16 crazy things that sabotage weight loss (+ a summer update)

16 crazy mistakes that sabotage weight loss // bring-joy.com #weightloss


I’m a little more than half way to my goal weight range.

(Remember, it’s a range I’m aiming for, not a specific number.)

I’ve lost 35 lbs. so far. (169.0 lbs. today!).

{Here for my full progress report.}

Despite this, my weight loss has slowed to a crawl this last month. I went from losing on average 2 lbs. a week to .5-1 lb. a week.

Why has it slowed?

Is it because I’m nursing?

Is it because my body’s metabolism has slowed?

Is it because my body is “holding onto fat”?

I try to avoid over-simplifying complex & nuanced processes, but for the sake of this discussion, the answer is: I haven’t been creating the daily big calorie deficits needed to have a big weekly loss.

It’s pretty much as simple as that.

How do I know this?

Because this is my fifth time around the weight loss block. It’s a predictable process, it’s a rather straightforward process. And when I’m not losing the weight I want, I know what I have to do.

I have to eat fewer calories than I did 30 lbs. ago to lose the same amount of weight (this is a result of less body mass, which means lower BMR–all of the things I go into much greater detail in my ebook).

This last month the only thing I stopped doing that I had been doing previously, was tracking my food intake.

This one little thing has caused my weight loss to slow. Why?

Because recording what you eat, does the same thing for weight loss as a budget does for getting out of debt–it keeps you within the parameters you need to achieve your goals.

Even though I’ve lost weight before without tracking food, I’ve realized it’s silly to make this process harder than it needs to be. It only takes a few minutes a day to record what I eat & it makes all the difference.

Speak of making things harder than they need to be, are you doing any of these 16 crazy things that sabotage weight loss?

Let’s look at some of the crazy mistakes that people (myself included!) often make that can sabotage weight loss efforts. 


16 things that sabotage weight loss

1) You don’t hold yourself accountable.
This includes tracking calories (I prefer the Weight Watcher points method–more about why, in my ebook), weighing yourself regularly, & setting specific health & weight loss related goals.

2) You think you’ll just “eat less.” 
This is why so many diets fail. You cannot just “eat less.” This goes against your body’s natural inclination to eat. Trying to eat less is like saying you’re just going to “breathe less.” You need to eat for a variety of reasons, not the least of which, is that eating (& eating a certain amount) is a very primal instinct. To simply eat smaller portions won’t work for most people (at least in the long term).

3) You get caught in the restrictive/binge cycle.
I know, I’ve done it before. You eat too much over the weekend & think–I’m only eating broccolli today. Then, by the time dinner rolls around you’re so ravenous you eat seven servings of dinner (okay, maybe not seven, but you get the idea). Instead of restricting or not eating, focus on getting back on track & focusing on healthy, weight-loss promoting principles.

{How to stop emotional eating}

4) You get caught up in the latest fad diet. 
Oye vey. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Not sure if it’s a fad? If a particular diet revolves around supplements, shakes, a highly prescriptive/restrictive regimen that is unsustainable in the long term, it most likely is a fad.

5) You see weight loss as a sprint, rather than a marathon.
Remember, slow & steady wins the race. A diet that delivers lasting weight loss results is not a crash & burn diet.

6) You weigh yourself every day.
Weigh yourself once a week. Any more than that is unnecessary, distracting, & can be discouraging.

7) You don’t exercise. 
Weight loss is mostly diet, but exercise is important too. You need to exercise. Nearly every day. This will help aid the weight loss process & help you feel better too! {For my complete exercise plan, check out my ebook: Fit, Strong, Lean: The Fitness Plan}

8) You don’t include weight training in your fitness program.
Everybody, especially women, need to strength train 2-3 x’s a week, especially when losing weight. As you lose weight, you want to prevent the loss of muscle mass as much as possible. Weight training helps to preserve bone density, preserve as well as increase muscle mass which helps increase your BMR.

9) You cut out food groups. (Ahem! carbs.)
Your body needs a balance of protein, carbs, fat, fiber, as well as adequate water, vitamins & minerals. Eliminating carbs from your diet for any amount of time is not sustainable or healthy. You can still lose weight when eating carbs. Focus on complex carbohydrates like quinoa, tubers, & brown rice.

10) You tell yourself, “tomorrow I’ll change.” 
The next time you put something in your mouth, that is when you will change. You decide that right now is the time to change. Not tomorrow. TODAY. Right now.

