4 reasons just 20 percent of people on a diet lose weight

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
A Loyola physician has tips for successful weight loss that most people miss.

If you’re on a diet like approximately two-thirds of Americans admit to, you’re not likely to lose weight unless you focus on four things that most people miss. A Loyola University Health System physician explains why just 20 percent of people meet their weight loss goals.

Jessica Bartfield, MD, internal medicine who specializes in nutrition and weight management at the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care says good health habits have to learned and become a ‘way of life’.

Dieting is no exception. If you don’t succeed initially, don’t give up, Bartfield says. Weight loss takes “practice and patience”.

“You’re going to fall over and feel frustrated, but eventually you will succeed and it will get easier”, Dr. Bartfield explains in a press release.

The top four reasons diets fail include:

• Not counting calories accurately
• Underestimating physical activity
• Eating at the wrong time of day
• Not getting enough sleep

Journal your ‘bites’

If you’re serious about weight loss, keep a journal and write down everything you eat. Bartfield says you should even include bites of food that you taste that can lead to increased self-awareness.

Measure your serving sizes. Keep measuring cups on hand so you can really know your food portions.


Check your favorite take out meal and restaurant for nutritional information before you place an order. Food ordered outside the home is usually higher in calories and portions.

Make sure you’re exercising enough

Try to increase your activity to 30 minutes a day. Weight loss of one pound a week typically comes from getting rid of 500 calories a day. Rather than eliminating more food, try walking more. Your goal should be 10,000 steps that can be spread out throughout the day. Buy a pedometer for motivation and tracking.

Don’t skip breakfast

Eat your breakfast within an hour of waking up. Bartfield explains the body needs a steady stream of fuel to keep your metabolism in high gear. Plan your meals so you’re fueling up every 3 to 4 hours. Include a healthy snack a few hours after breakfast and in between lunch and dinner. It’s important not to go more than 5 hours without food or your metabolism will slow down, according to Dr. Bartfield.

Get plenty of sleep

Less than six hours of sleep each night can lead to higher levels of the so-called hunger hormone, ghrelin. Lack of sleep also increases cortisol levels in the body, which is a stress hormone linked to weight gain.

If you're serious about weight loss, know how much activity and how many calories you're really getting each day, get 6 or more hours of sleep each night and time your snacks and meals to keep your metabolism from slowing down.

Loyola University Health System
January 3, 2013

Image credit: Morguefile

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One of the worst foods we can possibly eat is one recommended by anM.D. Doctor Kellogs. Corn flakes and other cereals covered with milk is definitely not the way to lose weight. Too much cereal can lead to irritable bowel syndrome or other G.I symptoms, and the natural occurring growth hormone in milk will make sure you will pile on the weight. There is no reason why we should not eat vegetables for breakfast. It is a lot better than believing in advise from commercial programs or cookbook authors.
My favorite breakfast is - are you ready? Fiber pancakes with pure MAPLE SYRUP!!!!
I guess that is asbestos fiber?
Cute :) Let me go check those ingredients now and I'll get back to you.
I'd like the recipe, please. I can always delete the asbestos anyway :)
http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Wheat-Germ-Whole_wheat-Buttermilk-Pancakes-Allrecipes/yum I like Betty Crocker Fiber One too though. :)
We don't have that where I live. Must be a local delicacy.