A healthy road to weight loss: Making the right cuts to achieve your goals


Cutting certain foods from your diet is not the most important subtraction you need to make to successfully lose weight.

“Number one: Cut out your negative self-talk,” said Deviny Mo, manager of UCLA Health Sports Performance powered by EXOS.

“People need to hear that because too many individuals are deeply unhappy with themselves,” she said. “You have to know that you are enough.”

While it is fine to have an image of how you want to look, loving yourself as you currently are is essential to a successful weight-loss journey, Mo said.

At the same time, there are some foods and beverages that we can cut back on to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Limit alcohol consumption

Consulting with a certified dietitian or nutritionist can help you decide what foods to limit within your diet.
In addition to being high in calories, alcohol inhibits the burning of fat, which can be counterproductive to your weight-loss journey. And, having a drink or two often leads people to make poor food choices.

“Alcohol is a huge performance detractor,” Mo said. “Alcohol will also disturb your sleep cycles, which means that you won’t recover as readily from any work that you put in the night before. Adequate rest is important when it comes to weight loss.”

Though it’s not necessary to cut out alcohol altogether, limiting the amount you drink is important. “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a drink from time to time, but be aware and moderate your consumption,” Mo said.

Adding more healthy foods can help with eliminating the bad

Rather than focusing exclusively on cutting out “bad” foods to manage your weight, Mo suggests a different approach. If you enjoy a sweet snack between meals, make it an apple or other piece of fruit, or something crunchy such as carrots or cucumbers or nuts.

“Look at what healthy foods you can add in, in place of unhealthy ones,” she said. Not only do these foods provide better nutrition, they will help to cut down on cravings for foods that are high in sugar and sodium, subsequently changing your body composition.

Sustainable vs. unsustainable calories

Foods are neither intrinsically “good” nor “bad,” Mo said. “The question comes down to what is sustainable. If you’re eating junk-food every day as opposed to wholesome meals, that is not sustainable.”

The 300 calories you consume in a cheeseburger is very different, nutritionally speaking, from the 300 calories you get eating a spinach salad or turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread.

Find nutritious foods you like and add them to your diet, “and the cravings for unsustainable foods will diminish,” Mo said.

Learn more about nutrition and weight loss.

Your path to healthy weight management