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Most Common Pitfalls to Weight Loss

Most Common Pitfalls to Weight Loss

It’s January, and according to reputable polling companies, weight loss tops the list of New Year’s resolutions.  However, statistics also confirm that between 80% and 90% of those resolutions fail by the middle of February.  Like many of us, I admit to indulging in more goodies during the past month than I normally do.  However, as I’ve maintained a weight loss of 120 pounds for the past decade, I have found some common pitfalls to dieting that will interfere with long term success.  Let me share them with you to help you incorporate a firm foundation upon which to begin your weight loss journey this year.



Too many people embarking on a weight loss journey adopt an all-or-nothing attitude.  This way of thinking is truly detrimental in the long run.  It’s not realistic to think that you will not eat a piece of birthday cake this year while celebrating with loved ones.  But it is realistic to learn to eat a small piece and perhaps skip the dinner roll at that meal.  Rather than believe that you must be deprived of all foods that you enjoy, learn to incorporate them in a healthy lifestyle.  If you love pasta, instead of smothering it in creamy sauce, toss whole wheat pasta lightly with olive oil, herbs, and fresh vegetables.



Rather than playing a record in your head that says, “I can’t eat that”, or “that’s not on my diet,” focus on all the tasty foods that you can eat.  Instead of saying, “I can’t have sugar, bread, cheese, dessert, etc. get used to telling yourself that you’re choosing to eat fresh and light because it makes you feel healthy, strong, and happy.



Different things work for different people, but not having a solid, realistic plan will definitely set you up for failure.  Whatever your plan is, make your goals specific and measurable.  Perhaps you may choose to commit to planning weekly meals and shopping ahead, or you may commit to getting some form of physical activity five days per week.  Those goals will become habits, and those actions will create a sustainable lifestyle change. There’s no way to reach a goal that hasn’t been determined. 


Diets are like clothing - fads come and go and styles change.  But weight loss is a simple equation between calories in and calories out.  However you choose to decrease calories and increase activity, your body must have three macronutrients to function efficiently – protein, carbohydrate, and fat.  Presently the popular belief is that eliminating all source of carbohydrate and existing on only protein and fat is the answer to a healthy weight.  Not only is this way of eating not sustainable for life and not promoting the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits, it is highly likely to lead to nutrient deficiency.  The grains of the earth provide an essential source of B-complex vitamins.  Most importantly, never restrict still-developing children and youth from essential carbohydrates.



Another popular fad of today is juicing fruits into smoothies and replacing meals with green drinks.  Taking only the juice of a fruit removes the fiber and concentrates the calories.  Smoothies and green juices lack fiber and protein, key nutrients in helping you feel full and allowing you to obtain all of your nutritional requirements.  Smoothies are typically very high in calories due to the concentrated sugars from the fruit and oftentimes contain large portions of healthy fats from nuts and seeds. 



One of the biggest pitfalls of maintaining a successful weight loss program is excessive calorie restriction.  One need only look on your phone or laptop and a program to micro-manage every calorie you eat will be at your fingertips. Our diet culture is hung up on calorie counting.  It is not necessary nor is it advantageous to restrict your calories to the point of feeling like you’re starving all the time.  Many times people try to get by on a mere 1200 calories per day while wondering what they can do to avoid feeling so hungry all the time.  The answer is to EAT MORE!  Restricting calories to an unrealistic level will result in depriving your body of essential nutrients that will actually help you lose weight. If you are choosing moderate portion sizes of nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein you are not likely to be getting excessive calories. 



The most significant increase in the obesity epidemic came right after the fat phobia days of the 1980s.  We erroneously believed that eliminating fat was the answer to weight loss.  Nutritionists now know that healthy fats from nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and some liquid oils are essential for heart health and many other body functions.  Small amounts of healthy fats will support satiety, helping you feel satisfied on your weight loss journey.


       Do not make the mistake of believing that nutrient-rich vegetables such as carrots, peas, and potatoes should be eliminated from your diet due to their high sugar content.  While these foods may be a bit higher in natural sugars, they are also abundant in fiber, which helps to counterbalance the effect on blood sugar.  Fiber is essential in regulating blood sugar and helping you to feel full.



Many dieters often mistake thirst for hunger.  Staying hydrated helps prevent headaches, which can lead to stress eating. Drinking water or eating a water-rich salad or broth-based soup before a meal can help decrease how much you eat during the meal. A thermal water bottle will keep your water fresh and cold throughout the day. If you have it readily available you will reach for it more often. 

Happy New Year and healthy, happy eating.

Nancy Hintze,

Culinary Nutritionist, Reams Springville Market



Nancy Hintze

About the author

Nancy Hintze, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, began her career as a Foods and Nutrition teacher in Lehi, Utah in 2003. At the time she began teaching middle school students about nutrition, she weighed 286 pounds. She quickly became aware that if she expected her students to believe her, she had to be an example of what she taught. Over the course of the next several years, as she eliminated 125 pounds by changing what she ate and how she cooked, Nancy became passionate about sharing her healthy lifestyle keys with her students and their families. Along the journey of her transformation, she also became an avid chef with a zest for good old fashioned food preparation with a modern twist – healthy ingredients and ease of preparation.

Nancy is a licensed Family and Consumer Sciences teacher as well as a certified L.E.A.N Health Coach. She has developed and produced Community Nutrition Fairs, mentored students in the Fuel Up to Play program and accompanied one of her students to represent Utah in the National Fuel Up to Play summit in Washington, D. C. In addition, she has coached individual clients to achieve greater levels of personal wellness. And now we have the privilege of announcing Nancy as our very own Culinary Nutritionist here at Reams.

When she’s not sharing her passion for great eating with others, you can find her in her vegetable garden, or knitting or sewing, reading a great novel, hanging out with one of her 21 grandchildren or on the road in the RV that she and her husband love to travel in.