Nutrition Articles

13 Weight-Loss Rules You'll Love to Follow

How to Make 'Dieting' Fun!

13. Don't diet. This may be the most important rule of all. "Going on a diet" implies a start and a stop, but that's not how sustainable weight loss is achieved. Diets often slow down your metabolism due to the drastic cut back in calories your body is used to, and many diets that are advertised today are just plain unhealthy. Following rigid plans requires constant willpower, something we know humans have only a short supply of! Change and adjust your lifestyle habits a little at a time and you will lose excess pounds and achieve and maintain the healthy body weight that is right for you. From now on, define the word "diet" as the food plan you use to maintain a healthy body weight, supply you the energy to support your busy lifestyle and keep you well.
Dweck, Carol. 2006. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books.
Psychology Today, "Why Diets Don't Work...And What Does,", accessed on October 3, 2013.
WebMD, "Coping with Excessive Sleepiness: Sleep and Weight Gain,", accessed on October 3, 2013.
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen Goldman has bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education. An AFAA-certified personal trainer and certified wellness coach, she is also the founder EnerG Coaching, LLC. Through one-on-one and group sessions, Ellen helps individuals make positive lifestyle changes, lose weight, manage stress and attain work-life balance. Visit her at

Member Comments

  • 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
    Good article! This was helpful!! - 8/22/2014 4:25:12 PM
  • Great article! - 8/22/2014 1:53:31 PM
  • I noticed that one of the references is Dweck's _Mindset_, which is an excellent study on how our thinking limits us, as stated at the start of the article. Changing our attitude toward food and exercise is the start to a lifestyle change toward health. I have read other studies that show that deprivation leads to excess. It's all mental. It'll take time and effort, though, to change the thinking about food and exercise, but it can be done by being conscious of our thoughts and attitudes. Journaling is great for this! It can bring to light what's hindering our progress toward health and lead toward change, but it does have to be a conscious act. - 8/22/2014 11:46:59 AM
  • EXCELLENT Article ! I TOTALLY agree ! This is what I've done over the past 2 years with SparkPeople and I've lost 40 pounds, lowered my cholesterol/trigl
    ycerides and blood pressure, and gotten HEALTHY ! Thank you SparkPeople ! I LOVE SP !

    - 8/22/2014 9:40:13 AM
  • Gotta disagree about the carbs. May be true of some people but not others. I tried the Atkins Diet, didn't lose a thing, and got so sick and dizzy that I had to give it up so that I could function at work. I have tried many diets through the years and found that the one that worked best for me was a high carb diet. Of course, the carbs were limited to vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and I had to walk 3+ miles at least six days a week. I lost 65 pounds on that diet, was able to stick to it and maintain my weight loss in excellent health for five years, and never had an illness during that whole time. Foolishly, during a period of personal crisis, I let myself go and regained so I am now starting over. A high carb diet does not work unless paired with a faithful exercise. Also whole grains, as well as the fruit and vegetables, contain many antioxidants as well as the fiber, associated with cancer-prevention
    . It has been known for decades that people who eat whole grains have a lower incidence of cancer. So why don't nutritionists not come out en masse condemning carbs as unhealthy, because it just isn't true. It is the refined carbs that are unhealthy and nutritionists have risen en masse to condemn those. - 8/22/2014 9:38:47 AM
  • MMGAGE1701
    Eating carbohydrates of any kind raises your insulin levels. When your insulin is up, your fat stores are locked down and can't be used for fuel (which is why they exist in the first place). The truth is ALL carbs are bad. There are numerous scientific studies which demonstrate this while there's not ONE to demonstrate any benefit from them. I don't understand why "nutritionists" keep ignoring this. - 8/22/2014 8:20:10 AM
  • Great article! - 7/15/2014 8:25:33 PM
    I really enjoyed the tips and I keep starting some and can't seem to finished but I hope I will find the one right thing 4 me - 7/15/2014 4:31:03 PM
  • Good advice. - 7/14/2014 8:54:39 AM
  • Enjoyed the info. I like how more and more I'm seeing that "diet" is the food you eat on a regular basis as opposed to a set of eating rules to follow. I think if we all adopted that thinking we would do better overall when it comes to making wiser food choices. - 7/14/2014 1:31:12 AM
  • THANK YOU !! ENJOYED READING THE ARTICLE. - 6/4/2014 10:44:15 AM
  • Good one. Thanks - 6/1/2014 6:42:36 AM
  • MUNCHKIN2235
    This is wonderful and useful info. Thank you so much! - 5/27/2014 5:47:35 PM

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