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7 Weight Loss Mistakes

Last updated Nov. 6, 2016

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

Many of us who try and get into shape often make a lot of mistakes that can slow down or even hinder our weight loss goals.

Many of us who are trying to get into shape may often make a lot of mistakes that can slow down or even hinder our weight loss goals, rather than speeding it up. Here are seven weight loss mistakes that we may be committing but are unaware of:

Skipping meals:

A research study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition in 2003 has established that skipping meals is one of the worst weight loss mistakes one can make. People who tend to skip meals end up adding more body fat than the ones who chose to eat frequently, but in smaller portions.

Not being aware of what to eat and the serving size:

A very common diet mistake is that some people do not care about the serving size of the food they eat. A team of researchers, lead by Dr. K. Wahlstrom, experimented with the relation of weight gain with different serving sizes and concluded that in order to lose weight, we should keep a strict tab on what we eat and in what quantity.

Not maintaining a food journal:

People forget about keeping a food journal while trying to lose weight and eventually give up when they do not see immediate results. This is a huge dieting mistake because keeping a journal enables you to keep track of what you eat, the quantity size, and most importantly, it may help reveal any harmful eating patterns that when altered, can help you curb your appetite and reduce weight.

Not modifying your diet according to your body’s needs:

In order to be successful at losing weight, another key mistake we must avoid is to not improvise our food intake according to our body’s demands. By adding healthier food options, such as fresh fruits and fiber, we can easily reduce those few extra pounds.

Not staying physically active enough:

Donald Hensrud M.D., Mayo Clinic, suggests that people do not generally feel the need to increase their physical activity in order to lose weight, which is a huge mistake. He also advised that apart from choosing food options wisely, one should also indulge in regular physical activity to aid in weight loss.

Giving up too quick:

Another common mistake one can make when trying to lose weight is to give up on exercise and diet once they hit the plateau. By continuing with regular physical activity and dieting, one can achieve the targeted body mass index slowly over time.

Reverting to the old lifestyle after getting in shape:

To top it all, the biggest mistake people can make is to go back to their old routine, which consists of irregular physical activity and unhealthy food options, under the assumption that they will not gain back the weight they lost. We should not forget that only by being consistent in working out and maintaining a healthy diet can we retain the body weight that we targeted during a weight loss program.


Albertson, A. M., Wold, A. C., & Joshi, N. (2012). Ready-to-Eat Cereal Consumption Patterns: The Relationship to Nutrient Intake, Whole Grain Intake, and Body Mass Index in an Older American Population. Journal of Aging Research, 2012, 631310. doi:10.1155/2012/631310

Stiegler P., Cunliffe A., The role of diet and exercise for the maintenance of fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate during weight loss, Sports Med. 2006;36(3):239-62

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/weightcontrol.html (accessed on 30/1/2015)

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/1/104.long (accessed on 30/1/2015)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/exerciseandphysicalfitness.html (accessed on 30/1/2015)

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/weight-loss/expert-answers/weight-loss/faq-20058292 (accessed on 30/1/2015)

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

van de Laar, A. (2012). Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database (BOLD) suggests excess weight loss and excess BMI loss to be inappropriate outcome measures, demonstrating better alternatives. Obesity surgery, 22(12), 1843-1847.

Touyz, S. W. (1994). Diagnoses of eating or dieting disorders: What may we learn from past mistakes?. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 16(4), 349-362.

Rosenblatt, E. (1989). Weight loss counseling in primary care. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 1(4), 112.

Brownell, K. D., Marlatt, G. A., Lichtenstein, E., & Wilson, G. T. (1986). Understanding and preventing relapse. American psychologist, 41(7), 765.

Cherniske, S. Acid/Alkaline Controversy.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Nov. 6, 2016
Last updated: Nov. 6, 2016