Nutrition Articles

13 Weight-Loss Rules You'll Love to Follow

How to Make 'Dieting' Fun!

Seeing the words "diet" and "fun" in the same sentence might seem like an oxymoron. When we decide to lose weight, ideas of deprivation, boredom, sacrifice and even misery usually come to mind. But they don't have to. Weight loss CAN be fun and enjoyable—if you have the right attitude and set out on your journey with the right tools—and rules—for long-term success.
Research shows that what we tell ourselves is a predictor of results. A positive mindset greatly increases one's chances of success, and when we make the journey towards any goal enjoyable, we achieve it with greater speed and stick with it for the long haul.
So throw out the "dieting" rules that make you feel deprived and bored. To start, follow these rules of weight loss that not only work—but actually make the process more fun!  And whatever you do, focus on enjoying the journey, not just reaching your destination.
Weight-Loss Rules You'll Love to Follow

1. Eat more often. Out-of-control hunger is a common predictor of overeating—and giving up on any diet. When you go too long without food, your blood sugar drops, your mood and focus plummet, and you often grab the easiest thing you can, which usually isn't healthy. Instead of skipping meals and starving yourself, don't go more than 3-4 hours without eating. This will keep your hunger monster at bay and keep you happy and satisfied on your program.
2. Treat yourself. When you decide that a particular food (or even an entire food group), is off limits for your diet, research shows that we focus on that one food even more than if we simply allowed ourselves permission to eat it from time to time. If you told me I could never eat cookies again, I probably wouldn't be able to stop thinking about how much I like cookies and would feel miserable that I couldn't have them. Since willpower is in such short supply in humans, there's a really good chance that anyone would cave in eventually—and likely go overboard. So give yourself permission—and make a plan—to make room in your diet for your favorite treats.
3. Stop searching for the best workout.  What's the ideal workout for weight loss? The workout you'll actually do—not the one that worked for your friend, or that you heard burned the most calories. Research shows that if you can match the exercise plan to your preference and personality, you'll be more consistent. If you pick what works for others or what you perceive is best despite not enjoying it, you're setting yourself up for failure. When you find something that is fun, who cares how many calories it burns. In the end you'll burn the most calories when you stop making excuses to avoid a workout and actually want to do an activity!
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen founded EnerG Coaching, LLC to help individuals struggling with health issues that can be impacted by positive lifestyle change, such as weight loss, stress management, exercise, and life/work balance. As a professional wellness coach and certified personal trainer, Ellen holds a BS and Masters in Physical Education and is certified by ACSM, AFAA, and Wellcoaches Corporation. Visit her at Get her complimentary report, 52 Tips, Tools & Tricks to Permanent Weight Loss Without Going on a Diet, at

Member Comments

  • AUMU95
    I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with #2...when I try to not eat things that I really like or really want, I end up going way overboard when I give in! So, if I want some dark chocolate I'll have a little. If I want dessert, then I'll have a little and then maybe skip it for a few days. Moderation in everything is so important. - 8/7/2015 2:06:22 PM
    Some reasonable tips, and I definitely agree with #3! Personally, I've had success with my weight loss using a light strength training routine moreso than anything else, but as #3 suggests, it's best to use whatever works best for you. The most important things is to approach your weight loss as a combination of habits that promote an overall healthy LIFESTYLE. Any weight loss plan MUST follow that principle to be truly effective. In fact, check out the following article that does a wonderful job of explaining the key factors in a successful, long-term weight loss strategy: http://fatfreeme.
    net/big5 - 5/6/2015 10:53:09 AM
    Regarding "the fullness hormone leptin," oddly, a popular diet product advertised by Dr. Oz has been marketed with the claim that it reduces appetite but it actually reduces leptin, therefore, increases appetite - http://www.supple
    side-effects.html - 4/21/2015 2:36:23 AM
  • Most people who can't exercise because of physical limitations can get in the pool & do exercises. Get on a noodle in the deep water & move your arms & legs. You'd be surprised how quickly an hour goes especially if you do it with a friend. - 4/8/2015 2:49:28 PM
    Wonderful article - v.uplifting! - 1/25/2015 11:01:09 PM
  • This message is for RENEETC1.. Put on some favorite fast music or a favorite movie in and ride the bike in style. It is also a good time to meditate or pray. I have similar restrictions to walking so my bike is my best exercise and I have learned to love my time on it.
    Joya23 - 12/18/2014 9:19:11 AM
    A very encouraging, insightful, and helpful article. Thank you!! : )) - 12/17/2014 2:06:54 AM
  • #3. I'm always amused by the "find an activity you like and do it". Well, I don't enjoy working out. I do it because I have to, not because I want to, so it's a constant struggle. I can't walk for long periods of time, treadmills are completely out of the question. I don't jog and I don't do windows. The only cardio I do is the recumbent bike and that is soooooo boring! What good is doing exercises that you absolutely can't stand, and the ones you used to do (walking) have just been about eliminated. How do you handle that? I dare someone to answer and give me some good suggestions. - 10/23/2014 9:48:58 PM
  • 11. Hang with your friends.

    This one is dangerous! I like that they mentioned "friends with similar goals." If you're trying to be healthy by eating right and exercising, yet all your friends are constantly dining out and begging you to come watch movies/play games, then it is very hard not to cave under the peer pressure and return to your bad habits. No one wants to be left out or alienated from their friends over something like diet and exercise. - 10/22/2014 4:38:23 PM
  • There are so many good points here.
    Speaking of gadgets, I just got a great little scale to have on the table. My husband, who used to tease me about measuring food, loves the technical aspects of the scale and is disappointed when I am not measuring now.
    People I meet at my exercise classes are new friends and it is fun just to go to those classes.
    - 10/22/2014 1:08:51 PM
  • Good article. The word "diet" caused many great distress. There is the dictionary meaning of the word and then there is the connotation. Since the main focus of the article is making dieting fun, I read the word in it's connotative form. Life is far too short to be that serious. - 10/22/2014 12:24:25 PM
  • Your diet is the food you eat. If you don't have a diet, you'll starve to death. That's true.
    However, going on a diet, as mentioned in this article, often means restriction of certain foods for a period of time.
    I do not agree with the person who is saying all carbs are bad. If you believe that, than you don't realize how much fiber, potassium, folate, iron, vitamins, and all other good things are in a baked potato. - 10/22/2014 4:43:20 AM
    I agree with most of this accept for the part that says don't diet. I have to diet or I will starve to death. What we need to do is use a dictionary and we will realize that the word diet doesn't just mean to restrict what you eat. The first definition of the word diet is: what a person or animal usually eats or drinks. So what we should do is start eating and drinking healthier. - 9/28/2014 6:08:16 PM
  • how true I haven't read all of this but I just love number three its SO TRUE. Stop obsessing about not doing the right thing and just do something, Walking is virtually free and so are calisthenics.All you need is the space and will power - 8/27/2014 9:45:30 PM
  • The article had a good point- treat yourself with kindness, and it was appreciated . But I have often gone overboard and find it difficult to find a balance. There is NEVER one treat for me, so I do well avoiding cookies.... - 8/23/2014 9:22:12 AM

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