Breaking barriers preventing weight loss success


 Weight loss can be challenging to say the least. Has it ever felt like a ‘barrier’ or other obstacles keep getting in the way of your goal of reaching a healthier body weight? You’re not alone. In fact, barriers that keep popping are common reasons for weight loss setbacks.

Since barriers are almost always what is shutting down your attempts at losing weight, it’s important to identify what those barriers are. Once identified, learning steps on how to break those barriers are critical to be successful at not only losing but also keeping excess weight off. Just as critical is having support from family, friends, or your doctor. Slip-ups are normal.  When you expect them to happen and already having a plan in place, will be your best defense quickly getting back on track reaching healthy lifestyle goals.

Common barriers to weight loss and to overcome them

  • “I don’t really like healthy foods and I miss sweets”
  • Food preferences take time to change so be patient
  • Forming new habits takes about 2-3 months to take hold
  • Give new foods a chance. Try cooking them in different ways (e.g. roasting veggies instead of steaming) and it’s okay to have certain food dislikes.
  • Favorite foods do not have to be given up completely. Instead of every day, have them once or twice a week and reduce the portion size


  • “Healthy foods cost too much”
  • Plan meals, stick to your grocery list, and avoid shopping for food when hungry
  • Buy store brands instead of name brands and if you have the room, buy in bulk
  • Make it a habit to cook at home at least 95% of the time rather than eating out
  • Stop buying junk food at the store. It’s expensive and packed with unhealthy ingredients offering little or no nutritional value.
  • Buy produce that is in the season as they are typically cheaper and more nutritious
  • Buy frozen fruits and vegetables, they’re just as nutritious as fresh. Use frozen fruits to make smoothies or toppings for oatmeal or yogurt. Add frozen vegetables to soups or stews, in stir-fries, or as a side dish at meals.
  • Inexpensive, healthy foods to always have on hand for meals and snacks include eggs, beans, peanut or almond butter, frozen fruit and vegetables, and whole-grain crackers.


  • “I don’t have time to exercise”


  • If you have children or a pet, be active with them.
  • Block off activity time into your schedule
  • Use time spent watching TV on being on the computer for activity time
  • Add in 3-5 minutes of movement every hour during the day. This will quickly add up to thirty or more minutes over the course of a day.


  • I have too much stress in my life to focus on losing weight”
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Get outdoors to help increase endorphins relieving stress
  • Meditate for 10 minutes in a quiet room
  • Do some form of exercise each day such as yoga or walking
  • When feeling stress, practice taking ten long deep breaths


  • “My medications are causing me to gain weight”
  • Do not stop taking medications but do talk to your doctor about alternative medications
  • Control food portion sizes and exercises regularly
  • Increase protein intake at meals to help create satiety
  • Drink several tall glasses of water each day
  • Some medications may cause water retention; be sure to follow a low sodium diet of no more than 2000 milligrams of sodium a day


  • “I know I’m lacking sufficient sleep”
  • Minimize screen time at least one hour before bed
  • Keep all electronic devices including the TV out of your bedroom
  • Avoid any caffeine after 3 pm
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible – no night lights and use blackout blinds or curtains
  • Use “white noise” such as a fan to fall asleep
  • Keep your bedroom temperature at around 68 degrees F
  • Exercise on a daily basis


  • “I work long hours/nightshift work”
  • Avoid caffeine in your later hours at work to improve higher quality sleep when you get home. Natural ways to stay awake at work – drink water, chew gum, or eat something healthy and crunchy like an apple or baby carrots
  • Pack your own healthy meal or snacks
  • If possible, wake up early and exercise before your shift. During your breaks, work in 10 minutes of exercise by climbing stairs, speed-walk inside or outside the building, or do 30-second yoga planks or a few jumping jacks.
  • Bring a healthy snack to work likes nuts with fruit – avoid the vending machine
  • Get up and stretch or move around every 30 minutes when seated at a desk job


  • “I feel unmotivated to lose weight”
  • Determine why you want to lose weight. Clearly define and write down your weight loss goals.
  • Set realistic weight loss expectations – even a modest 5% to 10% weight loss impacts your health
  • Pick an eating plan you can stick to long term and avoid extreme or quick-fix diets
  • Keep a food journal to measure progress, identify your trigger foods, and hold yourself accountable
  • Celebrate all success through your weight loss journey
  • Have strong social support keeping you accountable and motivated to lose weight
  • Think and talk positively about weight loss goals
  • Avoid aiming for perfection and forgive yourself if a setback occurs
  • Keep exercising. It not only helps burn calories but helps you feel better mentally


Breaking barriers preventing weight loss success
Rate this post

Dr. David Samadi

View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Twitter Feed

About Author

Dr. David Samadi