3 “harmless” diet beliefs that sabotage weight loss

Recently someone accused me of being long winded. She said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that my yammering on about silly stuff on my blog took so long to get through that she couldn’t make it to my tips and bailed before reading down that far.   

I can’t totally blame her. I realize my idea of being “entertaining and humorous” may be someone else’s “annoying and boring.”

I get it.

But here’s the thing: You are free to ignore all my crazy bantering and immediately scroll to the action tips at any given time. So today I’ve marked in ALL CAPS down below where the no-nonsense begins.

I’ll wait…

Still here? Good. Now let’s talk about those cranky people.

Just kidding! I honestly don’t take offense. Maybe a little, but not everyone enjoys the same things, right?

It’s why we have lipstick and lipgloss, boots and flip flops, kale and donuts.

You have choices.  

I choose to bring a little levity to aging and menopause since you can find tons of negative, depressing, angry info on the subject just about anywhere else.

But not here.

Sure, I get depressed when my knee prevents me from doing something I did last year (I’m looking at you, side lunges). Yes, it sucks having osteoporosis. It makes me feel as if I’m playing Jenga with my bones, unsure if today I will make a wrong move, pulling out a block that leaves me with a fractured spine.

But focusing on these things makes people feel worse about themselves (myself included), not better.

Instead, I’ve conditioned myself to look for ways to see the humor or at least the upside of these things. And it’s always there if you’re willing to look for it.   

And if you can’t find it, well, it’s why I’m here.

I’ve found adapting this habit makes it easier to get through life. And, in general, people like to be around others who make them laugh. Except, maybe, for all the people without a sense of humor.

But they’re long gone by now. It’s just us fun people.

There’s always something you can do. You just have to find it.

Enough hilarity… onward to action steps.


If you scrolled to these tips, welcome back! I swear we weren’t saying bad things about you, just passing time being all boring and talking about the weather.

So today’s idea came about after I began seeing a pattern of a few particular nutrition questions.

I typically find the answer to a person’s question embedded in the email. Here’s what I mean: A question may, “I eat clean most of the time and still can’t lose weight…” Can you guess the key giveaway word in that sentence?

This brings me to my first tip…

  1. Your diet is healthy “most” of the time             

I’d like to answer this question with a question. First, what’s your idea of “eating healthy” or “clean eating”? Second, what qualifies as “most” of the time?

If you order from a clown’s mouth less than you used to in the past, but you’re still hitting the secret sauce three times a week, it leaves room for improvement. Ditto for “most” of the time.

You should strive for 100% of the time, which will likely end up being closer to 80 to 90%. If you start out at 80% you’ll likely end up around 50%.

  1. You have no appetite until dinner

“I’m just not hungry during the day,” I hear a lot. This classic example of a Catch-22 situation can be self-defeating in a couple of ways. If you eat most of your food at night you won’t be hungry in the morning. The only way to change this up is to start eating more during the day and gradually weaning yourself off from the late night all-you-can-eat buffet.

In other words, Catch-22. Only you can change it yourself.

Who cares as long as your total calories for the day are within your range, right? You may be thinking.

The answer: yes and no. (I know, I hate that response, too, but it’s fitting here.) Yes, because in theory it’s true. If you lose weight on 1,300 calories a day, as long as your ONE meal of the day clocks in at that amount in theory you should still lose.

The clincher? Do you know how quickly those calories add up, especially when you feel justified eating everything in sight because you’ve starved yourself all day? It’s a loaded burger, big plate of pasta and a host of other mealtime choice fiascos.

Consider a slice of pizza is about 300 calories. Eat three slices — not hard to do when you’re ravenous — and you’re at nearly 1,000. And it rarely stops there. When you’re super hungry (I’ve been there!), it’s tough to stop and you’re usually way past the finish line before you realize Rolaids will be your BFF tonight.

Eat during the day when your body needs the food most for energy. You’ll feel better, sleep better and yes, you may even see those pounds roll off.

  1. You “hardly” eat anything    

Several studies show most people underestimate their calorie intake by 40% and overestimate their activity level substantially.

I cannot tell you (mainly because I don’t remember) how many women over the years have told me this very thing. Then I have them record their food in real time. And bug them hold them accountable.

Yes, food journaling is a pain but it really works by shining a light on problem areas and getting you out of denial. I’m not saying you’re consciously in denial, but you may be unaware of how many calories are in that bite of cake, handful of candies, or lick of ice cream.

It all counts. Until you monitor your intake accurately, you will likely struggle.

(If you need help with this, ping me to talk to set up a 10-minute strategy call to get you started in the right direction.

NOW YOU… What do you tell yourself that holds you back from losing weight? Do any of these tips ring true for you? Let me know in the comments section below…  

Other posts you may enjoy:

3 Cardio myths that make you fat

3 Non-negotiable keys to weight loss success (plus a bonus tip!)

How to achieve your ideal weight (it’s not what you think)

P.S. Please forward this to any of your ageless friends and share it online! I’d be forever grateful ♥.

Your Ageless (long-winded) Body Coach,


  1. Denise Holthaus on January 26, 2017 at 6:21 am

    I LOVE your sense of humor!! As a 54 year old women who has to work 3x harder to be in the same shape as I was in my 40’s, I appreciate the humor because it can be depressing. Lol. I love the tips and exercise videos and ALL you share! I post daily with a group of ladies where we share are strategies for success and support each other. I frequently share your suggestions! Thank you!

