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  • Jill Maher

Five Weight Loss Mistakes

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by Skype/Facetime with my clients.

After working with hundreds of clients, I've noticed a few things leading to weight loss successes vs failures. It can be very frustrating for people when they truly believe they are doing all of the right things, but the scale isn't budging (sometimes they are doing all of the right things, but that's for another day).

These are the things that I commonly see in my health and nutrition coaching practice:

1. Many people believe the less they eat, the better:

When you severely restrict calories, your body adapts by adjusting hormone production, including thyroid, cortisol (stress hormone), and sex hormones. It's especially harmful if you are over training/exercising and restricting calories.

This can 100% prevent weight loss, increase body fat storage (especially in the belly area), and cause a host of other more serious consequences.

2. Not enough or too much exercise:

Let's be honest, most people are in the "not enough" exercise category. The recommendation is at least 30 minutes of activity five times per week. You will increase muscle, burn calories, and feel much better when you incorporate exercise into your life.

HOWEVER, for those of us who go above and beyond, this can also be a problem. As stated above, if you are exercising and not fueling yourself properly, you will have problems. But, your body also needs time to recover and repair, and if you don't allow for that, it will adapt again by adjusting those hormones that hinder weight loss. Plus, you become so fatigued and are more susceptible to injury.

3. Inconsistency:

I think this is the #1 hindrance I see in my practice. Consistency is such a key ingredient to successful weight loss. This is why at least half of my clients work with me.

How do you stay consistent?

Write everything down!

Log your food and write down how you're feeling as far as cravings, digestive issues, etc. Keeping a food journal helps to identify triggers that lead to poor decisions, which leads to change. It's tedious but necessary, and my clients who always log their food are 99.99999% more successful than those who don't.

People tend to stay most consistent during the week when they have a normal routine, but once Friday night comes, all bets are off. This is when journaling helps keep you accountable and also shows patterns of inconsistency.

I've written a lot about the "all or nothing" mentality in the past because it's so common...we all do it! We tell ourselves crazy untruths that keep us gridlocked in whatever bad behavior we are struggling with. This ties into being inconsistent.

If you make a bad food choice, move on! Don't beat yourself up. The day is not over, so get back on the kale bandwagon and make better choices.

Believe me, eating a 200 calorie cookie in the office break room is not going to destroy your diet...doing that all of the time will. Or, letting that one incident justify throwing the baby out with the bathwater and going out for a 1,000+ calorie pizza dinner that night is much worse than stopping at the 200 calorie cookie.

People tell themselves that they will start fresh "on Monday" or "in the new year" or "after insert event." This will go on forever if you don't get some accountability in your life. If logging your food still isn't enough, contact me, and I can help!

4. Eating too much of a good thing:

I have terrible news for you - you can overeat healthy food.

I do this! If I workout really hard and don't eat enough or get the timing of my eating right, I will OD on sweet potatoes, nut butter, you name it. I'm making "healthy," clean choices because unfortunately for my husband we have NOTHING but clean choices in our house! But, overeating anything will lead to weight gain because these foods still have calories, and your body only requires a certain amount of fuel before it stores that excess fuel as body fat.

This is why I don't like trendy diets that do not advocate portion control and balance. I don't think there is a magic balance of macro-nutrients that leads to weight loss, but I do think you need balance. Too many carbs, protein, or fat just won't work in the long term. You need everything to help you feel satiated, balance blood sugar, and lose/maintain weight. Obviously choosing whole foods helps with this, as well.

5. Not sleeping well:

Lack of sleep derails everything for the same reasons listed in points one and two. This throws all of your hormones off, making you crave food like a deprived bear coming out of hibernation!

You spend one third of your life asleep. This is an important part of overall health. So, if you're working out like a maniac and eating perfectly, but you're only sleeping 5 hours per night, this is likely the cause of your stubborn weight gain.

I've been reading a book about the areas in the world with the oldest populations. These people are eating lots of clean foods, including carbs and grains! They are also sleeping like champs! Probably because they are not overwhelmed by the busyness that the average American feels, or perhaps because they are not staring at some form of technology most of the day.

For more on sleep, read this article

Are you struggling to lose weight? You may want to ask yourself if you are guilty of one or more of these behaviors...most people are, so you're not alone! If you need help and/or accountability, let me know.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Balls

These protein balls are a great grab-and-go snack! You can make them ahead of time and freeze them for future use.

Makes 12

Calories per ball: 113/ Protein: 11g/ Carbs: 2.8g/ Fat: 6g


  • ¾ cup Vanilla Brown Rice Protein (I used Orgain peanut butter)

  • 6 tbsp. almond butter

  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour

  • 3/4 tsp of organic stevia extract (I used this brand)

  • 30g of 85% Dark Chocolate, broken into little pieces (could sub with chocolate chips - I used these)

  • 2 tbsp. water


  1. Combine rice protein powder, coconut flour, and stevia. Then mix well.

  2. Add almond butter and combine

  3. Add a tablespoon of water per time to get the mixture to the right sticky consistency.

  4. Add chocolate and gently combine

  5. Roll mixture into 12 balls

Refrigerate for a 1/2 an hour before enjoying. Recipe Credit:

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by Skype/Facetime with my clients.

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