Why do so many of us start and quit exercise and diet programs over and over again? Whether the goal is weight-loss specific or for other health related reasons, this phenomenon is the norm for most Americans. Here are just a few of the sobering statistics:
- An estimated 50 million Americans go on a diet each year and only about 5% of people who diet keep the weight off. (Colorado State University)
- After completion of a diet plan, most dieters regain 2/3 of lost weight within a year and all or more of their original weight loss amount within 5 years. (National Institute of Health)
- Over half of the diet industry’s claims are false. (American Dietetic Association & Federal Trade Commission)
- 50% of new gym members quit within 6 months and 90% of those who quit stop going within the first 90 days of purchasing a membership. (International Health Club Association)
- 67% of those who own gym memberships rarely, if ever, use them. (statisticbrain.com)
- It’s estimated that 70% of a typical gym membership cost (an average of $39/mo) is wasted through underutilization. (statisticbrain.com)
What all these statistics have in common is that those attempting to achieve weight-loss and general fitness do so by making huge, drastic lifestyle changes. This is where the mistake lies. Gigantic, sudden habit changes rarely stick and are unsustainable. Our society’s thirst for instant results may work in the tech world but is an abject failure when it comes to health and fitness. It is not that weight-loss and fitness are unachievable, it’s that most go about achieving them in the absolute wrong way. My Small Steps series lays out the correct path to fitness.
My Small Steps Philosophy
A fit life is attained by making small, realistic and sustainable changes in food consumption and exercise over time. This allows a person time to create and hone new, fit habits that then become adopted and integrated into her everyday life. The result is a person who is living a fit lifestyle each and every day, making her healthy and strong for a lifetime.
I have used this philosophy to create my Small Steps blog series. The first post of each month, I provide one healthy change to work on for that entire month. Sometimes it’s a diet change, sometimes an exercise change and sometimes one of each. The idea is to concentrate only on that one change for a month so that it becomes ingrained into your daily meals or weekly exercise routines, making you able to take on another small change at the beginning of the next month.
Stay tuned for next month’s Small Steps post and join in. Leave the world of fitness failures behind and begin anew toward a fit and happier you.
Author’s Note: I am an exercise professional, not a nutrition professional. My diet recommendations are based on the most current science-backed information provided by nutrition professionals in the fitness industry. Mine are general recommendations that are in line with the guidelines published by the US Dept of Health and Human Services for apparently healthy individuals. If you have a health condition that requires dietary restrictions, I recommend consulting a medical doctor or registered dietician before making any changes to your diet. Always consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.