12 Things Dietitians Want You to Know Before Losing Weight

No matter how much you educate yourself, how many hours you log in the gym, and how much you meal prep, losing weight is tough. Even if you’ve found weight-loss success in the past, it’s totally normal to hit a plateau. But don’t be discouraged. You may need a little help from the pros when it comes to sticking to a healthy weight-loss diet plan.

That’s why we’ve consulted some top dietitians and nutritionists to reveal their top tips for losing weight and keeping it off. If you feel stuck in your diet or aren’t sure what the next steps to take are, take it from these experts who help clients every day with the same struggles.


Weight loss is a journey.

“Most people live their lives trying to meet specific health goals and get down on themselves when they hit a roadblock or experience a setback, often throwing in the towel altogether. I wish everyone knew that achieving health and wellness is a journey, not a destination. Roadblocks and setbacks are part of the process and should be used as learning experiences, not excuses to give up.” —Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT, author of Nourish Your Namaste

All sugars aren’t created equal.

“All sugar isn’t created equal. Sugar is sugar, yes, but some sugars are worse than others. Sugars you get from fruits are more natural and also come packed with important things like vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and table sugar are the ones to skip, along with artificial sweeteners.” —Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition

Gluten-free doesn’t equal healthy.

“I wish people knew that gluten-free foods aren’t all automatically healthy. People often lose weight and feel better on a gluten-free diet, but it’s usually not because of lack of gluten. It’s because they’re paying attention to their food choices and eating more real foods and less simple carbs. Gluten-free labeled packaged foods actually tend to have more calories and extra fat or sugar for added flavor.” —Torey Armul, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

There are no “bad” foods.

“I wish people knew that there isn’t one bad food or one bad nutrient. First, fat was blamed for our country’s obesity epidemic, then it was carbs, now it’s sugar. We need to shift our focus to eating real, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains—foods that have a ton of nutritional value and taste delicious—instead of fearing entire food groups and creating an unhealthy ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ relationship with food. All foods can fit into a healthy diet.” —Kristen Carlucci Haase RD-N

You can’t outrun a bad diet.

“Many people think that they can eat whatever they want as long as they work out. But the truth is, if you are looking to lose or maintain your weight, what you put in your body is significantly more important than hitting the gym. Exercise is important to keep your body healthy, but just because you work out for an hour or more per day, it doesn’t give you the liberty to eat whatever you want!” —Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RDN, Co-Author of Should I Scoop out My Bagel

You can’t be addicted to carbs.

“A pet peeve of mine is hearing about how certain people are ‘addicted to carbs.’ I would love to scream across America that carbs are not, in fact, an addictive substance. By telling yourself that they are, you are not taking responsibility for yourself in terms of your food choices. You’re also creating a story about food that is untrue.” —Kristin Reisinger, MS, RD, CSSD, and founder and owner of IronPlate Studios

Wine is only healthy in moderation.

“Yes, wine is good for you, but only in moderation. That’s one 5-ounce glass of wine a day for women, two for men. Restaurants and bars commonly pour glasses that surpass that amount, so if you indulge in two or more glasses, you’re likely going to drink more than half a bottle. Most people don’t know—or don’t want to know—that wine and other alcoholic drinks are associated with breast cancer incidence. But it’s a truth that shouldn’t be ignored.” —Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RDN, FAND

Carbohydrates aren’t all bad.

“I wish people knew that carbohydrates aren’t bad. It’s the type of carbs that count. Opt for complex carbohydrates with fiber, like fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and limit simple carbs, like table sugar, baked goods, candy, and white grains and breads.” —Torey Armul, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

You should do what works for you.

“I wish people knew that there is no one-size-fits-all diet that works for everyone. Individuals have different food preferences, dining habits, schedules, body types, past experiences, and obstacles. Stop falling for restrictive diet plans, America! Start by changing one simple habit and build from there.” —Stephanie Brookshier, RDN, ACSM-CPT

Nutrition panels don’t tell the whole story.

“The numbers on the nutrition panel aren’t the most important part of a food product. You need to look at the ingredient list, too. If there are ingredients you cannot pronounce or if you see anything you think may not be a natural ingredient, put the product back on the shelf.” —Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition

Sleep matters.

“Contrary to the idea that most of us grew up with, sleep is not a waste of time. In fact, it’s a valuable use of your time and should be prioritized as part of your overall healthy lifestyle. Adequate amounts of quality sleep set the stage for good diet and exercise decisions during your waking hours.” —Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RDN, FAND

You don’t need to obsess about portion sizes.

“Too many people are still obsessing over portion sizes and calories, which is totally old school! Instead, trust your body to tell you when to eat and when to stop. Is that doughnut in the break room calling your name because you’re actually hungry? Or are you using it to relieve boredom or stress? Think before you eat and stop before you feel full. Leaving food on your plate or saving it for later is not a crime!” —Stephanie Brookshier, RDN, ACSM-CPT

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

8 Reasons to Eat Papaya Every Day

Papaya is the fruit of the Carica papaya plant. It originated in Central America and Southern Mexico but is now grown in many other parts of the world. Papaya contains

Best Natural Remedies for Eczema

When eczema strikes, red, scaly patches invade the skin—and they itch like crazy. This chronic inflammatory condition (also called atopic dermatitis) can’t be cured, and tends to flare periodically and

Why Are My Feet Always Cold?

Many people will experience cold feet at some point in their lives and there are many causes of this issue. Changes in temperature or lifestyle choices are some of the

5 Ways Smoking Can Impact Your Skin

Smoking causes harm to your heart and your lungs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and

Common Habits to Have a Healthier Thyroid

According to the American Thyroid Association, about 20 million Americans have a thyroid condition—and of those 20 million, a staggering 60 percent aren’t aware of it. The hormones that are

Incredible Health Benefits Offered by Tea

It Protects You From Disease A lot of them, actually! Tea is chock-full of antioxidants, which can help protect you from a wide array of cancers — including breast, colon,

10 Tips From Masters to Enjoy Your Life More

With these amazing tips even the hardest pessimist will smile. Life is beautiful, so try enjoying it, because you’ll never know what tomorrow will bring. For putting a smile on

8 Reasons Why You’re Suffering From Headaches

You didn’t sleep enough “Your fight-or-flight hormones start to kick in, resulting in an increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, and stress,” says Salvatore Napoli, MD, of the New England

10 Cancer Symptoms You’re Probably Ignoring

Each year, more than 1.7 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed in the United States. And while many people follow basic healthy living protocols that minimize their risk, like

The Umbrella Term for Many Types of Hair Loss

When your immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles, appears this type of hair loss named alopecia, which is an umbrella term for many other types of hair loss. The

9 Things You Think Are Contagious – But Aren’t

If you’re not sure what condition someone has and you’re not a medical professional, you probably won’t be able to tell. Visible symptoms for contagious and non-contagious diseases can seem