If you’re anything like two-thirds of Americans, you’re actively trying to lose weight. And if you’re anything like 80% of people, this isn’t your first weight-loss rodeo. After all, it’s estimated that only about 1 in 5 overweight individuals is at long-term weight-loss maintenance.

Simply put, the odds suggest that you’re in the same boat as most people: You’ve likely lost weight (maybe more than once) only to regain some of most of it. Of course, there’s a whole other category of folks who’ve jumped ship altogether — moving from one health and fitness intervention to another without ever making much serious progress.

If you’re like the typical person — most people have tried at least 5 different types of diets, exercise programs etc. — you are not a failure; you’re tenacious and resilient.

Now is not the time to give up. Despite how frustrated and hopeless you may feel, success is possible. There are countless other people more who were in the same boat — more like you than you might think — who have ended up achieving remarkable results by sticking with it.

The key is finding what works, and for many people that means…

  • Exercise alone isn’t enough
  • Connection with others is vital (you need social support)
  • You don’t have to do it alone (you need accountability from a coach)
  • Counting calories isn’t going to work
  • Little packaged meals aren’t the long-term solution
  • Less, not more
  • Slower, not faster
  • A holistic focus over weight loss
  • Mind over diet

At the end of the day, if you’re the type of person who’s had a frustrating time losing weight, the program that’s going to work for you…

  • Is sustainable over quick
  • Will hold you accountable vs. provide cheap solutions
  • Encourages whole foods over supplements or packaged foods
  • Prioritizes nutrition over exercise (although both are important)
  • Involves giving up control or handing over control even over getting in control

The take-home point is that if you’ve gone down the weight-loss road a time or two, you are not a failure. You’re resilient and tenacious. Instead of viewing past experiences as failures, leverage them as learning opportunities. What has worked well for you in the past? What things haven’t worked so well? Knowing what you know — about yourself — how can you approach this weight-loss rodeo so you come out a long-term winner?