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The Mistake Most People Make When Losing Weight


Hey there!

I hope you had a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend. We decided to stay in the city this weekend and just chill — we had lazy mornings, lots of good times with our friends and spent many hours outside in the sun. I can’t really ask for anything more!

This weekend was also filled with delicious food and it got me thinking about all the years I spent dieting and therefore denying myself the pleasure of really good food. Instead of enjoying an ice cream cone on a sunny day, I would feel guilty after eating one and then feel like I should just “throw in the towel”. Instead of getting excited about a cheese plate, I would stress out about how many calories I was consuming. And instead of enjoying a lobster roll with butter, I would have asked them to “hold the butter” and then would have regretted it later.

This restrictive way of eating didn’t satisfy me because it made me feel like I couldn’t have the foods that I loved and if I did, I should feel guilty . And when I’d feel guilty, it made me feel like I did something wrong, which caused me to binge. Bad cycle.


Looking back on all of those years of dieting, I now realize that the biggest mistake I made was never learning how to eat in a way that was sustainable. And that’s the mistake that most of us make. We start a diet, we commit to eating in a particular way, and then once we lose the weight (if we get there), we are still left with this feeling of “now what?”.

Anytime I ever lost weight through dieting, I never learned the most important piece that would have allowed me to maintain that weight loss : how to actually eat in a sustainable way.

And because I didn’t ever learn this, I just gained back all the weight. Every time.

It makes so much sense to me now. I should have known that a life without ice cream would make me unhappy. That a life without cheese and bread and wine and chocolate would make me unhappy. That way of eating just isn’t sustainable for me.


So here’s what I would advise…. eat NOW in a way that is sustainable for you.

If you love ice cream, find a way to make it a healthy part of your week. If you love chocolate, find a way to make it a healthy part of your day.

Start living your days in a way that you feel you can sustain for the rest of your life. Yes, this may bring about slower weight loss, but it will be weight loss that feels easy and natural and that you’ll be able to finally keep off.

Let’s pick one food as an example of what I would encourage you to do. Let’s choose ice cream. You know you love ice cream and that in the long run  – in the grand scheme of your life – you don’t want to live without it. That’s totally fair and you shouldn’t live without it!

Ask yourself these questions:

How does my body react to ice cream? Do I feel good when I eat it? If I were to have a conversation with my body, how often is my body ok with having it? Can my body and my mind negotiate to find an appropriate amount of times per week (or day/month) that ice cream feels good? <— This does not mean create a RULE for yourself, this can serve as a rough guideline.


For me, although my mind would love ice cream every day, I know that my body does not feel great if I eat too much sugar. So for me, I generally eat ice cream about once a week and then I eat a couple squares of my favorite chocolate each night. This is NOT a hard stop rule — sometimes it’s more, sometime’s it’s less, but I do try to keep both my mind and body happy.

The same goes for bread. This is another food that I freakin’ love, yet I know how my body feels weighed down with too much bread. Plus, I am nutritionally informed enough to know that bread isn’t really doing a ton for my body nutritionally. So I eat bread roughly once a day. For instance, if I have a sandwich for lunch, I will try to have a non-bread carb at dinner such as quinoa or brown rice.

In the past, I would eat 1200 calories a day or I would cut out carbs or cut out sugar, or not eat past 6pm. But none of those lasted because they didn’t allow me to live my life and they just weren’t sustainable. Even if I could hold out for 2 weeks and lose a few pounds, I still never taught myself how to eat for long lasting weight loss and health.

So the bottom line here, is try to find a way to eat that is sustainable. THAT is what will bring about long term weight loss plus a lot more happiness to your life.

I’d love to hear in the comments… are you eating now in a way that is sustainable for you? If you’ve maintained long term weight loss, what else do you suggest? 


P.S. BOTH Level 1 and Level 2 of the Intuitive Eating Challenge start on Monday! We have a great group of women involved and I would encourage you to check it out, especially if you’re looking to find that sustainable way of eating. Click the images below to read more details and get signed up.

Level I: 


Level II: 




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  1. Katie @ Live Half Full says

    I saw Jillian Michaels speak and she reinforced the 80/20 rule- but with one catch. She said that you should follow this rule day by day, not be 100% good during the week and splurge on the weekends. This was huge for me and I realized that was exactly what I was doing. Now I focus on the fact that nothing is off limits and a little treat here and there will balance out, which is so working for me. I never feel restricted and honestly don’t thinking about the fact that I’m treating myself, it just happens because I’m in the habit of enjoying myself. 🙂

    • Jamie says

      Great tip!! I love that she recommends thinking about it per day instead of per weekend… very helpful. Glad you’re in the habit of enjoying yourself, Katie 🙂

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This place is for you: To explore what your soul needs to hear today.

I mainly write about Inner CriticSelf-CareFollowing Your IntuitionLife + Evolving, and the occasional Recipe. Enjoy!