Fat & Weight Loss , Calorie Deficit , Mindset , Nutrition, food, & eating

11 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Weight Loss

Author: Kevin Driscoll
January 17, 2024

In the past 12 years, I have tried it all.

Keto, intermittent fasting, fasted cardio, IIFYM, calorie counting, paleo, detox, 2-a-day gym sessions, etc. 

I thought there were foods I wasn't (or shouldn’t) be eating and would make me fat.

I used to eat salads with no dressing because I thought dressing would make me fat.

I used to drink 6 green teas a day because I thought it would stoke my metabolism.

You name it, I've done it.

What I ended up learning is that there is so much BS and nonsense out there that makes this process way harder than it really needs to be.

But what I learned was, why does everyone seem to make it so complicated and harder than it needs to be?

I wish I had someone out there tell me what was the best, simplest, and most sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off.

Let’s be real.

Losing weight is already a challenge.

This blog is for anyone just starting out on their weight loss journey, or for anyone who has yo-yo dieted and struggled with losing and regaining the same weight over and over for years on end.

My goal is to help you simplify the process so you can not only lose weight but lose weight once and for all.

I am here to share with you 11 things I wish someone told me about weight loss.

If you have any questions at the end, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Let’s get into it.


1. There are no “Bad” Foods

When signing up for my 1:1 fat loss coaching program, the number one rule I always set, and you have to follow, is that there are no more “good” foods and “bad” foods.


You have to give yourself permission to eat whatever you want!

I encourage you to follow this rule, too. Grant yourself permission to enjoy any and all foods. 

Here is the thing:

Food is fuel, but it is also so much more than that!

It's a celebration.

It’s a memory.

It's a joy.

It's a pleasure.

It’s entertainment.

Let’s talk about what happens when you define foods as ‘’bad.”

You eat that “bad” food.

You feel guilty because since you ate something “bad,” that means you should feel “bad” for doing something “bad”. 

(You didn't.)

So now, you say “f*ck it,” and since you already did something “bad”, might as well keep it going.

You end up eating thousands upon thousands of calories over your calorie target and are telling yourself you will start again on Monday (probably to over restrict again)…

And yes, this cycle continues on and on.

And this is probably why you are here reading this:)

Now, isn’t a message to eat nothing but twinkies, pizza, and donuts every single meal of every single day, but it’s saying why label foods negatively when they are part of your lifestyle.

A healthy relationship with food and a healthy lifestyle includes all foods.

Food is food.

Eat lots of nutrient-dense foods high in protein, fruits, vitamins, and minerals, but also enjoy some foods that have nutrients, maybe not as much as some others, but are some of your favorite foods and treats because they are delicious and life is too short not too.


2. Don’t major in the minors.

Stop majoring in the minor.

So many people will ask me my thoughts on the keto diet, the carnivore diet, ice baths, saunas, fasted cardio, etc.

Listen, these things can be great and helpful, but there are key things that, no matter what, have to be taken care of!

A wise man once told me to “K.I.S.S. — Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

Focus on dialing in and building a strong foundation that will be the biggest bang for your buck.

If you can see yourself keto for the long run, and enjoy the diet lifestyle, go for it, but the only way to lose fat is to be in a calorie deficit. Non-negotiable – No if, ands, or buts.

Here are 7 big things that make a bigger impact on your fat loss and health journey:

Calorie Deficit: again, in order to lose weight, to lose fat you have to consume fewer calories than burn off (i.e., a calorie deficit)

Protein: To build muscle and maintain muscle, eat a minimum of .7 grams of protein per pound of goal bodyweight. When you start to lose weight, you want to make sure you are losing weight from fat tissue, so eating a sufficient amount of protein will make sure you maintain your muscle mass as you lose fat. Plus,  protein will fill you up and keep you full for longer.

Fiber, Fruits, and Vegetables: Foods high in fiber, like fruits and vegetables, will also help with keeping you full. Fiber is great for digestive health, helps manage blood sugar levels, and prevents colorectal cancer. Fruits and veggies are high in other nutrients, which will help with energy, mood, and your overall health!

Sleep: Sleep, for obvious reasons, is very important for your health. Energy is the big one with hormonal health! Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. (more on this later)

Walking: Getting daily movement each day is huge for weight loss and improving your health. Work up to getting 7,000+ steps a day. (more on this one later, too!)

