As a Saigon fitness expert and personal trainer, I hear this all of the time when I take on new clients.  I bet at some time or another you said or had a friend tell you, “I am doing everything properly but I still can’t lose weight.”

I have heard this sentence, or variations of it, over and over since I first started working as a health and fitness specialist over twenty-two years ago. Why do so many find it hard to lose weight?

In my experience, there are three common and very clear reasons people fail. Reasons that are very simple yet we’d rather follow a celebrity, listen to something your grandmother said or follow a crazy magazine article 😉


Most believe, VERY WRONGLY, that there is one perfect way to eat, exercise and live for fat loss and health. As a Saigon fitness expert with the experience in helping many clients, I can assure you there is no one size fits all approach to personal training and diet.

We are all human, our bodies have the same parts, and these parts are all connected in the same way, so what works for one must work for all. We are as chemically different on the inside, as we are physically different on the outside.The need to follow rules, off-the-shelf meal plans, shopping lists, and recipes is THE problem.

Most think there is a right way and a wrong way to lose weight. If you just follow the right way then you are sure to succeed. The problem? There is no “right way.” There is only your way. A nutrition plan designed for your unique metabolic expression, psychology, and personal preferences. Your metabolism is different and requires a slightly different approach compared to everyone else.


Diet and exercise are indeed VERY important but they are only half of the equation. There are two other factors that are equally, if not of greater, importance. Dr Jade Teta the founder of Metabolic Effect calls the total equation the 4 M’s: Meals (the diet), Metabolics (the exercise), Movement and Mindset.

Dr Teta states “There is something researchers call Non-Exercise Associated Thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is all the movement you do in a day that is NOT exercise. Standing rather than sitting, walking, doing the dishes, doing the laundry, fidgeting… Basically all forms of movement. Metabolics (exercise) only takes up about 5% of your changeable metabolic rate, while NEAT constitutes 15%”.

That makes non-exercise thermogenesis 3 times more important than exercise!If you want to lose weight and be successful at maintaining that loss, you need to think of movement and exercise as two different things. Dr Teta says “the idea is to move as much as possible and exercise just enough”.

Mindset is the 4th and most overlooked of the 4 M’s. Avoiding catabolic state and lowering stress hormones is essential for truly successful weight loss. Stress contributes to overeating, insulin resistance, and metabolic slowdown. The mindset component helps combat stress.

If you are not considering all the 4 Ms you are NOT doing everything right.


The metabolism is adaptive and reactive. The last thing you want to do to a system that is changeable is keep doing the same thing without deviation.

We must continually vary our inputs and outputs so that our bodies continue to adapt and change.When you approach weight loss by thinking, “I will just eat less and exercise more” you will get results, for a time, a very short time.

After about 4-10 days the metabolism begins to compensate for dietary and physical activity alterations.We promote a metabolic mix-up approach with great success. We ‘mix-up’ your metabolic routine constantly to achieve your desired result by utilizing 4 different models:

  • ELDM (eat less, do more)
  • ELDL (eat less, do less)
  • EMDM (eat more, do more)
  • EMDL (Eat more, do less).

Each of these models has a purpose, and can be used to keep the metabolism humming and guessing. That is the way the metabolism prefers to work.

Based on this article, what is your biggest block? Is it reason 1, 2 or 3?

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