Three Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes -

Three Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes


Three Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes

Have you ever struggled to lose weight?  Have you ever had unstoppable cravings that plagued you and tarnished your ability to get to your ideal weight?

As a clinician who specializes in helping people lose weight I have seen so many individuals who have struggled with yo-yo dieting and stress induced weight gain.  For many, they are able to lose weight easily when they are younger but by the time they hit 40, the extra weight becomes stubborn and resistant.  This is a condition called “Weight Loss Resistance” and it has to do with chronic inflammation and impaired hormone function.

Where Did We Go Wrong?

We used to think that weight loss was as simple as    Calories in vs Calories out

The less calories you take in and the more calories you burn the more weight you lose.  This is now considered an archaic model of metabolism.  Now we understand that weight loss comes down to hormone function (12) and immune system coordination (3,4).  A lifestyle that restricts calories may not allow us to lose the kind of weight we want and it certainly will not necessarily make us healthier.

A lifestyle that enhances our hormone function and immune coordination will improve our overall health and help us shed the unwanted weight.  Here are the three biggest mistakes that many make when trying to lose weight.


Eating Low-Fat and Low-Calorie Foods: 

These foods are typically made up of low-nutrient processed carbohydrates.  All natural foods that have carbohydrates also contain fibers, anti-oxidants, enzymes and trace minerals like chromium to help with blood sugar signaling processes.  Processed carbohydrates drive up the blood sugar and cause inflammatory processes in the body.

Inflammation damages the cell membranes and alters hormonal communication processes.   When hormone function is impaired it leads to more inflammation and for genetically susceptible individuals it will cause weight loss resistance.

You don’t need to lower fat, in fact, you want to increase your intake of fat substantially.  Essential fats are used to make hormones and improve the cell membrane for healthy hormone function in the body.


Good fats such as coconut products, avocados, extra-virgin olive oil and grass-fed butter should be staples in the diet.  People with the healthiest hormones eat the most fat and the lowest amount of starchy carbohydrates.

Eating Chemicals Rather than Nutrients:

These foods are often loaded with fake fats and artificial flavorings and preservatives.  They also contain genetically modified ingredients that are full of toxic pesticides and herbicides.  Often times these foods are supplemented with synthetic vitamins and minerals.  These are unnatural nutrients that act more like inflammatory chemicals that true living nutrients.  This cocktail of chemicals impairs our immune system and causes chronic inflammation in the body.

Inflammation damages the cell membranes and alters hormonal communication processes.   When hormone function is impaired it leads to more inflammation and for genetically susceptible individuals it will cause weight loss resistance.


 Doing the Wrong Type of Exercise:

Most people assume that if you want to lose weight you have to do a lot of cardiovascular exercise.  This is untrue.  Low intensity, long-duration exercise such as spending 45 minutes on an elliptical machine may help you burn calories but it does nothing to stimulate fat-burning hormones.  In fact, it actually causes more stress on the body and negates your body from stimulating these fat-burning hormones.

When you do high-intensity, short duration exercise such as burst training you stimulate fat-burning hormones like human growth hormone (HGH).  The more HGH your body produces the more amplified the fat burning effect will be throughout the day.

High Intensity Training:

High intensity strength training where you do large muscle group exercises such as squats, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, dips, bench press, overhead press, etc. gives the greatest muscle toning & fat burning effects.  The more muscle fibers you fatigue (through large muscle group exercises with challenging sets) during the training the more HGH you will secrete.

Keep these workouts short – between 5 to 30 minutes max for the greatest metabolic effect.  When your training session goes beyond 30 minutes your body will begin secreting stress hormones which will negate the HGH release.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you have made or seen others make when trying to lose weight?

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Counterregulation of insulin by leptin as key component of autonomic regulation of body weight. Borer KT. World J Diabetes. 2014 Oct 15;5(5):606-29. PMID: 25317239
2. Leptin signaling, adiposity, and energy balance. Jéquier E. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Jun;967:379-88. Review. PMID: 12079865
3. Inflammation and weight gain in reproductive-aged women. Perng W, Rifas-Shiman SL, Rich-Edwards JW, Stuebe AM, Oken E. Ann Hum Biol. 2014 Dec 16:1-5. PMID: 25510294
4. Obesity and inflammation: the effects of weight loss. Forsythe LK, Wallace JM, Livingstone MB. Nutr Res Rev. 2008 Dec;21(2):117-33. PMID: 19087366

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4 Responses to Three Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes

  1. Janis January 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    I’m into the shorter-duration, high intensity exercise, and I have a question:

    What do you think about the “super slow burn” method of weight exercises (For example, doing a push-up very slowly, going down for 10 seconds and then up for 10 seconds, for about 3 sets…. in other words, doing the weight exercises slowly, and being done with a series of 7 to 10 different exercises in 30 minutes or so)?

    I’ve just read a book called “Super Slow Burn” and am interested in trying it. Would it be the same, or compatible, to the short duration/high intensity that you advocate?


  2. Maureen McGovern January 27, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Hi Dr. Jockers,

    I greatly appreciate your website and emails. I just want to bring to your attention one concern I have about this article.

    Although you do mention grass-fed butter in the following paragraph, the illustration doesn’t mention (with the exception of fish) animal fats. The majority of Americans have an Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio of 1:20 or 1:25, as opposed to the 1:1desired. Eating a diet rich in full fat grass-fed meats, eggs, dairy, and wild fish with the above plant oils in a condiment fashion will correct this. This will also provide the much needed saturated fat and cholesterol for the body, in addition to the much needed readily absorbable vitamins A, D, E and K.

    Thanks for dedication and may God continue to bless you.

    Maureen McGovern, D.T.

  3. Dr Jockers January 27, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Agreed Maureen! I cover all of that in many of my other articles!~

  4. Kimberly Brook May 1, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    Do you have a videos? Also one knee cap tracks off occassionally. Should I just modify?
    Probably going to keel over after very first exercise, but would like to finish the whole thing as a goal.

    Thank you,

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