5 Mistakes We All Make When Trying to Lose Weight

Woman drinking a fruity drink through a straw

The jury's still out when it comes to the best diet for weight loss. It's not that we haven't found any diets that work (quite the opposite, in fact); it's that they don't work for everyone. With our lives being—or a least feeling—busier than ever, trying to find the right way to eat without gaining weight can be tough when all you want to do is veg out with junk food and Netflix after a hard day at work.

The solution, of course, is having a list of industry-approved diets that genuinely work but are tailored to your needs, so you can pick and choose. We've got five diets that will suit a range of different tastes and goals. Whether that's a body reset or a longer-term approach to weight loss, there are plenty of healthy ways to do it. However, it's worth noting some of the biggest mistakes people make when dieting, and bearing them in mind when embarking on a new way of eating.

1. Expecting Your Sudden Weight Loss to Stick

According to a recent study, "You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back," said Traci Mann, lead author and UCLA associate professor of psychology. The number one reason, in fact, 90% of people fail at their diets is expecting this quick win to convert into longer-term weight loss. The truth is, there are no quick fixes when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.

2. Not Exercising

Yes, it's obvious, but the same study carried out by UCLA also found that those who kept the weight off were also the ones who exercised the most.

3. Restricting All "Bad" Foods

While it's a good idea to start upping the broccoli intake, that doesn't mean you should stop eating the occasional bar of chocolate. This is mainly because once you start introducing the treats back into your diet, you'll start putting weight on much quicker. This is because your metabolism starts to slow after you've lost weight, thanks to what is known as your body going into starvation mode. Ideally, you don't want to restrict your body too much but lower your calorie intake so it's a gradual loss of weight.

4. Not Checking Your Portion Size

Over the past 30 years, portion size has crept up. While what you're eating is healthy, the amount you're eating might shift the calorie intake to much higher than you realised. Try using an app like MyFitnessPal to keep an eye on those portion sizes.

5. Believing That One Diet Fits All

There isn't one way that suits everyone, which is why we've compiled a list of diets that work and who they suit. Keep scrolling for the best diets to lose weight and find the right one for you.

The Alkaline Diet

In a nutshell, the alkaline diet is all about balancing the body's pH to reduce the amount of acid in the body. As a result the body is less inflamed, dry skin becomes less regular, and it increases collagen production (just one of the reasons it's touted as the anti-ageing diet). 

Best for: People who like to spend time researching where their food comes from, who have time to prep and are looking to reduce those crows' feet. 


An acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (catchy), the FODMAP diet is about cutting out any foods that contain the aforementioned ingredients. Many of these foods are gluten-rich, which is why many people think they're intolerant, when they're just more susceptible to the bloating that the high FODMAP foods induce in the stomach. There is a handy list of FODMAP foods, which is incredibly useful if you're considering this diet.

Best for: People who are often bloated and struggling with digestion problems. This diet isn't one to undertake forever, but rather one to do in order to reset one's gut.

The Sirtfood Diet

Of all the diets, the Sirtfood diet is the one that's meant to turbo-charge weight loss by helping you to burn up fat but maintain muscle. By eating Sirtfoods, the sirtuin protein is activated in our bodies, which protect our cells from disease and inflammation. This triggering can also help to build muscle, incinerate fat and manipulate our metabolism.

Best for: Those who are already active but want to drop some weight while keeping on the muscle and toning up at the same time.

The Atkins Diet

Much loved by Kim Kardashian West when she lost a lot of weight last year, the Atkins diet is a classic go-to for those looking to lose some pounds. Essentially, you limit carbohydrate intake and eat more protein. Sounds pretty simple, right? The new Atkins approach is a much healthier version too, which includes lean meats and encourages you to eat nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits.

Best for: Those looking to lose weight steadily and don't want to restrict too much food. 

Read more about the Atkins diet.

The Mediterranean Diet

Ah, the Mediterranean diet. This is perhaps one of the simplest diets to follow and also much more about a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix approach. This is all about eating foods that are high in monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, fish and avocado. Not only is it delicious, this diet reduces your chance of developing various health problems, such as heart disease, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Best for: Those looking for a lifestyle change.

Read more about the Mediterranean diets.

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