If you look at the adverts for diets on TV and in magazines, or brazenly plastered across your favourite websites, then you'd think losing excess weight was one of the easiest things in the world. These diets promise so much, they say you will lose 5lbs in one week, or that you could lose a stone every month while still eating all your favourite foods, yet if losing weight is so easy then why do so many of us fail at it?

The reality is that losing weight is hard, it is hard to have the willpower to avoid the foods that taste nice but are packed full of calories, it is hard to get ourselves to spend time cooking healthy meals when we could just stick something in the microwave, and it is really hard to motivate ourselves to get up and exercise. The problem is our bad eating and lifestyle habits have become ingrained by years of repetition, and if we try to change that then it is like trying to change the course of a river, it can be done but it will be really hard work.

The first reason people fail their diets is because they don't have a good enough reason to lose weight, they don't have the proper motivation. If you just sort of want to lose weight then you are never going to have the strength to dam that river and force the change in your life that you need to change all your bad habits, and in a week or two you'll give up and get back to how you usually eat and live. However if you need to lose weight because your doctor said it is affecting your health, or if you were turned down by the partner of your dreams because of your weight, then suddenly you will have the strength to give up your bad habits and change your life.

The second reason people fail on their diets is because they bend the rules, and if you start to bend the rules then where do you stop? While you might not think it is bad to have that chocolate brownie at work that someone brought in, then you are letting your bad habits get a grip on your again, suddenly because you did that then later in the week you do it again, or you have a huge dessert at the weekend. These cracks start to appear in your resolve and if you don't get back on track quickly and follow the diet exactly, then those cracks will get bigger and bigger until you crash off your diet and go back to your old habits.

So if you really want to lose weight then first of all find a strong reason to lose weight, something that is really going to motivate you through the tough times, and then make sure you follow the diet exactly and don't ever cheat even a little bit, or once you let those cracks appear then your hopes of losing weight will quickly turn to dust.

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If you don't have a diet to follow yet then you might be interested in the Fat Burning Furnace program which is incredibly popular at the moment. It focuses more on exercise than nutrition though so if you hate the idea of doing any exercise then it might not be the best diet for you to follow.