20 Weight Loss Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Weight loss success is usually measured by the number of pounds you’ve lost, the size of your clothes, or the shape of your body.


But if you reach your ideal weight, this magical and elusive number on the scale, and you’re still unhappy – and, even worse, you’re terrified you’re just one cheeseburger away from blowing this whole “healthy” thing and gaining back all the weight – are you really successful?


Working as a dietitian in the weight loss biz for over 15 years (and overcoming my own food issues – you can read my story here), I can tell you that the people who lose the weight and keep it off – people who truly live happy and healthy lives – share a lot of the same characteristics, traits, and habits. And the same goes for those who continuously struggle.


So what 20 behaviors do successful people have that unsuccessful people do not?


Inspired by MaryEllen Tribby’s Success Indicator for entrepreneurs, I created the following Weight Loss Success Indicator… 

indicatorfinaldraftIn my weight loss world, success has NOTHING to do with the size of your jeans, and absolutely everything to do with how you feel. Maya Angelou’s definition of success sums it up perfectly…


“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”



The questions to ask yourself is this: Are you on a successful weight loss path paved with courage, hope, humility, and fun (Yippee!), or is your journey full of pain, shame, self-loathing, and punishment (Yikes!)?  


Make the choice to show up for yourself with love and kindness, today. Start by shifting your beliefs, reading a life-changing book, adopting some healthy daily habits, or finding joyful ways to move. Because the choice is always yours, and YOU are worth it.




I’d love to hear from you. What are your strongest weight loss traits? What unsuccessful traits do you need to let go of? And what can you start shifting starting TODAY? 


Much love,



17 Responses to “20 Weight Loss Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making”

  1. Maria Robertson says:

    I read books about personal growth, explore why I overeat and face my emotions head on.

  2. Frances says:

    I love having this visual dichotomoy – it’s a great reminder.
    As you know, I am still working on the successful weightloss strategies. Having made all 20 weight loss mistakes, I think the biggest unsuccessful trait that I am still working on letting go of is making excuses. It is so easy to use time and work as excuses, when I know that I always have a choice.

    • Heather K. Jones says:

      Great, Frances – I am so happy it helps! Awareness is SO important. And don’t forget, the mistakes help us learn – by doing it the wrong way, we learn why/how to do it the right way. You are doing AWESOME! XX

  3. amy says:

    I have started a diary on my phone logging in all my meals. It helps to actually see what you are eating and the calories.
    Also included is the nutritional value.

  4. Margaret says:

    My strongest weight loss traits are: I am a healthy eater, I love to cook & try new recipes and I’m familiar with WW’s point system. When I look at your list, I would love to live on the weight loss winner side but find too many traits on the losers’ side. Ugh!!! I need accountability to myself for myself if that makes sense but I’ m also looking for a magic wand that will wave the weight away. Do you know where I can get one? On a more realistic note your information makes the most sense to me and I’m ready to do the work and get off the weight roller coaster.

    • Heather K. Jones says:

      Hey Margaret! Eating healthy, trying new recipes and etc. are all fantastic, so good for you! Have you read The Power Is Within You or Excuses Be Gone? Both are awesome books for change. Also, I’ll be launching an online version of my Smaller Size Bigger Life program later this year, and I’ll cover ALL of these things in it.

      Remember, none of us are perfect, but being aware of what is holding us back is really important – awareness is actually the first step to shifting. And I’m so happy to hear you are ready to show up for yourself – YOU are actually the magic wand you are looking for 🙂 Please let me know if I can help with anything.

  5. Nour Zibdeh says:

    Heather I love this! I’m going to be sharing it often! Thanks!

  6. Zuzana says:

    Using food for comfort is definitely one I do! Something I’m working on right now. Thanks for posting!

  7. […] 20 Weight Loss Mistakes you don’t know you’re Making by Heather K. Jones, RD –> Amazing list & it’s not just about food! […]

  8. Jessica says:

    This made me want to cry. When I clicked on it, I expected a list of more rules but instead it spoke to my spirit. I’ve recently gained some weight due to stress, life and some medical reasons and am working on getting it back off. But I shouldn’t let that hold me back from living my life or hating myself.

    Thank you

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