Strength Train: Strength training will help you build muscle, and strength, and help improve your overall quality of life. (Again, more on this one.)

Stress Management: This is a big one, so I am going to talk about this one in more depth a little further down, but simply put, find ways to manage your stress when life gets stressful.

(Make sure you read my Ultimate Guide to Fat Loss so you can learn in more detail about a lot of foundational topics above.)

Now, if you are wondering about ice baths, saunas, fasting, keto, or whatever, I don’t give a sh*t! DO them if you want, but unless you have a grasp on the topics above, that is going to be your focus. These things are going to make bigger impacts on your health than all the other trending, “hot topic” things these Instagram influencers talk about!


3. Focus on Addition, Not Subtraction:

Stop doing this!

Every time you go to start weight loss, what do you think?

You think about all the things you need to restrict yourself from and do less of.

No more carbs.

No more fat.

No more sugar.

No more junk food.

No more Netflix.

Then what happens, after a couple of days or months, you give in and have whatever you told yourself you weren't going to.

You quit because you “failed,” and go banana pants with your diet (and probably start this cycle over again at some point).

Listen, it's not the carbs, fats, sugar, junk food, or Netflix causing you not to make progress. It's your mindset behind it.

As I said earlier, these things will and should be a part of your life.

Let’s be real, you and I like to enjoy some ice cream, pizza, and donuts once in a while.


Because they are freaking delicious!!!

So instead, I want you to do this.

Focus on adding in the things you want to see and need yourself to do more of.

The things that will help you lose weight and improve your health.

Instead of subtracting, think about adding.


More fruits.

More vegetables.

More protein.

More walking.

More water.

And so on…

Shift your call to action to doing what you know you need to add in more of, but what you need to completely take out. 

This creates a healthier relationship with food while also teaching how to improve and create behaviors and habits that will help get you toward your goals!


4. Manage Your Stress

This is the most underrated one (In my opinion). 

Listen, you know what you need to do. 

Not to say there isn’t education needed and more to learn, but for the most part you know you need to eat more nutritious foods, move your body more, drink more water, etc. 

But where you struggle is when life gets busy, when life gets stressful, that's where you fall off. That’s where the “fuck its” comes into play, and you quit. 

You struggle with stress management. 

The tools you use to manage your stress don’t align with your values and goals (drinking alcohol, smoking weed, overindulging in food, etc.). 

How do I know this, because I have been there too!  And I have worked with hundreds of individuals who struggle with this, as well!


When life gets stressful, because it will get stressful and shit will happen, what you have to find are ways to manage your stress and emotions so you can stay consistent with your behaviors! 


Things that will relieve stress and not negatively impact your journey of weight loss and better health. 

This could be walking, meditating, journaling, exercise, quality sleep, quality relationships, or my favorite, and what I think everyone needs to do is go to therapy.

If you have been seriously struggling for a while now, talk to a professional.

You have these constant mental struggles and challenges you are facing and sweeping underneath the rug.

You solve them by ignoring them (i.e. drinking, drugs, food, porn, etc.) or trying to use a mindset to try and figure it out.

Well, if you're having these mental challenges, and you're using your mindset (which is what is struggling and being challenged) to try and solve them, how do you think that is going to work?

Rather, how about talking to someone who is a professional at improving your mental health, like a therapist or a psychologist? They can help you dive deep and guide you into creating more self-awareness. They can help you figure out why you do what you do, why you react the way you act, and where that all stems from. They can guide you to the root of the problem to help you understand and better manage it.

Ok, therapy sales pitch over…

But when life gets crazy, if your stress is on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being no stress and 10 being super high stress, these things (like walking, meditation, journaling, etc.) will allow those higher stress days 8, 9, or 10 and calm down to a 4, 5,  or 6. It won’t get rid of your stress completely, but it will calm you down to get you to control your emotions. That in return can help to better decision-making towards your fat loss and health goals.

One thing I learned from my therapist is to find “Real Life Treats” (which I believe they learned from a coach by the name of Georgie Fear, so shout out to Georgie!). But since it’s common for us to seek entertainment and pleasure with stress relief, that is why we lean toward alcohol, drugs, food, etc. These “treats” can still be pleasurable and entertaining but in a healthy way.

