7 reasons people fail to lose weight

Even after dedicating three posts on this Website and two Genetic Jackpot podcast episodes to weight loss, I still have a little bit more I’d like to say about the topic.

You can listen to the two podcast episodes below:

To recap: Since June of 2012, I have lost a net 310 pounds. I did this through a variety of exercise routines, diets and a combination of both.

There’s no special diet out there. There’s no perfect exercise routine, really. You have to play trial and error and find out what works for you.

FatNickStill, while we’re all different, the reasons why we may fail to lose weight are the same.

Over the years, I tried and tried hard to lose weight before I succeeded.

Looking back, here were the reasons why I failed in the past – and why I imagine some of you have struggled in the area.

1. We give up too much too quickly.

How many times have you done this in failed weight loss journeys: You empty out the cabinets of all that nasty junk food and immediately go to just veggies and fruits. Nothing against that, obviously, but the biggest problem I experienced in my failed diet attempts of the past was I tried giving it up all at once – and that immediately made me mad and I hated myself. Start slowly. The first big domino that fell in my successful weight loss journey was I found a diet soda to replace a “regular soda.” Out with Coke – in with Diet Mountain Dew. (Yes, that’s a weird change, I know). I immediately shaved off around 300-400 calories a day because of that. Try to spot your biggest weakness and attack it. I lost 20 pounds reasonably quick by giving up soda and walking two miles a day.

2. On a similar note, we often try to do too much too fast when it comes to exercising.

If you’re significantly overweight, ignore all of those BS commercials you see for programs that may or may not work. Ignore them. Start slow and start at your pace. For me, I started walking a mile a day. That quickly turned to two miles a day and evolved into three miles a day. Once I dropped the first 100 pounds, I started doing aerobics. That continued into Insanity. Now I’m on weightlifting. Don’t try to reenact the training montage from Rocky IV where Rocky is preparing to take on Ivan Drago. It’s a process. Which leads me too……

3. Expecting miracles.

It can take weeks to lose 10 pounds, let alone 300 pounds. If we lose “just one pound” in the first week, many of us consider that a failure….when in reality, it’s considered the healthy way to do it. Not understanding that it’s a process – not an overnight miracle – is a big reason we tap out.

4. Not doing it “your way.”

I think the thing I’m most proud about concerning my successful journey is I didn’t follow anyone else’s path. I often switched diets, rotating between low-carb and low-cal. I copied no one’s workout. I did it my way. Choose your own path and don’t be afraid to do trial-and-error. STAY HAPPY!

5. Not accepting the idea that “bad days” happen.

Even the most fit of the most fit will have bad days in the gym or in the kitchen. For me in the past so often, I let one bad day because three bad days. I let three bad days become three bad weeks. Accept that bad days will happen, prevent them and move on to the next day with a fresh start.

6. Having a “have to do it” mindset instead of “want to do it” mindset.

When you have to do something, you often do it begrudgingly. Paying the bills. Paying taxes. Large family gatherings….OK, I’m kidding. You get the point, right? Don’t do that with weight loss. I wrote a list of several reasons why I wanted to lose weight, none of which matters to you. Come up with your own reasons other than “I need to do with for my health.” Health, needless to say, is an important reason. But find positive and entertaining reasons to lose weight. Once you “want to do it,” you’re more likely to actually do it.

7. Not having a scale.

This kind of plays into the third reason above. You need a way to see results – and when you need to lose 100 pounds – you may not “see” progress for a month or two. You need to see those few first pounds you lose to keep on going. A scale is intimidating, but completely worth it.


Those are just the seven reasons I came across looking back at my life. There are certainly more.

But the bottom line is this: You must stay happy with what you’re doing. The minute you start regretting it or hating it, you’re finished.

Listen to all Genetic Jackpot episodes on SoundCloud or iTunes. 

Genetics are not the reason, but an excuse: My 300-pound weight loss story


In one of the most popular episodes of our Genetic Jackpot Podcast, Shannon spoke to Emily Brown of Genetic Garden about how your genetics can impact your diet and overall health.

First, I would recommend listening to it and consider it. It’s a good interview and it’s a subject that’s worth exploring for a few reasons:

1. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that genetics can have an impact on obesity. Whether it’s family history or how you behave, there are plenty of credible studies to suggest there’s a link – ranging from various institutions, including the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. You can read more here.

2. There’s also growing evidence to suggest that genes may be linked to the type of food you like – and obviously, that shapes your diet. If you hate vegetables, that may discourage a vegan or vegetarian diet. If your body does not react well to meat, it’s the other way around – you’re most likely going that route.

3. Obesity is the single most important health issue facing the United States. It adds billions of dollars in health care costs every year. The military is having issues expanding its size due to possible recruits being out of shape. Obesity is a national security issue and an issue that needs to be address. Any possible solution or theory that brings the topic of weight management up is crucial and needed.

With that said, however, I’d like to propose this: While genes can be a reason for obesity, they are not THE reason.

About six years ago, I weighed over 550 pounds. I wore size 56 pants. I wore 4XL – 5XL shirts.

As of today, I have lost over 300 pounds. At one point, I had dropped 327 pounds, but I have gained some back in the form of muscle following a four-month weight-lifting program.

Now, I have not taken a DNA test for various reasons. I don’t know if I have the obesity gene or not.

But I can tell you this – it did not matter if you make dieting, exercise and weight loss a life choice. If I have the obesity gene, magically it did not matter these past six years because I’ve been shredding weight and fat.

If you’ve seen the movie Back to the Future, think of genetics like you might time traveling – your future is not pre-determined. You may have some disadvantages, but you also have some advantages.

Before and after our interview with Emily, I spoke about my weight loss journey and shared some of my story on this podcast. I also wrote a book earlier this year about weight loss.

I explore some of those themes below. If you enjoy this podcast, check out our other episodes below.

Listen to The Genetic Jackpot Podcast! Episodes below.

You can also listen on our iTunes page here

Episode 9: Exploring the link between weight loss, diet and genetics

Episode 8: The backlog of thousands of untested rape kits

Episode 7: Chicago news anchor’s journey to Africa for answers

Episode 6: Helping younger generations become aware of DNA

Episode 5: DNA’s Role in the Golden State Killer Case

Episode 4: Opening up the “Pandora’s Box”

Episode 3: Pets and DNA

Episode 2: To test or not to test?

Episode 9: Exploring the link between weight loss, diet and genetics

How important are your genes when it comes to fitting in your jeans? In this week’s episode of Genetic Jackpot, we explore how genes can impact obesity and the food you like.


We speak to Emily Brown of Genetic Garden about how your genes, diet and overall health can be connected.

We also have a discussion about the obesity gene and while it may exist, it doesn’t serve as a permanent road map to your life and Nick shares his story of his 320-pound weight loss journey.


Episode 8: The backlog of thousands of untested rape kits

Episode 7: Chicago news anchor’s journey to Africa for answers

Episode 6: Helping younger generations become aware of DNA

Episode 5: DNA’s Role in the Golden State Killer Case

Episode 4: Opening up the “Pandora’s Box”

Episode 3: Pets and DNA

Episode 2: To test or not to test?

Episode #1: An introduction to The Genetic Jackpot