Let's face it; as a society we haven't been very successful when it comes to dieting. The numbers of diet plans seem to grow in proportion to our collective waistline. So what's the problem? It has become common to blame the diet but diets do work...if you stick with them! This is the problem. Here is a countdown of the top ten mistakes most dieters make that cause them to drop out instead of drop pounds.

Number 10: Failing to Set Realistic Goals

Dieting is often a spur of the moment decision. Something happens that pushes you past your threshold of comfort, and you decide you must lose weight...NOW! Approaching weight loss in this way can cause you to set unrealistic expectations of your body. Safe weight loss allows for up to two pounds of weight loss a week (the first week is often higher because you tend to lose excess water that your body is holding) and for people who have metabolisms that have slowed over the years due to yo-yo dieting or the loss of muscle mass that often comes with age, a more realistic goal is to lose one pound a week.

Number 9: Not Finding a Good Enough Reason

Any one wanting to lose weight can spout off a few good reasons why it is important. You want your clothes to fit better, you want to be healthier, you have a wedding coming up that you want to look good for...These are all very valid reasons, but are they good enough? Finding a reason that resonates with your heart and spurs you to action is key for effective weight loss.

When I coach a client who is trying to reach a goal I have them create a list of 15 reasons they want to accomplish it. Yes, I said 15. This makes you dig very deep inside and often reveals reasons that had been hidden or unspoken before and these reasons are the ones that pack the emotional intensity that can drive you to your goal.

Number 8: Not Appreciating What You Already Have

If you drove an older model vehicle that you hated and couldn't wait to trade in would you take great care of it? Would you drive it to the car wash each week and make sure it had what it needed to run smoothly? In other words, would you take good care this thing you hated? If the answer is no then why would you take care of your body if you claim to hate it? Learn to appreciate how wonderful your body is, look past the exterior if you must and start to appreciate how your body continues to work for you each and everyday. The human body is amazing and that includes yours!

Number 7: Not Believing in Yourself or Your Ability to Succeed

You may have tried so many times to lose weight that you stopped believing you can. There is a saying that goes something like this, "If you think you can or you think you can't you are correct". This means you can achieve what you believe you can do. Stop doubting and start believing. Yes you may have an uphill climb at the beginning and you might not be able to clearly see how you will achieve your goal but these things will take care of themselves, all that is required of you is to take action and believe in yourself. The right path will unfold before you as you continue to move forward.

Number 6: Being Convinced You Need to Lose Weight but Not Committed

When you are convinced you must change you do what is convenient, when you are committed to change you do whatever it takes. It will always be more convenient to go through the drive-through of the fast food restaurant instead of packing your lunch. It will always be more convenient to tear open a pack of cookies instead of peeling an orange. But if you are committed to losing weight you will settle for a bit of inconvenience to achieve a big goal.

Number 5: Continuing to Search for the Perfect Plan

Chronic dieters are great hunters. They search through every diet book and magazine article in pursuit of the perfect plan. But, the perfect plan never seems to show up. Look, there is no diet out there that recommends you eat ice cream for dinner and chips for dessert so stop looking and begin changing your eating habits. You do not need the perfect plan you simply need to begin reducing your calorie intake and moving your body more.

Number 4: Getting Too Hungry

Your body uses food for fuel. Starvation or seeing how long you can go without eating in order to lose weight is never a good plan and always backfires. Instead learn to listen to your body and what it needs. Physical hunger is a call by the body for fuel; some food makes better fuel than others. Feed your body good fuel and your body will reward you with natural effortless weight loss.

Number 3: Not Being Flexible

No, I don't mean the touching your toes kind of flexibility, I mean having the ability to bounce back after a set back. In the pursuit of any goal there will be good days and bad, learn to accept this and use the bad days to build your resolve instead of beat you down. If you have a bad day or overeat, then instead of being mad at yourself for lacking willpower, become curious. Ask yourself why you think you did that. Curiosity allows your brain to search for answers; self-criticism leaves you feeling like a failure and increases you chances of quitting.

Number 2: Being Impatient with Your Progress

Your weight problem did not suddenly appear overnight and likewise it will not go away overnight. Be patient with your body as it learns to accept your new way of caring for it. You have programmed your body to be good at gaining weight, now give it a chance to become good at losing. Look at this weight loss journey not as a chore but as an opportunity to grow as a person, believe me there are a lot of wonderful lessons you can learn if you are open to receiving them.

And the Number 1 Dieting Mistake is: (Drum Roll Please) Discounting How Important Your Thoughts are in Your Weight Loss Success

Your thoughts and beliefs about weight, eating and dieting began to form at an early age, and make up something called your Weight Mindset. If your Weight Mindset is set for higher than your ideal weight you will always find weight loss frustrating and a struggle. The good news is you can revise your Weight Mindset, by using the suggestions above you can change your thoughts and beliefs about weight loss and finally lose ALL of that stubborn weight with much less effort than you ever imagined possible.

Author's Bio: 

If you could make weight loss easier by just changing the way you think, would you want to learn how? Click on this link for my free audio recording Change Your Thoughts - Lose Weight.

Dr. Becky Gillaspy is the creator of Weight Loss without Worry helping you change your mindset and your weight in just 7 weeks.