Top 3 Reasons Home Diets Fail

If you've recently decided to lose weight on your own, you probably noticed a small burst of motivation after choosing what your diet would look like. That sense of finally moving in the right can be pretty exciting. And it should be! Make no mistake: making intelligent decisions about the quality and quantity of the food that you eat is a huge part of becoming a healthier version of yourself. But there’s just one problem: the actual long-term success rate of dieting on your own is very low. Although some people are successful losing weight in the gym or with a diet they find on the internet, most people dive give up on their diets within a few weeks. What’s worse, studies have shown that only 1 in 5 individuals are successful at keeping the weight off in the long run.

This statistic tells us something important: without proper guidance and education, chances are you will work hard, place your trust in “diet” products that promise the moon but don’t deliver, and end your fitness journey frustrated (once again). Have you ever heard someone say they have lost a hundred pounds...meaning they have lost the same ten pounds over and over again? At Physicians Weight Loss Centers, the food plan is really just one part of our Comprehensive Medical Weight Loss program. Thirty-eight years of experience allows us to use a comprehensive approach to keep you excited and movitivated until you reach your goal.

Let’s look at three common reasons for failure and help you push through those barriers to become a happier, healthier you.

1. Poorly Defined Goals

Having a dietary plan in place is a great place to start--as long as you know where you’re going. However, creating the habits that sustain weight loss over time and then embracing that as way of life isn’t easy.  It may sound obvious, but many people begin their weight loss journeys with only the vaguest of goals, which sets them up for potential failure, especially in the long-term.


If you ask the average dieter, that person might say that he or she wants to lose 20-30 pounds or ‘look good in a swimsuit’. Those are valid goals, but most dieters have no idea what their bodies will actually look like after losing 20-30 pounds. If you want to ensure your success, you need to understand not only where you stand right now, but what your body composition goals are. Far too many people set off on a journey without knowing where they are going.

Your body will have a unique response to different nutritional formulas. The key is to create a goal-oriented plan that can keep you on track. Furthermore, dieting is more than just figuring out what you should be eating. The ideal diet has to be paired with a series of realistic, achievable goals that you can measure.  What gets measured gets managed - and vague goals are often the downfall of a successful plan. The more well-defined your goal is, the easier this journey will be for you.

At Physicians Weight Loss Centers, we use state of the art equipment to provide the kind of professional Body Composition Analysis (BCA) that allows us to measure and manage your goals step by step. The real power of keeping track of your progress is that we are constantly aware of what’s working, what isn’t, and how we can help you improve your results.

Read more about the InBody570 that helps us with proper goal setting through this link:



The glue that holds together your progress is the use of milestones along the way. Milestones matter because they make things digestible. When you create a list of milestones with an experienced nutritional professional, you have built a roadmap for your weight loss journey. Once you understand what your goal looks like, each milestone can be used to keep you charging in the right direction. Beyond that, they give you the opportunity to make health and wellness second nature over time. But they must be realistic – or they can very quickly set you up for failure. At Physicians Weight Loss Centers, we choose your program, goals and milestones very carefully to ensure they fit into your life and your expectations.

2. The Expectation of Perfection 

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big when it comes to diet and exercise. We should all strive to want to be the strongest, healthiest versions of ourselves. However, wanting something and expecting it to happen virtually overnight is not a recipe for success. Many times people aspire to some idealized expectation of perfection, and so they set unrealistic goals - like dropping 30 pounds in 2 months without the need to make major changes to their lifestyle.

Unfortunately, many people trying to diet without support will do well until they slip up and then they give up completely. They think, “I got off track at lunchtime so it doesn’t matter what I eat for dinner...or this weekend...since my diet was ruined anyway”. This expectation of perfection is clearly destructive and has the potential to undermine the average person’s entire weight loss journey. Even worse, it could make you think that you are incapable of actually losing the weight. You need to be willing to forgive yourself for any slip ups that you make along the way.

 At Physicians Weight Loss Centers, you are not alone. We help our clients manage their expectations and make sure they are realistic so that they can reach their ultimate goal and feel great about their efforts even if there are occasional slip-ups along the way. Sometimes, it is the accountability of being on a professional medical weight loss program to begin with that achieves this. As we say, “the more we see of you, the less we see of you!”

3. No Change to Your Environment

Many people have a very busy lifestyle that often results in eating out frequently and grabbing prepared foods to take back to the office or for the kids. Even if you are trying hard to lose weight, it is very common to think that you tried so hard to get through the week that you deserve to relax on weekends with cocktails and snacking. It’s a must! In reality, most people underestimate how big a factor their environment plays in both gaining and losing weight.  

If you are overweight and struggling to change your habits, studies show that having someone to go through the process with you can really change your willpower, determination and ability to reach your ultimate goal. Even if members of your household or office are eating sugary and fried foods and buying a bigger size of clothing than last year (and telling themselves they don’t care), a Diet Buddy can help you stay on track. Some studies show you can lose up to 30% more weight in the same amount of time! Imagine a snowy Saturday morning in February. You wake up and look outside. Which thought or feeling is going to help get you to your goal?

  1. I really don’t feel like getting the snow off my car and going to my weigh-in.
  2. my Diet Buddy will be at the center waiting for me.

This is the same kind of empowerment clients at Physicians Weight Loss Centers have each week when they go to see their caring diet coaches. It’s completely motivating to have others involved in your efforts and your success. And it makes a difference!

Staying the Course

At Physicians Weight Loss Centers we understand how to establish and manage goals, measure in order to guide progress, create nutritional excellence that allows your body to burn fat, deal with diet mistakes and slip ups, and guide you every step of the way. We really care about active weight loss and maintenance habits so that you keep the weight off for the long term. And we understand that change is anything but easy. But this is all we do. And we know you CAN do it as long as you arm yourself with the knowledge, support and tools that have been shown to help people reach their goals.



Susan Malzone, Nutritional Director, Physicians Weight Loss Centers in Ashburn & Fairfax, VA

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