10 Mistakes To Avoid When You Are On Weight Loss Diet


“I am not losing enough,” “I am not losing any weight at all despite doing everything right,” “I am stuck on a miserable plateau for the longest time” are not words I hear uncommonly. Just as high is the spirit when you start on an exciting journey of weight loss, so damaging is the effect of weight plateaus when you hit the wall that just won’t break. But inevitable they are because they tell the story of restraint, hard work and patience – so plateaus are actually a good thing. When you break plateaus, only do you move onto the next leg of your health journey.

But you don’t want to delay/slow down the only journey you’d rather lose in too soon! Hence avoid those mistakes you need not make, with a little effort!

Here Are 10 Mistakes To Avoid When You Are On Weight Loss Diet:

1) Not Getting Yourself Tested:

Never start your journey without a blood test that measures your hormonal, stress, inflammatory, and other important health markers. While it’s important to test the thyroid hormones, insulin, lipid profile, liver enzymes, and blood sugar, three important markers that I have seen inflated in many clients owing to high-stress levels and other reasons which can greatly impede weight loss are

– High prolactin

– LDL above 140

– And cortisol levels above 15

The ‘red’ markers need to be fixed with certain lifestyle changes and the judicious use of supplements.

2) Not Choosing A Sustainable Weight Loss Diet:

Remember that you will have to follow 70% of the diet you followed to lose weight to sustain the loss over a period of time. That becomes a new normal and will translate into a lifestyle for you. So choose a method to lose weight that you can see yourself doing 70% of in the future. Anything too strict, too little or too off the block may yield results initially but may backfire when you decide to get off the diet.

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Avoid choosing a diet which is too strict. Photo Credit: iStock

3) Setting Unrealistic Goals:

When you get onto a weight loss journey with enthusiasm and sincere intent, ask yourself what you will do forever before you take any drastic decision on exercise or the sugar you consume.

Will you exercise two hours daily for the rest of your life, then don’t start now. Will you never cheat/treat yourself to delicious sinful food during the weekends? If the answer is yes, don’t stop yourself now either – you earn your rewards of eating out because you have exercised and followed a healthy lifestyle throughout the week.

4) Picking Diet That Doesn’t Suit Your Body:

Don’t go gluten-free just because it’s a fad – if you can tolerate wheat by all means include it in your diet. Similarly, with dairy – go organic by all means but don’t go off just because dairy-free is the talk of the town.

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Always pick the diet that suits your body and avoid fads. 

5) Rushing In Gym:

Don’t be aggressive on exercise from day 1, take it slow: More than exercise, it’s important to understand your body’s recovery pattern and nurture that. Cardio suits most people, so start with that if you aren’t used to exercising. Then slowly build up into functional training and weights based on how much your body can recover. There are no musts. You have to make the rules for your body based on what works for you.

6) Starving Yourself:

Do not starve and do not fill up either: You need to eat such that you aren’t hungry at any given point. That’s your trick. To not feel hungry. When you aren’t hungry, the hunger hormone ghrelin doesn’t rise beyond reason. Ghrelin is a fat-storage hormone, so keeping it under check will work well for your fat loss goals. When you stay too hungry and don’t eat enough, your body will be thrown into a starvation mode leading your mind to think you cannot lose any fat as your body needs these resources to substitute the food you aren’t getting from the outside.

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failed diet or hunger pangs

Don’t keep the body hungry at any given time during the day.

7) Eating Less/Inadequate:

As you lose weight making the mistake of thinking you need to eat lesser to lose more weight: As you lose weight and your metabolism improves, you may hit plateaus. One of the reasons may be that your internal resources of fat are depleting leading the body to think you now need more food on your plate for your increased energy demands.

It’s always smart to increase your food by 10% for 7-10 days to validate whether your body has stopped losing weight only because it needs you to eat more!

8) Assuming That Food And Exercise Are Enough:

Your lifestyle matters as much as your food and exercise. Your sleep, regulating your stresses & food timings all go a long way in helping you to lose weight steadily and keeping the weight off.

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Sleeping well is important to reduce weight. 

9) Doing Nothing After Losing Weight:

Your normal is what messed up your system and inspired you onto that journey you undertook for weight loss. After losing weight, you may not have to stay on a diet forever; you will have to achieve a new normal that balances your old diet schedule and the new one. An in-between more comfortable lifestyle that doesn’t forget the rules that worked for your body!

10) You Don’t Feel Happy

Never get onto a diet that doesn’t make you happy. How you feel inside is what will show on the outside! Stay happy, stay beautiful!

About Author: Anupama Menon is a Bangalore-based nutritionist and food coach with 20 years of experience in nutrition, wellness, and counselling.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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