Why is it so hard to stick to a diet and exercise program?

Heidi Powell
One reason it is hard to stick to a diet and exercise program is that we often put ourselves and our needs and goals on the bottom of the list.

While you’d never think of breaking a promise made to others, you’re often not as good at keeping those you make to yourself. To put it simply, there are two types of promises: those you keep and those you don’t. “I promise”  simply means you’ll do (or not do) what you say you’ll do (or not do). The promises you make to yourself should be the most important you keep, because you are so, so important and others depend on you to be your best self. The main reason people don't keep promises is because they’re too big -- they’re inflated. Some examples:
  • I will do 30 minutes of cardio every morning.
  • I will eat five smaller meals every day.
  • I will never eat pizza again.
These types of promises are doomed from the get-go. There is no way they can be kept.

Another example of inflated promises is when you make too many promises to yourself at once, like if you tried to keep all three of the above promises. At one time.

Get the picture? Something will always happen to derail these types of promises, and that’s life.

This content originally appeared on

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.