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Overcoming Weight Loss Excuses

Overcoming weight loss excuses

If making excuses was an Olympic event, would you be a gold medalist? For many people trying to lose weight, making excuses not to exercise or modify their eating habits is often their greatest barrier to weight loss success.

If making excuses is one of your barriers to successful long term weight loss, adopting some of the tips in this article is will help you on your way to becoming the healthier and happier person you know you can be.

Why people make excuses

All of us make excuses from time to time. The most common reasons that we make excuses not to do things, like exercise regularly to lose weight, include:

  • Making excuses is easy.
  • We have our priorities wrong.
  • We are busy and have limited time available each day.
  • We don't know how to start what we said we would.
  • We believe tomorrow will always come.
  • We lack commitment and integrity.
  • We can always find more pleasurable things to do.
  • We like instant gratification and are generally impatient.
  • We don't have strong or well constructed goals.
  • We don't really believe that the benefits of action outweigh the costs.
  • We have a negative attitude.
  • We prefer to play the role of a victim of circumstance.
  • We mistakenly think heart disease, diabetes & other lifestyle diseases will 'never happen to us'.
  • We are happy to live in a state of denial.
  • We have a very, very short memory (we've forgotten how bad we felt the last time we tried to put on our jeans or saw a photo of ourselves for example).

The most common weight loss avoidance excuses

Here's a list of the most common excuses we know of that people use to avoid exercising or eating healthier:

  • I don't have time.
  • I have too many other priorities (work, kids, housework, etc).
  • Nobody wants to help me.
  • I don't get any support at home.
  • I'm injured.
  • I don't feel good.
  • I'm too out of shape.
  • I'm too upset.
  • I'm too busy taking care of the kids.
  • I do enough exercise at work.
  • I'm too tired.
  • My problem is hormonal.
  • It's too hot, too cold, or it's raining outside.
  • Exercise is boring.
  • I'm too heavy.
  • I can't afford a personal trainer.
  • I can't afford fitness equipment.
  • I can't afford to eat healthy.
  • Exercise is really hard.
  • I don't know where to start.
  • I don't know anything about nutrition.
  • I'm too old.
  • I might fail.
  • I'll start tomorrow.
  • I hate exercise.
  • I can't get motivated.

Overcoming these excuses

If any of these popular excuses are stopping you from achieving your ideal weight and becoming happier and healthier we have some good news for you - they can all be overcome. Here's how:

No time.

  • Look at what you are actually spending your time on and eliminate unnecessary or unimportant things from your schedule.
  • Reassess your priorities - your health should be high among them.
  • Read a book on time management and follow time management philosophies.
  • Look for opportunities to combine things, like spending time with the kids and walking or exercising while watching TV.
  • Keep a daily diary to plan your day.
  • Simply get up earlier or stay up later.
  • Remember exercising for even 15 minutes a day is better than nothing.
  • Planning meals is the key to healthy eating for the time challenged among us.

Too many other priorities.

  • Change your priorities and let everyone around you know what they are.
  • Remind yourself how important your weight loss goal is to your health and happiness.
  • Keep a photo of yourself or how you want to be close at hand to remind you of your priorities.
  • Simplify your life, maybe you're trying to do too much.

Nobody to help me.

  • Join a gym.
  • Contact a local personal trainer.
  • Make an appointment with a dietitian.
  • Visit your local weight loss specialist.
  • Educate yourself by reading articles on exercise and healthy diets.
  • Join the weight loss forum, its free and you'll meet plenty of other people online with the same weight loss challenges and goals as you.
  • Don't confuse help with doing all the work for you - at the end of the day what you do will determine whether you succeed or not.

I don't get enough support at home.

  • Support is great, but you can succeed without it if you have to.
  • You'll find those around you become more supportive if they know you're serious and see first hand the effort you're putting in.
  • Get started anyway and you'll find the support comes as you prove how committed you are and begin to get the results you crave.

I'm injured.

  • Almost everybody over 30 has some form of injury or ailment to deal with; the key is to find ways of working around them.
  • Find something you can do, if you can't run, walk, if you can't walk, swim, if you can't swim, cycle, or dance, or rollerblade, or play tennis.
  • Remember you goal is to lose weight, so any activity that uses energy will help.
  • Get advice or help from your local GP, physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor, or personal trainer.
  • Injuries aren't an excuse to eat poorly so don't try to manage your injury frustrations with unhealthy food.

I don't feel good.

  • Nothing will help you feel better than becoming fitter and eating healthier.

I'm too out of shape.

  • This is the reason you should exercise, not the reason you shouldn't.
  • Start with simple exercise at a relatively low intensity (such as slow walking) if you can't manage anything more strenuous.
  • Remember to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.

I'm too upset.

