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New Year, New You? Avoid These 3 Weight Loss Mistakes

In Ask Coach Tony, you can put my Operation Melt coaching to the test by asking me questions about how to achieve your goals. 

Because a question asked by one is often a question had by many, I am regularly sharing these answers via the Operation Melt blog.

Amuse-Bouche

Before we jump into today's post, I offer you this "dad joke" as a light "amuse-bouche" to entertain your mind before we get serious. Like any other amuse-bouche, you may hate it, but it is worth every penny you paid for it, right?

Don't forget: a pun has not completely matured until it is full groan.

New Year, New You? Avoid These 3 Weight Loss Mistakes

We are two weeks into 2024, which means about 25% of New Year’s resolutions have already failed. Pretty sad, right?

I could go on and on about why New Year’s resolutions don’t work, but I think I’ve already covered that with other posts (see Happy New Year!?). Instead of trash-talking resolutions, today’s post will focus on the most popular resolution: weight loss.

When it comes to weight loss, many will try… few will succeed.

At the beginning of 2024, around 45 million Americans will set a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. These new year’s weight losers are in addition to the people already trying to lose weight without a resolution. Statistics show that about fifty percent of American adults are attempting to lose weight at any given time.

I don’t know about you, but I find that number to be pretty shocking. But, get ready, that’s not the most shocking statistic… let’s talk about success rates.

Studies about successful weight loss vary, but they are all bad. A study from the National Institutes of Health reported an 80% weight loss failure rate. Other studies place this number as high as 95%, depending on how they measure it.

No matter how you slice it, the odds of weight loss success are abysmal… but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Like other goals, success with weight loss is within your control.

As most of you know, I am part of the small percentage of Americans who have succeeded with a weight loss journey. This excerpt from my first book, Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds in Under a Year, explains my story.

After living my entire 40-year life very overweight (obese, to be honest), I decided that I was going to lose more than 100 pounds in less than a year….I did NOT fail! I did not meet my goal of 100 pounds in a year… I did it in just nine months! And, as of writing this book, I have not only kept it off, but I have kept going…. This is one of my proudest accomplishments in my life and it wasn’t easy. But, at the same time, it wasn’t as hard as you may expect.  

Not only have I succeeded with my own weight loss journey, but I have also been a part of other people’s successful journeys as a coach, mentor, and friend. This has allowed me to see many successful weight loss strategies. More importantly, I have seen (and made) many weight loss mistakes … the kind of mistakes that drive that shocking failure rate.

Throughout January, I am dedicating my Operation Melt blogs to the three biggest mistakes I’ve seen contribute to weight loss failures. You may also quickly see that these mistakes aren’t limited to weight loss; they can quickly kill any goal.

By avoiding these three big mistakes, you will be more likely to succeed with your weight loss or any other goal.

Weight Loss Mistake #1: Autopilot

Autopilot is a device on an airplane (and some cars) where the plane continues flying without direct control from the pilot. In autopilot mode, the pilot is essentially hands-off and trusts that the aircraft will reach its planned destination.

Does that sound familiar?

Are there parts of your life that you routinely trust to autopilot… assuming they will work out as you hoped without taking steps to ensure success? Is this what you are doing with your weight loss?

There are a lot of ways to trust your weight loss to autopilot. The most autopilot approach you can take with your weight loss is to say, “My New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight,” but then you don’t take any steps to make that happen. Who would do that, right?

Here are some questions to determine whether you or autopilot are in control of your weight loss.

Do you have a specific weight loss goal, or are you just “going to lose weight”?

Do you have a plan for how you will lose weight? Are you on track with that plan?

Do you know how much you weigh today? How does that compare to your weight last week?

Do you know what you ate yesterday, including the associated calories and nutrients (protein, carbs, sodium, etc.)?

What exercise did you do yesterday?

What is your estimated total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) – your total calorie burn? Are you burning more calories than you are consuming?

Autopilot is the number one killer of goals; this is especially true for weight loss and fitness goals.

Are you ready to switch off your weight loss autopilot?

Good news: If you have just realized you are trusting your weight loss to autopilot, you can change that today. It just takes a few simple steps to break free from your autopilot.

The easiest first step to break free from autopilot is two-fold.

First, make an appointment with your doctor to get your annual physical. This appointment will help measure your starting weight, any underlying health conditions and whether it is safe to start a weight loss journey.

After making that all-important appointment with your doctor, it’s time to start a fitness journal. A fitness journal is a place to track your food, hydration and exercise. You can do this with a simple notebook, but I recommend downloading an app to track your data (there are many). The benefit of using an app is the simplicity and automation, and they usually come with access to a database of foods complete with calories and nutrients.

Once you are armed with some data about your current behaviors in your fitness log (and clearance from your doctor), it’s time to take a more active role in your weight loss – goodbye autopilot. I suggest following my Project Manage Your Life approach:

  1. Set a SMART goal
  2. Build a plan that works for you
  3. Measure your progress every day
  4. Anticipate and plan ahead for problems
  5. Don’t go it alone
  6. Enjoy your journey

Would you like a little help conquering your autopilot for your weight loss or other goals? That’s what I do as a Master Life Coach. I would be happy to help you build good goals, create a plan to achieve them, and be your partner throughout your journey. You don’t have to do it alone.

I believe in you and want to help YOU believe in you!

Please visit the Operation Melt coaching page and let me know you’re interested.



Meet Coach Tony

My name is Coach Tony, and I am a coach, author and project manager on a mission. I am working to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

I almost allowed one of my biggest life goals to die without ever being attempted for forty years. My goal almost died, not of failure but of loneliness. But, I took a risk and leveraged a simple, logical process that helped me wildly exceed my goal. 

I transformed my life, and you can do the same with the help of Operation Melt. 

Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip project managers and other left-brained high-achievers to pursue and accomplish their biggest goals. 


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Disclaimer: The Operation Melt website and blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding and entertainment only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. As health and nutrition research continuously evolves, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information presented on this website.

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