It's shocking that 75 million Americans spend a whopping $60 BILLION a year trying to lose weight, making an average of four attempts per year. While these diet program work for some, most fail as a long-term solution. So, why all the failure?

Could it be that excess weight is also tied to the $300 billion fast food and $100 billion junk food industries? Probably so, which brings me to the topic of this article and the top 5 reasons why people can't keep the weight off:

1. Old habits are hard to break

When you make sudden changes to your diet, your subconscious is like, "What the heck?!!!" The subconscious does NOT like change and will do everything in its power to keep you exactly as you are.

Do this instead: Slowly incorporate changes, so that the subconscious will feel more at ease and stop fighting against your efforts.

2. Deprivation is a demon

No one likes to be deprived. When you tell yourself, "You can't have that," it's like telling your two year-old self she can't have her pacifier or favorite blanket.

Do this instead: Level up your choices by purchasing higher quality junk food (like organic dark chocolate instead of traditional candy bars or Kettle chips that only contain potatoes, salt and oil).

Additionally, be sure to use small containers for your snacks versus eating out of the box or bag. You can also try drinking a full glass of water before eating junk food.

3. Counting calories isn't the answer

If you eat healthy, you'll never have to count calories again. The problem is, people make unhealthy choices with their calories. For example, a 100 calorie apple and a 100 calorie doughnut both have the same amount of calories. However, the doughnut has no fiber or nutritional value and will be stored as FAT versus the apple, which contains 100 USABLE calories.

Do this instead

Focus on the quality of the food versus the calories.

4. Skipping meals makes you store fat

If you skip meals, your body thinks it's starving and stores the next one for reserves. Plus, you are likely to eat more once you do have a meal, creating an excess of calories and, therefore, stored fat.

Do this instead

Make a habit of having breakfast, lunch and dinner consistently each day, focusing on healthy choices like whole grains, natural proteins and plenty of fresh vegetables.

5. Your mind can work against you

The human mind is extremely powerful. If you don't think you can lose weight, it will make doing so even more challenging. Additionally, emotional cravings may be present, causing you to make unhealthy food choices.

Do this instead

: Practice the Law of Attraction by imagining the weight melting away. Even if you get resistance, do it anyway. Practice, practice, practice!

Also start asking yourself questions when you crave unhealthy foods. We all have a part of us inside that just wants to be acknowledged and listened to. Ask yourself "Why do you want that candy or chip?" Listen to the answer... it may surprise you. Once you have your answer, you can begin addressing the root cause of your cravings. For example, perhaps you are bored or just got into an argument with a loved one, both of which may cause cravings. Instead of going to food, address the real reason for the cravings.

There's no magic to weight loss. It takes time, patience and a willingness to learn a new way of life. Focus on the journey and what you uncover about yourself along the way. Ultimately, this will lead to a healthier mind, body and soul.

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