11) If you “messed up” one or two times you tell yourself it’s over, it’s no use. 
Nonsense. Your past doesn’t dictate your present choices. You can decide to make a healthy, positive choice, right now.

12) You don’t have a set eating schedule. 
Schedules make the world go round. If you want to be successful with anything (weight loss not exempted), you must have a schedule (affiliate link). Decide what times of the day you’re going to eat & stick to it.

13) You’re not relying on low-calorie, fiber rich foods to do the heavy leg work for you.
When you want to lose weight, vegetables (especially greens) & low-sugar fruits (like berries & apples) are your best friends. (Especially these 11 foods.) They make weight loss so much easier. They will fill you up, feed your body, & curb your hunger on very few calories.

14) You’re not filling up on enough protein.
Beans! Greens! Eat these daily, especially if you want to lose weight. I find that adding a scoop of vegan protein powder (I like this one) to my daily low-sugar green smoothie helps add to satiety & keeps me full longer. (More on why protein matters, in my ebook, Fit, Strong, Lean: The Diet.)

15) You think little things (like that granola bar) don’t count.
It’s the little choices that make or break your weight loss goals. Every calorie matters. Make your calories count by filling up on mostly whole & unprocessed foods.

16) You miscalculate how many nuts you’re eating a day.
Unlike some vegan weight loss diets, the FSL approach doesn’t eliminate any food, even nuts & seeds. Almonds, peanuts, pumpkin, chia, & flax seeds are foods that I eat on a regular basis. These foods are nutrient dense & for me, provide a certain level of satisfaction that I can’t get from other foods. The thing is, most people easily go overboard on nuts, which can tip the scales from weight loss mode to maintenance or even weight gain mode. Whenever you eat nuts or seeds, make sure to measure!


Summer Update:

Next week, my kids are going to be out of school for the summer (hooray!).

Last summer I took a whole three months off. I’m going to continue to blog this summer, but only a few days a week so I can spend more time with my kids & devote more time to working on some side projects.

Because of this, I’ve decided to do my Fitness Fridays post just once a month for the next few months. Which means, next time I’m going to give a weight loss update will be end of June. I’m shooting for upping my weight loss to an average of 1.5 lbs. a week, which means I hope to be down to 162 lbs. by the end of June–we’ll see!

Do you have anything to add to this list?
What are some things you struggle with when it comes to weight loss? 



Want to know more?
Check out my ebook to learn more about
sustainable, simple weight loss.


  1. Alanna
    on June 8, 2014 at 9:55 pm said:

    These are great tips, Janae. I need to work on several of them! 🙂

  2. Tashiana
    on May 31, 2014 at 10:32 am said:

    This is so real + well conveyed. You made a key point – planning to restrict yourself will go against your “natural inclination to eat”. When we get motivated we tend to forget that this natural inclination to eat controls every success/failure to be accounted for. And also – I agree! Weighing yourself everyday keeps you in a completely different world to one where you don’t notice every millimeter of water weight being held! Life looks different on a day where the scales don’t matter! So many points here which promote a healthy lifestyle though – the granola one especially! It’s easy to forget that granola bars are basically dense sources of natural fat + carbs (oats)…with loads of extra sugar. As we all know – sugar isn’t jut a calorie! Sugar = triggers a chain reaction in all directions. Love your blog! xo Tash

  3. Joya
    on May 31, 2014 at 9:18 am said:

    #15. This is a habit that I’ve had to break recently…these are all great tips for sure!!

  4. Melissa
    on May 30, 2014 at 3:50 pm said:

    Ugh… I hate the effort. Can’t it just melt off as I eat snickerdoodles? Cuz that would be awesome.

    • Janae Wise
      on May 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm said:

      I agree, that *would* be awesome.


  5. Sara
    on May 30, 2014 at 3:34 pm said:

    11 is my downfall. Its hard when you slip up to stop the slip and get back on track.

    • Janae Wise
      on May 30, 2014 at 5:59 pm said:

      I think everybody struggles with this, & it doesn’t just apply to weight loss.

      Realizing that each moment is an opportunity to move forward, to make new choices, to choose a new, better way of living/thinking, is something that will help combat the hopelessness that often accompanies the consequences of less than ideal choices. Presence is the key, & something that I work on daily! Not always easy, for sure.