Stop Saying “I can’t lose weight no matter what I do” and Prepare for a Mindset Shift


Stop saying “I can’t lose weight no matter what I do.” This statement is actually an excused wrapped up in self-pity that reveals the true problem at hand: you’re lacking ownership of your actions or taking the wrong approach. If you find yourself feeling that the statement “I can’t lose weight no matter what I do” couldn’t be more true, then keep reading because this article will help you understand the key mindset shift you need to make in order to lose weight and keep it off for good. 

Weight Loss is a Simple Game of Numbers

Okay, I was a bit harsh in my introduction.

But I don’t apologize. As you’ll quickly see, achieving weight loss is a simple game of numbers and you’re always in the driver’s seat when it comes to manipulating these numbers in favor of the outcome you’re seeking.

If we strip away the layers of emotional and psychological challenges that are inevitable when trying to lose weight and keep it off, what we’re left with is merely a game of numbers in which there’s only one rule that matters.

Equally as important as Newton’s First Law of Motion (the Law of Inertia for all you who are like me and wondered what the heck it was, too), is the golden rule of weight change.

The Golden Rule of Weight Change

Weight Change = Calories In v. Calories Out

The equation above demonstrates that in order to lose weight, we must tip the scale in favor of creating a calorie deficit, which is essential for weight loss. 

To create a calorie deficit, we can either:

  1. Reduce the amount of food we eat per day
  2. Increase the number of calories we burn per day
  3. A combination of both

It sounds simple, right?

That’s because it is.

If “I can’t lose weight no matter what I do” has become part of your default vernacular, that means you’re either:

  • Eating too much
  • Moving too little
  • A combination of the two
  • Not consistent enough in either of the above

It’s that simple.

And who is the only person in charge of each of the above?

You and only you. 

As I detailed in our recent article, “Why Weight Loss Plateaus Happen and How To Break Them,” there are three common reasons I’ve observed working with thousands of people when it comes to experiencing a stall on the scale. 

  1. You’re moving less than you think (or not as much as you used to).
  2. You’re eating more than you think.
  3. It’s simply time to make another adjustment to your nutrition or exercise

For more information on why weight loss plateaus exist, why they’re normal, and how to break them, open this recent article in a new tab and read it next. 

“I can’t lose weight no matter what I do”-What You Are Really Saying

When you state “I can’t lose weight no matter what I do” you may think you’re the victim here and that it’s the diet program, weight-loss industry, or your spouse, friend, or children’s fault. 

But the truth is this: you’re not taking ownership of the situation.

I can’t lose weight no matter what I do” really says that you…

  • don’t care enough (about your goal) or really want to make the necessary changes to reach your goal
  • lack clarity on why you want to make these changes
  • remain close-minded in your approach to achieving weight loss 

Collectively, this is a telling sign that your current relationship with food (and dieting) is not serving you, and that your current (and past) approach to weight loss isn’t working.

Your next step? Taking a new approach to achieving sustainable weight loss. 

Start Here: Weight Loss Begins in the Mind

The diet industry has conditioned us to believe we must first seek external changes (in an unsustainable fashion, I might add) before we can feel good about ourselves. Yet, the recommended approaches, restrictions, plans, and guidelines touted on social media can leave us feeling even worse because they’re difficult to stick to.

The truth is that you need to shift your mindset to begin feeling good about yourself right now.

When you prioritize self-love and self-compassion now – yes, before you look or weigh what you desire – you’ll find the journey to achieving your goals more doable, more rewarding, and that it will occur much quicker than you originally thought!

Here’s a great book for learning about self love and growing your self awareness.

Your Journey to Weight Loss Begins in the Mind.

How can this be?

self talk, belief, self sabotage, identity, thoughts, feelings, "I can't lose weight no matter what I do"

Our word choice and self-talk both make up the collection of hundreds of thousands of thoughts that we have on a daily basis. 

