You may be surprised to learn that most people fail many times at losing weight before they finally get it right. The difference between success and failure for weight loss is learning from your mistakes. Once you get in the zone of eating and exercise for weight loss, you’re on your way to losing those unwanted pounds, but how do you get in the zone? Avoid these common dieting mistakes and you’ll be able to lose weight much easier.

Mistake # 1    Not Understanding How to Deal with Your Weakness

Contrary to popular opinion, losing weight is more of a mental game than a physical one of simply eating less. You have to prepare yourself mentally by figuring out what sort of things trigger you to eat and then plan a defense.

For instance, if you suddenly get sugar cravings around 8 pm and head for the kitchen to snack on junk food, then you must first be aware that every night around eight o’clock, this ugly monster called sugar craving, is going to come up from no-where and cause you to eat the wrong foods. Simply by understanding this weakness, you can plan to either eliminate problem foods or have low calorie substitute foods like low calorie yogurt or shredded cheese. If having high calorie snacks in your home is not an option, have a family member put certain high calorie snacks in a hiding place. The point is, you must understand the problem and formulate a plan for a counterattack.

Mistake #2    Expecting Perfection; No Slip Ups

The most common problem when trying to lose weight is that people expect to be perfect and once they blow it, they get the “all or nothing” mentality and give themselves permission to binge. This usually ends in defeat and another attempt to lose weight has failed.

Instead, you must give yourself permission to fail and understand that you will not be perfect. You are bound to have bad days but losing weight is a long-term discipline, and not an overnight process. You also must have a plan. Trying to lose weight without a written diet plan is a recipe for disaster. You must always know and plan what you will eat. If you have a bad day and eat junk food or over-eat, analyze what went wrong and avoid those triggers the next day.

Typically, people attempt an overly restrictive diet which is another recipe for disaster. Trying to lose too much weight too fast will always lead to failure because you’re demanding yourself to drastically alter the way you eat without any adjustment period and when you fail, you get frustrated and quit. Write down your daily menu and don’t make it overly restrictive. Strive for long term results by reducing calorie intake by 25%.

Mistake #4 Constantly Weighing

Don’t constantly weigh yourself to see how many pounds you lost, but instead concentrate on daily habits that will create weight loss such as eating more chicken, turkey or fish instead of fatty red meats. Reducing bread, pasta and white flour products from the diet will greatly increase the success rate. Your weight will fluctuate much throughout the day and even the week.

Maybe, you need a few extra weeks before your good eating habits are established. But when you weigh in and you haven’t lost any weight, you immediately get discouraged and give up. However, if you waited a few weeks while you established good eating habits and gave your body time to rid itself of excess weight, you would see better results and be motivated to lose weight.

Mistake #5   No Exercise incorporated in Your Diet Program

Start a weekend exercise program of walking 20 to 30 minutes on Saturday and Sundays.  These are gradual and easy lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight and keep it off and don’t worry about the scale. Focus on the healthy process and then weigh yourself once per week to see the results. Be ready to change your plan at any time you see something is not working for you. This is the ultimate in customizing a weight loss plan because who knows you any better than yourself.


Weight loss starts in the mind, so prepare the mind for battle. Discipline comes from small baby steps, not overnight changes in eating habits. Give yourself permission to fail, but learn from your mistakes, and correct the problem the following day. Remember that most people fail many times before they get it right, so don’t “beat yourself up” for eating that unplanned chocolate cake or eating a 3000-calorie dinner with friends. Just plan to get back on track the next day and examine your diet to make sure it is not too restrictive. Give yourself plenty of time to lose weight. Set a reasonable goal of 2 to 5 pounds per month and strive for steady consistent weight loss instead of overnight instant success. Weigh in every week instead of every day once you get in the zone. This is how you lose weight for good without gaining it back and feeling defeated.

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