Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | January 8, 2009

The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes #1 – Going on a Diet

             At any given time, millions of Americans are on some type of diet.  That’s not surprising given that 65% of us are overweight and 34% are clinically obese.  The problem is diets DO NOT work.  They inevitably fail for at least two reasons.  First, diets are usually short-term measures.  They are designed to dramatically modify your eating habits for a specific period of time during which you may see positive results.  In fact, if you strictly adhere to your diet regimen, you will probably lose weight (of course, sticking to a diet is much easier said than done).  The problem is few diets are designed to last for the rest of your life.  Once you achieve your weight loss goals, you will eventually return to your previous eating habits.  You will then gain the lost weight back plus some additional weight.  This additional weight is directly connected to the second problem with diets.  The weight you lose during your diet will include water, fat and to a great extent, muscle.  This happens whenever you lose more than about 1 pound per week and is exacerbated by diets that don’t include both cardiovascular and resistance exercise (more on this in my next 2 posts).  The problem is that muscle loss lowers your metabolism (defined as the number of calories you burn per day at rest).  For every pound of muscle you lose, you burn roughly 6 fewer calories per day.  If your diet causes 15 pounds of muscle loss, you will burn 90 fewer calories a day.  This may not sound like much, but over the course of one year, you’ll burn 32,850 fewer calories.  This adds up to a 9 pound weight gain even if you continue to eat a restricted diet!  So whatever you do, don’t go on a diet.  Visit my recent series, How to Improve Your Eating Habits, for healthier and more effective weight loss tips.

NEXT POST – January 12, 2009

The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes # 2 – Trying to Lose Weight Too Quickly



  1. […] reasons.  First, as I have discussed in my 3 previous “Weight Loss Mistakes” articles (Going on a Diet, Trying to Lose Weight Too Quickly and Trying to Lose Weight WITHOUT Exercise), starving yourself […]

  2. […] know it, you have gained the 40 pounds back plus another 10 (see my first article in this series, Mistake #1 – Going on a Diet, to find out why this happens).  Always remember, you are not alone.  Everyone who has ever tried […]

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