Dos and Don’ts of Losing Weight: Are You Sabotaging Your Weight Loss?

Close up of woman's hand gripping a free weight

Weight loss is the top resolution year in year out. Yet, 68% of our country is still overweight or obese. The weight loss industry is a $20 billion industry and over 100 million people dieting in the US at any given moment. So, with all of these diet solutions, why are so many people still overweight?

The weight loss and nutrition industry is a fledgling industry filled with different approaches and theories (Atkins, Paleo, South Beach, Zone, Wheat Belly, Blood Type, Beauty Detox, etc.). We have doctors and experts who tell us to eat this and not eat that, do this and don’t do that. Plus there are drugs and surgeries that offer a quick solution to our symptoms without treating the problem itself.

Guidance is needed

Unfortunately, with all of these conflicting theories, the biggest problem is that people don’t know what to eat. Most diets ask you to exclude certain types of food and therefore you end up eating less. People often have the mindset that they are on a diet and when they are faced with a stressful situation or event, they “fall off the wagon.” And then, next year, they try another diet.

Find program that works for you

Each person is different. Their genetic makeup, lifestyle, blood type, body type, and food preferences are what make them unique. A nutrition program that works for one person, might not for another. The key is to find a healthy program that works for you (think: long term). Healthy eating should be a lifestyle, not just something you do to lose weight and then go back to what you were doing before.

Here are 20 do’s and don’ts that most weight loss experts can agree on…


    1. Eat a diet made up of mostly vegetables and fruits.
    2. Limit the amount of animal fats you take in. Limit your intake of red meat, egg yolks, and dairy products such as cheese, milk, ice cream, and butter.
    3. Incorporate moderate exercise into your daily routine (something, even 20 minutes of walking, is better than nothing).
    4. Allow yourself a cheat day once a week (it will help you stay on course and prevent your metabolism from slowing down).
    5. Decrease the amount of added sugars you consume.
    6. Limit the consumption of processed, junk, and fast foods. If it comes in a box and was made in a manufacturing plant, chances are that it’s not great for you or your waistline.
    7. Eat every 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
    8. Focus on achieving optimal digestion. Eat a diet high in fiber. Shoot for 30-35 grams of fiber daily.
    9. Limit your consumption of alcohol. It contains a lot of calories and can derail your weight loss efforts.
    10. Drink 8+ glasses of water each day.


    1. Skip meals. It will only slow down your metabolism.
    2. Skip breakfast. Breakfast gets your metabolism going in the mornings and helps prevent serious cravings later in the day.
    3. Drink soda. Cutting out soda, both regular and diet soda can make a huge difference in your waistline and health.
    4. Eat starchy carbs such as potatoes, bread, and rice. Opt for whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat.
    5. Eliminate all fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as the fat in olive oil, avocado, nuts, and flax seeds have many benefits to your health.
    6. Think you can just workout extra and eat the same. People often overestimate how many calories they burn and end up either not losing weight, or worse, gaining weight. You have to combine healthy eating with exercise to see results.
    7. Overdo it with your workouts. Doing too much at once can open you up to injury, which can sideline you and derail your efforts, or burning out. It’s not worth it. Start slowly and increase your intensity and duration over time.
    8. Skimp on sleep. Insufficient sleep results in increased food intake.
    9. Forget to mix up your workouts. Doing the same exercise with the same resistance all the time will eventually lead to fitness and weight loss plateaus.
    10. Give up. It takes time to establish new habits. Give yourself the chance to develop and stick with your healthy habits.

What is one thing from this list you are going to start or stop doing today?

Photo credit: Meg

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