  • Exercise and healthier eating are great ways to help you cope with the many stresses of life.
  • Try taking your frustrations out on a punching bag and I promise you'll feel better and burn valuable calories.

I'm too busy taking care of the family or kids.

  • Incorporate them in your exercise routine and make healthier meals for all of you.
  • If you have very small children, push their pram around your local park, with older children walk next to them while they ride their bikes, go swimming together or take them to the zoo and just walk around.

I do enough exercise at work.

  • Even very active jobs aren't necessarily well balanced so plan your exercise programs accordingly.

I'm too tired.

  • Exercise and healthier eating will help you get better quality sleep.
  • Exercise and healthier eating will increase your energy levels so you'll be able to cope better with all of life's challenges and be able to exercise as well.
  • If you lead a busy lifestyle and add exercise on top you will feel a little more tired for the first few weeks, but after that your body will adjust and you'll have more energy than ever.

My problem is hormonal.

  • Exercise and good nutrition can help counteract the effects of and may sometimes even help stabilize hormones.

It's too hot, too cold, or it's raining outside.

  • If you know it's going to be hot, exercise in the early morning or late evening when it's cooler, or exercise in an air-conditioned space.
  • If it's too cold, wear a few layers of clothes to start with and shed these layers as you body warms up from the exercise.
  • If it's raining outside, exercise inside.

Exercise is boring.

  • Find an exercise that you like or dislike the least - there are plenty of choices.
  • Remember your priorities - exercise isn't for entertainment, it's to help make you happier and healthier.
  • Varying your routine can help you overcome exercise boredom.
  • The fitter and stronger you become, the more you'll enjoy exercise.

I'm too heavy.

  • If you are very heavy, speak to your doctor before exercising to find the safest exercise program for you.
  • Start out slow and easy.
  • Being heavy doesn't stop you from eating less and more nutritionally.

I can't afford a personal trainer.

  • Personal trainers are great if you can afford them but if you can't do some reading on what and how to exercise correctly and safely, and be prepared to motivate yourself.
  • Most personal trainers offer group training sessions at a reduced cost.
  • Hire a personal trainer just for a few weeks to get you started and then for a session or two later to check your progress.

I can't afford fitness equipment.

  • Again, good quality exercise equipment can be very beneficial to anyone trying to lose weight, but there are a multitude of simple exercises that you can do without fancy equipment.
  • Not all fitness equipment is expensive; a good skipping rope can be purchased for between $10 and $20 and a quality fitness ball for between $50 and $100.

I can't afford to eat healthy.

  • Natural healthy food like fresh fruit and vegetables is the cheapest food around!
  • Don't necessarily equate additives in foods (such as added fibre for example) with being healthy.

Exercise is really hard.

  • It doesn't need to be hard to be effective.
  • Easy exercise is better than no exercise at all.
  • Heart rate monitors are very useful in helping ensure your aerobic exercise is done at the right intensity.
  • Exercise becomes easier the more of it you do.

I don't know where to start.

  • Start by seeing your doctor for a health check.
  • Read books, articles, join a gym, hire a personal trainer or book an appointment to see a dietitian.

I don't know anything about nutrition.

  • Good nutrition doesn't need to be complicated.
  • Start simply by reducing the amount of food you eat (portion control), compare nutritional information for similar packaged foods you eat and improve your knowledge of nutrition over time by reading.

I'm too old.

  • You're never too old to benefit from healthier living, just be sure to see your doctor first before starting an exercise program and take it easy to begin with.
  • Don't believe the myth that as we get older we naturally become larger, becoming larger for most of us is a matter of lifestyle, not age.

I might fail.

  • You haven't failed until you give up.
  • Remember losing weight is not an event.
  • Think positively and stay committed.

I'll start tomorrow.

  • Be honest with yourself.
  • Just do it today!

I hate exercise.

  • Exercise can be fun - try dancing, sightseeing, walking the dog or playing catch with your children for example.

I can't get motivated.

  • Setting clear goals and having a progressive plan combined with the right intensity of desire are the keys to motivating yourself.
  • If you need help, get it.
  • Being around others with the same goals as you can be very motivating, so consider exercising with a friend or joining a healthy eating club.


No matter who you are or what your circumstances you can lose weight if you change some of your lifestyle habits.

For many people trying to lose weight, making excuses not to exercise or modify their eating habits is often their greatest barrier to weight loss success.

If making excuses is one of your barriers to successful long term weight loss we hope the information provided above will help you overcome this detrimental habit and help you on your way to becoming a happier, healthier you.

Final Thought

If after reading all of the above you still feel the need to make excuses remember this thought from George Bernard Shaw:

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.

Copyright Ultimate Weightloss.

This article was written by Scott Haywood.

Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.

You can follow Scott on Google+ for more interesting articles.

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