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5 Diet and Weight Loss Myths Holding You Back

by Steve Siebold

One of the biggest things holding back most people from losing weight and getting healthy are the myths and misconceptions they have about dieting. We live in a time where, sadly, societal brainwashing influences so much of what we do. This is true when it comes to losing weight and getting fit.

There are so many myths and misconceptions about dieting that it’s no wonder so many people struggle with the process. If you’re serious about finally getting fit and healthy, don’t listen to the masses.

Here are five common myths about losing weight and the truths that will lead you to world-class success.

diet myths

Myths of Diet and Weight Loss

1. Myth: I can start over on Monday.

Truth: How many of us have started diets only to abandon them midway to our goal weight? I know I have and I’ll bet you have, too. The start-stop syndrome is a common cause of weight-loss failure. The root cause of this success-killing disease is the belief that time is unlimited, and another opportunity will be available to become fit.

Tell that to the millions of Americans who have had heart attacks, cancer and diabetes caused by obesity. Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow is never guaranteed. Today is all you have.

The next time you slip off your diet, don’t turn it into a disaster by thinking that since you’ve already messed up, you might as well keep eating bad and start over on Monday. This excuse is easy to use. It’s a mind-trap designed to relieve the psychological and physiological pressure that early-stage dieting can cause, and it’s cognitive quicksand.

Related: 7 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

2. Myth: I can cheat on my diet.

Truth: Don’t fall into the psychological trap of the masses thinking you can be 99-percent compliant on your diet and succeed. You may be able to cheat a little when you become fit, but in the beginning, you must commit to all-out massive action. Success is about sticking to the goal, no matter what it takes.

Imagine informing your spouse you’ve been 99-percent faithful in your marriage. You wouldn’t be shocked at the incredulous reaction, yet we’ve been brainwashed to believe diets are different. They’re not. Success in any endeavor requires 100% commitment, which is the reason most people don’t succeed.

Related: 11 Ways to Be Mentally Tough

3. Myth: Diets just don’t work for me!

Truth: Americans have been programmed to believe diets don’t work because of the inability of the average person to stick to them, and their unwillingness to take responsibility for their own failure. Make no mistake: many diets work perfectly well. Because an individual lacks the mental toughness to stick to a diet doesn’t make the diet any less effective.

People have a difficult time accepting their own behavior, so they blame their diet. That’s no different than a college graduate begging for money on the street and then blaming the school for his failure to succeed. Grow up emotionally and develop the mental toughness to stick to a diet once and for all.

Related: How to Make Healthy Food Choices

4. Myth: I’m so ashamed to be on a diet

Truth: Americans are ashamed of dieting when it’s something to be proud of. One of the most important axioms in mental-toughness training is simple, but seldom followed: think for yourself. Just because the masses fall pretty to societal programming doesn’t mean you have to.

Dieting is something to be proud of. In fact, tell everyone you know and shout it from the rooftops. Part of losing weight is being proud of the discipline it requires to become fit and stay that way. Be proud of declaring war on poor eating habits.

Related: 7 Ways to Start a New Habit

5. Myth: I look good with a little meat on my bones

Truth: Most of us fall into the psychological trap of self-delusion when it comes to our weight. We walk by the mirror, inhale and maneuver around until we like what we see. Sucking in your stomach, wearing a girdle to hide fat or donning black to appear thinner are harmless behaviors to fool others, but when the behavior escalates to fooling ourselves, it becomes a problem.

If you want to successfully lose weight, it’s time to become brutally honest with yourself. When you want to become better at something, look at it through the eyes of objective reality, and don’t let emotion cloud your judgment.  Take a good look in the mirror and stop lying to yourself.

If you’re going to win this battle, you have to identify the enemy, and the enemy is you.

Related: 6 Ways to Start and Stick with an Exercise Plan

The Takeaway

The choice is yours: keep buying into the myths and misconceptions and deluding yourself about what it really takes to get fit and healthy, or take responsibility for your habits, actions and behaviors, and solve this life-threatening problem once and for all. I hope you decide to get fit and change your life forever.  If you do, I promise it will be one of the most important things you ever do.


steve siebold headshot 2Steve Siebold is author of the book Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People, and a mental toughness coach who has helped thousands of people lose weight.

Photo by Dani P.L.

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