Our thoughts directly influence the actions we take. When we take an action consistently, it becomes a habit

Our habits shape our results and outcomes, which ultimately influence both our identity and reality

The result of you making it a priority to practice self-love through auditing and augmenting your self-talk, thoughts, and word choice is an overwhelmingly positive downstream effect on your actions.

If you’re feeling good, you’re much more likely to take actions to further enhance this feeling. And when you take actions to feel good (you know, eating well, exercising often, meditating, journaling, etc.), your results speak for themselves.

And it’s your collective set of results that influence your identity and shape your reality!

Your journey to weight loss requires a mindset shift – not the latest fad diet or restriction of your favorite food. 

Action Steps to Take Today

Take Ownership: You have the utmost control of which foods you do and do not eat, as well as how much of those foods you eat. Stop blaming someone or something else. If you can make the mindset shift to take full ownership of your actions you’ll accelerate your progress toward achieving the results you desire. 

Stop Dieting: When it comes to making a mindset shift to lose weight and keep it off, it’s imperative that you redefine and reframe your relationship specifically with the word diet.

Allow me to explain…

There are actually two definitions of the word diet, yet, only one gets all the attention. 

The first definition, which is the one we’ve all come to know and develop a love-hate relationship with is, “intentionally eating to lose weight.” However, the second, under-the-radar definition is “a habitual way of eating.”

The example I like to use to illustrate the difference is as follows: when someone shares that she follows a plant-based diet we quickly recognize that she habitually eats plant-based foods. We don’t automatically assume she’s eating to lose weight.

Do you see the key difference here?

I hope so because when you can create a mindset shift around your relationship with dieting, you unlock the potential to slow down to better promote adherence, which promotes consistency, each of which is essential to creating lasting, positive change!

Action Step: This requires a mindset shift and specifically an ability to reframe your view and relationship with this word. Easier said than done, I know. 

This new way of thinking may help: remember that dieting (for weight loss) is a tool, not a lifestyle. Specifically, a short-term tool. 

When you allow a mindset shift to occur to focus on the second, more important definition of the word diet, you’re able to better see and understand that when you’re seeking weight loss, you must first solidify a habitual way of eating, one that is rooted in individualization, simplicity, and sustainability. 

Focus on Loving Yourself Now: Every person I work with is tasked with building the habit of writing down at least one positive or one thing they love about themselves on a daily basis. Doing so helps to rewire your subconscious mind to scan your environment for the many positives that exist (it’s hardwired to identify negatives and threats). This goes a long way in boosting self-esteem, mood, confidence, and action-taking aligned with feeling your best!)

Mindset Shifts Happen Faster In A Community

If this article resonated with you, then I invite you to learn more and apply for our application-only sustainable weight loss group: The 5% Community!

can't lose weight, behavior change, sustainable weight loss, weight loss, weight loss support, The 5% Community

The 5 Percent Community is our 12-month, signature sustainable weight-loss experience and transformational program designed to help you not only achieve your weight loss goal for good, but to empower you with the confidence, control, and inner calm you desire to feel, look, and be your best.

Sustainable weight loss from the inside out.

It’s designed to provide you with a clear path, proven plan, specific action steps, and unmatchable accountability and support needed to transform your mindset, belief systems, self-talk, habits, and nutrition behaviors – the key elements that need to change – in route to significant, sustainable weight loss.

Click here to apply and book a call with me to discuss if it’s a perfect fit for you!

Share this post

Paul Salter

Paul Salter is a Registered Dietitian and Founder of The 5% Way. Since 2013, Paul has worked one-on-one with nearly 1,500 men and women, helping them to collectively lose tens of thousands of pounds of body fat and keep it off for good. He’s also published nearly 1,000 articles, two books, and 175 podcast episodes (and counting) on all things related to our five core elements of sustainable weight loss.

The Maintain My Weight Loss After A Diet Blueprint

Leave a Comment