Can I lose weight if I’ve failed in the past?

Can I lose weight if I’ve failed in the past?

Yes! You can lose weight even if you’ve failed before.

If you’ve lost weight in the past only to gain it back (and more), you are not alone. Most people fail multiple times before finally being successful:

  • Out of 784 adults who have lost an average of 66 lbs and kept it off for five years, 91% have failed many times.
  • In fact, they have lost an average of 270 lbs in their lifetime before successfully losing weight and keeping it off.

That’s like losing 25 lbs nearly 11 times before losing weight and finally keeping it off. These are members of the National Weight Control Registry.

What made the difference?

Compared with past weight loss attempts, members who were finally successful at losing weight and keeping it off, had stronger motivation and commitment. They:

This time (compared to past weight loss attempts), members exercised more and made healthier food choices:

Stop dieting

Diets are temporary solutions to a weight problem. Ninety-five percent (95%) of dieters will gain back the weight they lost for a variety of reasons.

Change your approach to weight loss and commit to a permanent solution. Make small, gradual, and permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits to lose weight and keep it off.

  • How much weight have you lost in your lifetime?
  • What will you so differently this time from all the other times?
Source: Klem, M.L., Wing, R.R., McGuire, M.T., Seagle, H.M., & Hill, J.O.  A descriptive study of individuals successful at long-term maintenance of substantial weight loss. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1997; 66: 239-246.

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About the Author
Stephanie Averkamp

About the Author was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...