What Are The Most Common Weight Loss Mistakes?

sad on the scalesEvery year people make the decision to lose weight but then go about it the wrong way.

There is so much bad information on the Internet nowadays that it is hard to know what is good advice and what is bad.

Too often people say “I have tried everything to lose weight, but nothing works” when really they mean “I have done 50 crunches and bought some low fat energy bars and I am still overweight“.

To avoid you falling into the same trap, here are the most common ways to fail at losing weight.

Starving Yourself

Ever since Beyonce Knowles mentioned that she went on the Lemonade / Maple Syrup diet (which is actually just a fast) other people have wanted to try it too. There are several reasons not to do this diet:

  1. It is unhealthy.
  2. You will put the weight back on again after the starvation process has finished, and maybe more weight than you lost.
  3. It is unpleasant!
  4. It does not teach you how to manage your weight.

Only Doing Sit Ups or Crunches

Many people still think that performing exercises like sit ups and crunches will help them to lose weight. This is simply not true, it has never worked, and never will.

Firstly, sit-ups are not good for your back, and if you are overweight and do not have strong abdominals, you are even more likely to have an injury.

Crunches are much better for strengthening the abdominal muscles, but strong muscles does not mean fat loss.


The main reason why just doing sit ups or any other abdominal exercise is because spot reduction is not possible, which means that you will not burn off stomach fat by doing lots of stomach exercises.

Instead you need to exercise the whole body intensively. If you do not get out of breath or sweat, you are not working hard enough. While there is no best workout routine to lose weight, taking a structured approach that allows you to build on your strengths while working on your weaknesses is always effective.

Skipping Meals

Skipping meals to lose weight will just make it harder for you. Our bodies are designed to burn fat for when we need extra energy, but store fat when times become hard and food hard to find.

The longer you go without eating, the less body fat you will burn off per hour (this is your metabolism).

By eating more frequent meals you can actually help to keep your metabolism higher and burn more fat. But, it is vital that you ensure more meals does not mean more calories. Spread your food intake out throughout the day.

Many people take this too far and start eating 6 to 8 small meals a day. This is OK if you are a professional athlete and every meal is carefully constructed to provide the optimum nutrition for your needs at specific points throughout the day.

For everyone else is is a waste of time and generally involves eating too much.

What does work is carefully planned intermittent fasting – so give that a try!

Join a Gym Without a Plan?

Every year tens of thousands of people join gyms to lose weight without actually giving any thought to how they will do this. Joining a gym is not a magic cure for being overweight. You have to work just as hard to lose weight in a gym as you do at home. Talking of which, our home exercise plan is totally free!


The key to successful weight loss is reducing calories. Many people join a gym, workout pretty hard, and then have a large meal afterwards to reward themselves.

Even worse, some people start having extra food “to give them the energy” to workout in the gym later. These are fatal mistakes.

If you are overweight, you are already eating too much food, you do not need more to enable you to exercise.


Also, avoid “protein shakes” unless you are also severely restricting calories. Many people in gyms will sell you a protein shake, but not tell you that they do it to make a few extra bucks.

Taking Weight Loss / Fat Burning Pills

There are lots of magic pills available, all of which try to boost metabolism or reduce the body absorbing dietary fat.

If you are not already exercising and eating a healthy diet these pills are a waste of money and time.

There is a whole discussion on fat burning pills here. The key is, doing more exercise and reviewing your diet will give you much greater results in terms of weight loss than taking some pills.

There are many other ways to fail at losing weight. Most of them involve buying a gimmicky piece of apparatus and then never using it or falling for a weight loss scam.


If you have any good stories on ways you or a friend failed to lose weight, then share them here!

If you have any questions, ask below.

More like this in the Weight Loss section

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