When Good Weight-Loss Advice is Bad for You

Telltale signs that a weight-loss program isn't a keeper.

Weight loss isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience. 

When I lost 150 pounds, about 50 percent of my diet was from carbohydrates; cutting way back on them was essential for me. But if you want to eat a gluten-free diet or follow a low-carb plan, you might not have the same success I did. 

There are plenty of times when seemingly good weight-loss advice won't work for your specific needs. Here are 5 key factors to consider.

Medications

I’ve had a lot of clients who are on medications that make weight loss difficult and slow, even when they're doing all the right things. If you're on meds that make weight loss hard, be sure to take this into account when analyzing your weight-loss progress. For you, losing 2 pounds a month may be a terrific result. Be sure to ask your doctor if your medications are in fact contributing to your difficulty in losing weight, and whether there's a more weight loss-friendly option.

Physical Abilities

Weight-loss advice that includes exercise is great, unless you can’t exercise per your doctor’s orders. I once had a client whose doctor said she could only exercise sitting down. If I had insisted she get on the treadmill or do aerobics, she could have been injured. I encourage you to exercise within your physical limitations. When I was 300 pounds, I couldn’t run, but I could walk. You might not be able to do Zumba or CrossFit, but perhaps you can do yoga or water aerobics.

Blanket Statements

Have you ever looked at a weight-loss website that says things like "Lose 10 pounds in a week!" or "Guaranteed success or your money back!" These claims are blanket statements. While success stories can be encouraging, make sure you read the fine print and analyze whether the statements are true, or may just be an exaggeration to get you to buy a product or sign up for an email list.

Rigidity

It's good advice to follow an eating program and not try to lose weight willy nilly. But an overly rigid eating plan can quickly backfire (believe me, I know from personal experience). Be wary of weight-loss advice that gives you exact foods to eat at particular times of day. Usually these very rigid diets are simply fads that may work for a short time but are impossible to stick with.

Promises of steady loss

If anyone implies that you're failing because your weight loss isn’t steady or quick, tune them out. While the standard recommended weight loss is 0.5 to 2 pounds a week, real-life experience is often different. Take the advice that you need to lose a certain number of pounds each week or month with a grain of salt. The measure of successful weight loss isn’t how long it takes you to lose the weight, but whether you keep it off.

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