Thousands of books, thousands of seminars, thousands of programs, thousands of blog posts, lectures, and gurus. What kind of problem would cause so much of us to spend so much money on trying to find an answer? Weight loss.

We can’t suggest what will work perfectly for you, as everybody is different. What we will do is look at a few mistakes more experts agree people make when dieting.

Not Enough Calories
It seems counter-intuitive, but severely decreasing the calories you eat all at once, isn’t a great strategy for losing weight.

You’ll drop pounds, but the problem is that you’ll lose weight in muscle mass. And muscle mass is what helps you burn calories throughout the day while at rest. Don’t reduce your caloric intake too much, and don’t try to lose too much weight too quickly.

Pumping Iron
A lot of people focus on aerobic exercise to help them burn calories. That makes sense. If you have an app that tracks calorie loss per exercise type, you’ll see that lifting weights doesn’t burn that many calories.

The numbers can be deceiving. Lifting weights helps you can gain muscle. And what you want is a more significant proportion of muscle to fat, not just a body without fat. By building muscle, you make it easier for your body to burn calories while at rest.

Diet Food
There’s plenty of low-calorie food out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Try to eat whole foods, not processed foods. Whole foods have a system that keeps you from overeating — it’s called fiber.

Have you ever overeaten ice cream? We’ve been there. Have you ever overeaten spinach? A little less likely. This happens because you get full faster when eating unprocessed foods that are high in fiber.

Just because a food is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s high in vitamins either. Rice cakes are super low in calories, but they have low amounts of vitamins too.

Nutrition Labels
Yes, you need to read them. Knowing how many calories are in a serving takes time unless you happen to be a cyborg and can perfectly gauge what a half-cup serving looks like with your cyborg eyesight. If you’re human like the rest of us, sorry, but you’ll have to take the time to know how much you’re eating. You’d be surprised how small one serving of pasta is or a serving of almost any dessert food.

It’s hard to lose weight, so don’t underestimate the struggle. Somewhere around 50 million Americans try to diet every year. A giant proportion, some say about 95 percent, don’t keep off the weight they lose. Don’t get down on yourself and don’t give up, though. Know that you are undertaking a challenging task before you start, but everything important isn’t easy.

Don’t lose hope, and don’t quit. Many have succeeded, and you can too. Remember that the physical self is just as important as the psychological self, so don’t neglect that side of your weight loss journey.