    • Linda Melone on January 26, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Thanks so much, Denise! 🙂

  2. Robin on January 26, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Linda!!! You finally turned 58!!! Seems like you’ve been 57 for awhile (gran)<<< (that was me trying to steal the granny with maracas from Skype) Oh well, Happy belated birthday and it seems your writing gets better with age. This was hilarious!

    • Linda Melone on January 26, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Thanks, Robin! Yes, I actually didn’t mind being 57, mainly because I liked the way that number looks :). But yeah, it was finally time to retire that one in exchange for the next model. 🙂

  3. Patricia Scott on January 26, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Linda for starters please ignore anyone that tells you to stop with your humorous posts! I have enough stress in my life that I need all the humor I can get. Also, I enjoy your posts because of the humor. What fun would it be if someone just told me the things I am doing wrong and them not to soften the blow a little! I find that as I progress on this journey of health and exercise that I am making those little mistakes. I can see why I “thought” my husband’s milkshakes at night were my problem. No, it was me all along. I am learning to hold myself accountable and not blame others. SO Linda keep your jokes coming! I look forward to more of your wisdom seasoned with wit.

    • Linda Melone on January 26, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Thanks, Pat! I have no plans to become boring and non-funny, so no worries there :).Keep up the good work!

  4. Barbara Kessler2 on January 26, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Hi Linda,
    Thanks for caring, even when I don’t. So, after thinking about unsubscribing, I read today’s blog and it motivated me to start a food diary again. Where can I get your food diary?

    • Linda Melone on January 26, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Hi Barbara! So you were going to bail and this post turned you around? Was it because of my “long windedness”? 🙂 I’m curious! My food diary is temporarily unavailable, but drop me a line at linda@lindamelone.com and I’ll send it to you. Thanks!

  5. Lois on January 26, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Keep up the good work, I love your humor!

    • Linda Melone on January 26, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Thanks so much, Lois! 🙂

  6. Ginger on January 26, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I look forward to the weekly emails and your humor. Don’t change. I lost 54 lbs two years ago just changing my diet and eating healthy. I did use a food journal and still do. I am finding that I am slowly gaining weight again and need to get back on track…or stop the excuses. Your advice and tips are definitely helping. Thanks

    • Linda Melone on January 26, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Wow, congrats on the weight loss, Ginger! That’s a huge accomplishment. And yes, it’s easy for the weight to creep back on if you don’t keep track. Honestly, I hate keeping a food journal as much as the next person, but I know it works. It’s the first thing I do when I know I know I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit. Keep up the good work!

  7. Frances on January 26, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Linda,
    I like your posts. They are filled with fun tibits, observations, opinions, quality tips and suggestions. It is difficult to stay motivated, to eat right, exercise and have some restraint and dispilance to maintain a good physical shape over 50. I appreciate all you do! Thanks for the fun, laughs, reality and genuine good ideas to stay on track.
    I have always enjoyed exercise but as we age we need adjust eating and what type of exercises. Thank you for the tips and suggestions. I love the feeling of being fit, feeling healthy and it makes it easier to get going, dressed and out the door.
    Keep on writing, kudos for all you do!
    Thank you,

    • Linda Melone on January 27, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Frances, you rock! Thanks so much for the kind words. 🙂

  8. Melanie Feeborn on January 29, 2017 at 1:51 am

    Hello again Linda. Not been here for a while (tut tut) but stuck here on the settee in PJs with flu, I’m forced to reconsider my lifestyle…I love your new look site and your sense of humour is one of the reasons you are still in my inbox. I totally agree that the menopause needs a better image and this is the best site I’ve found, instead of making me feel it’s downhill all the way.
    My biggest problem is my husband , bless him, who feels I should eat exactly the same amount of food as him. I keep telling him that he has an active job (yacht skipper) and atm, I’m not working and home all day. I don’t need the calories he does… Plus we tend to eat our big meal together at the end of the day… Yes, I can see the error of my ways quite clearly now!
    So, soon as I’m feeling better, it’s back to the 7 day challenge which has sat in my inbox for 2 months…thank you for being here.

    • Linda Melone on January 29, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Hi Melanie! Thank you for your kind words. Sorry to hear you have the flu. 🙁 A lot of people are sick this time of year. And yes, we need a lot fewer calories than men, both because they have higher metabolism s and they’re bigger than us! So tell hubby eating the same amount of food is not required to hold a relationship together. 🙂 If I ate like my husband I’d be 50 lbs. heavier. Feel better soon and definitely do my challenge to help you get back on track. 🙂

  9. Sheila on February 10, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Linda, I just discovered your blog and enjoyed it very much! I love your humorous writing style. I will turn 58 this year and I am nearly the weight I was at nine months pregnant albeit I was 107 lbs when I got pregnant. I’ve got about 25 lbs to lose. (Goal is not 107 lol) I need lots of help especially with commitment. I’m good for a bit then stop for a bit. I am looking forward to reading your posts and being the best that I can be in this stage of my life!

    • Linda Melone on February 12, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks, Sheila! I’m so glad you found me. If you’re looking for more motivation be sure to sign up for my Monday Motivation newsletter/blog, too. Staying on track is definitely the hardest part of any change, but you can do it with practice. Definitely check out the blog I’m about to post (Feb 13), which addresses this exact issue :).

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