, etc. I got addicted to being in shape! It’s the only thing that saved my life when I was almost killed in a military parachute jump gone bad.

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