By Valerie Berkowitz, R.D.
January 25, 2013
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

It seems so simple: Eat right, exercise, get some rest, and you will lose weight. But maybe it's not so simple. According to Jessica Bartfield, M.D., who specializes in nutrition and weight management at the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care, diets fail for four reasons:

1. Underestimating calories consumed

2. Overestimating activity and the calories burned

3. Poor timing of meals

4. Inadequate Sleep

If you think these reasons account for your lack of dieting success, here are four secrets to change your luck.

Secret #1: Underestimating calories is not an issue when you don't have to count them at all.

Really. Don't deprive yourself and eat when you are hungry, selecting foods that will keep you full instead of those that provide a quick pick-up and then leave you searching for more soon after. Have three meals that each incorporate a variety of foods, protein, and fat, and drink water or zero-calorie beverages. If you are hungry between meals, have a snack or "mini-meal," not junk food or a 100-calorie snack pack.

For example, maybe you have a Western cheese omelet with 1/2 cup fruit at breakfast, a burger patty alongside grilled vegetables and a baked sweet potato with a thin pat of butter for lunch, and then dine on shrimp scampi and broccoli atop spaghetti squash with a side salad.

RELATED: Learn more surprising reasons why you should stop counting calories if you want to lose weight and eat right.

Snacks could be peanut butter celery boats, plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh berries, peppers and hummus, two squares of dark chocolate and up to 10 nuts, or a small handful of homemade trail mix (shredded coconut, nuts, and seeds).

Secret #2: For weight loss, diet counts more than exercise. If you are not counting calories for food, then do not sweat over how many calories you burn during a workout.

Be active and enjoy your exercise. "Just do it" to help boost your metabolism and maintain weight loss. If you need some workout ideas, try these interval training plans or simply grab a jump rope and follow this fat-blasting routine.

Secret #3: If you don't want to eat, then don't. But don't binge either.

Try a fast. In the January issue of Scientific American, many studies point toward intermittent fasting (IF) as an approach that shows promise in promoting health and longevity.

Or just focus on increasing awareness of your own hunger, which is your body's way of telling you to eat. Listen to yourself so you can notice when your stomach sends those "Hey, I'm empty and need food" messages-and then satisfy it! And if you're uncertain if you are in fact hungry, check out this hunger scale.

RELATED: When the need to nosh between meals hits, fill up with one of these three snacks that help you lose weight by knocking out hunger.

Secret #4: Establish a bedtime routine to help you get the shut-eye you need.

Turn your bedroom into a sleeping sanctuary and do whatever you need to make it as dark and comfortable as possible. Then avoid caffeine or any other stimulants from food, beverages, supplements, or medicines, and refrain from drinking anything a couple of hours before you plan to hit the sheets.

Now go ahead, jump! Try these one or all four of these secrets. You have nothing to lose but weight.

Nationally known as an expert in weight loss, integrative nutrition, blood sugar, and health management, Valerie Berkowitz, M.S., R.D., C.D.E. is co-author of The Stubborn Fat Fix, director of nutrition at The Center for Balanced Health, and consultant for Complete Wellness in NYC. She is a woman who strives for internal peace, happiness and lots of laughs. Visit Valerie's Voice: for the Health of It or @nutritionnohow.

Comments (9)

January 11, 2019
Hi, my name is Kate and I would like to share my story. Up until about 2 years ago, I was 30 pounds overweight. Over the years I had followed many different diet plans, but failed every single time. I was "blessed" with a pear shaped body and no matter what i did, I always retained lots of stubborn fat in my lower body. Everything changed when I found the right diet program. My story is here ==>
December 21, 2018
Losing weight is not so difficult with the right guidance and methods. What worked for me was this amazing guide: Explains the science of losing weight, right foods to eat, foods to avoid, tips and tricks to lose weight quickly and stay healthy.
December 12, 2018
This controversial method can make you lean fast:
November 1, 2018
The Secret to Losing Unwanted Weight Fast and Keeping It Off:
October 30, 2018
Fantastic news, well done you! White jeans brilliant! It is an amazing feeling isn’t it? I am down 6lb and 3inches from my waist and this is week 4 for me, but people are already saying how good I look and I am into size 12 (UK size) trousers. thanks to the 2-week diet, watch the video here: =>
October 8, 2018
Lost 41 pounds and 4 dress sizes. I am in the best shape of my life. Wish I had seen this amazing video earlier:
July 3, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? And the good news is It only takes 13-seconds! Here it is:
June 25, 2018
My life is totally transformed after I followed this diet. Have Lost 27 pounds in last 1 month and feeling great about myself.
April 30, 2018
Few years before losing weight is a dream for me, after I started using Brian’s weight loss product reducing weight is not a difficult for me, I understand one thing if we follow the right procedure and diet, reducing weight is not a difficult for anyone. I had followed all the step by step instruction only couple of weeks and I reduce more than 16 kg in few weeks without any hard exercise or medicine. There are thousands of people struggling to lose weight but they don’t know the right procedure to do it, you can try the same method which I used to keep the body healthy , stylish and fit , get the same product here: