3 Type of Dieters Who Fail: Beware of These Common Mistakes

Ladies share their diet struggles with me all the time. They tell me how they’ve tried every diet on the planet but never got results or how they used to workout but that didn’t work either. Most of the time they just didn’t stick with it long enough or their regime was just too unrealistic to maintain long-term.

My favorite complaint is the one where they tell me how they’re doing all the right things and still can’t lose weight. They say how hard they work out and how healthy they eat – but, honestly, they just can’t work out that hard, eat right and NOT lose weight. It’s just science. If you are taking in fewer calories than you’re burning – you WILL lose weight.

So what’s their problem? Well, it seems there are a few common scenarios.

The Weekday Dieter

eating healthyThere is the person that really does eat very well…..MOST of the time – and that’s their problem. This person eats very few calories during the week but completely blows it on the weekends.

This eating pattern is more for someone in the maintenance stage of their diet. If they want to lose weight, they need to eat right seven days a week until they lose a significant amount of weight. It may take a few weeks, but it is crucial for weight loss. After they lose their first chunk of weight they can celebrate and cheat a little but they have to get right back on their diet until they reach their goal.

The Clueless Dieter  

eating blindfoldedAnother type of dieter is the person that just has no clue what they are eating. They really believe they are eating well, but are just relying on guess work.

For example, I had a woman tell me that she was on a “No-Carb” Diet (which is a whole other topic to be discussed), but she couldn’t understand why she wasn’t losing weight. I asked her to give me an example of what she was eating and the first three things she listed were all high-carb/high-calorie items. She simply didn’t know any better. She thought carbs were basically only bread, pasta and french fries. Her knowledge was limited. In this situation it is imperative dieters get the knowledge they need to make the right choices.

The Healthy Dieter

frustrated-woman-cookingMany dieters eat healthy, but still eat too many calories. They avoid all the obvious high-calorie foods like ice cream, french fries and cream sauces, but still gets too many calories from other foods or overeating. They might not even count fruits and vegetables, or other items that sound healthy, even thought they still are calories.

The healthy dieter may fix healthy meals, but forget all the extra items like alcohol, sauces, dressings, etc. If they’d keep better track of what they are eating, they would find the lost calories.  To make things worse, this type of dieter typically works out a lot and feels they can “afford” more calories.

Keeping a diet journal and tracking calories with a calorie counter app like www.LoseIt.com is normally a big eye-opener. It not only helps people learn more about calories in food, but it also teaches them how many calories are really burned in exercise, so they can understand how to balance the two – calories in vs. calories out.

The Answer

The bottom line is calories are calories, no matter where it comes and whether you know you are eating them or not. When it comes to losing weight, it doesn’t matter if the calories are coming from unhealthy foods or healthy foods. Of course healthier calories are always better, but you will likely just end up a healthier, but still overweight, dieter.

Whether you try a fad diet or make up your own, success boils down to eating fewer calories than you are burning. It’s just that simple.


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  1. Rebecca Dawkins

    So true…If you want to lose weight it’s very important to take care of your diet and calories. Even excessive workout would be a waste if your food is not supporting it. Interesting post! Thanks for sharing..!

  2. RobertLeatFitness

    great advice :)

  3. chopstix2112

    great blog….applies to me: i wasn’t being consistent eg sabotaging my good eating with post 6pm eating…now I find by writing what i eat down (and counting cals/protein/carbs etc) and carrying around this sheet with me (which i later transpose to my computer journal) it really helps: as when I get a craving i can pull this out and tell myself: ‘look, it’s a craving and nothing more: you’ve consumed a wonderfully balancved amt of food for the day: you’re ok: it’s just a craving and ont a need.

  4. Ashley M

    During bootcamp I do pretty well 7 days a week but when I’m not doing BCX I’m a Weekday Dieter. It’s easy to control what I bring to work with me to eat, but it’s hard on the weekends when I can go to the gas station and get a coke and some peanut butter M&M’s :)

  5. Jessica

    I am the picture of the Healthy Dieter. My portions of healthy food are still TOO big! I have to work on that. Thank you!

  6. Tiffany Youngren

    This is so true. Great tips! My downfall is when I drink my calories (so I try to bypass juice and coffee drinks, and pick up water – after my first 2 cups of coffee, of course). Excellent post!

    ~ Tiffany

    Healthy Recipes and How to Feel Good

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