That could be going to therapy, getting a special dinner out (date night), getting a massage, getting a mani/pedi, getting a haircut, golfing, reading a book, going to the movies, or going to the beach.

All these above are a couple of mine!

Some other ideas are gardening, playing a sport (pickleball, shooting hoops, tennis, etc.), painting, hiking, putting a puzzle together, or watching comedy.

Pick something that you know you enjoy and brings pleasure and entertainment to your life and will help with stress management!


5. The Power of Walking:

Walking is by far the most underrated, under used form of exercise.

It’s free.

You can do it anywhere.



And the benefits go far beyond just physically, but mentally too (that's why I put it as a form of stress relief).

Walking is also going to be low impact, which gives you the ability to do it if you are unsure where to start or too anxious to start in a gym.

And in my opinion, getting more steps in each day will make just as much of an impact on weight loss as going to the gym 2-4x a week.

Think about it, if you get 7,000 - 10,000 steps every day, that is roughly 70 - 100 minutes of exercise a day, or about 8 to 11.5 hours of exercise each week.

Strength training, as it is still very important, will be about 2-4 hours of exercise a week.

If you are already strength training, I love that, keep doing it. But also look at what else you are doing during the day. Let’s say you sleep 8 hours a night, that leaves you with 16 hours left in your day. That is 112 hours left in the entire week outside of sleep.

Starting with getting 8 to 11.5 of those hours a week from walking, where it is simple and effective, can make a huge impact for weight loss.

But like I said, obviously, this doesn't mean not to strength train.

Both together are going to be more powerful than each one alone.


6. Strength Training for Fat Loss:

Yes, I am a meathead at heart, so you may feel I am biased here (I am), but there is also a lot of research to support why lifting weights can be optimal for losing fat and building muscle. So I highly recommend you lift. Lift heavy. Lift often.


I assume you’re reading this because you are looking to create more of that toned and leaner look.


On top of being in a calorie deficit and eating protein, strength training will be huge in helping you reach your body composition goals.

Outside of just building muscle and losing fat, strength training will:


Enhances Quality of Life: Strength training can help increase your muscle mass and strength, improving your ability to perform everyday tasks, such as playing with your kids, lifting groceries, or playing old man softball.

Increases metabolism: Strength training builds muscle which increases your metabolism. This is a huge benefit, especially when it comes to you not only losing fat but also helping you maintain the progress you made.

Improves mental health: Strength training has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health, reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.

Improves bone density: One of the most common causes of death for older adults is falling over and breaking a bone. Strength training will increase bone density, build stronger bones, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.

Increases balance: In addition to that, set yourself up to avoid falling in the first place. Having the proper strength and balance can help decrease the chances of having a falling accident.

AND not only that, in my opinion, being able to lift some f*cking heavy-ass weight, like in a deadlift, is one of the most badass and empowering feelings!


Aim to strength training anywhere from 2-5x a day a week.


7. The Power of Sleep:

Get some sleep!

Shut down the TV.

Stop scrolling.

Put the phone down. 

And most importantly, stop listening to Isaac, the Influencer, who tells you that sleep is overrated or that you can “sleep when you're dead.”


Sleep is a big deal when it comes to losing weight and staying healthy. Sleep will impact things like your energy, decision-making, and recovery. 

Let’s quickly talk about Ghrelin and Leptin. 


Ghrelin,  which signals hunger, increases when you lack sleep.

Leptin, which signals fullness, decreases when you lack sleep.

This means when you are losing out on sleep, you end up feeling hungrier and hungrier more often during the day. 


But sleep is also where the magic happens. It’s when your muscle and tissue repair after an intense workout. I like using this analogy of imagining sleep, which is where the construction crew comes in at night to fix and repair any daily wear and tear. Without this repair and recovery, your body won’t recover as well. So it’s important to make sleep a priority to give your body the time it needs to rebuild and refresh to tackle the next day and feel as good as you can while doing it.



Lastly, let’s talk about decision-making and sleep. 


Remember in college pulling all-nighters during finals for days (I mean, I didn't do this because I hated & sucked at school. I remember having a couple of all-nighters for other reasons... but we will save that for another day ;-) ).

Anyways... what happened the following day(s). You are left wanting to snuggle up in bed watching Netflix all day, or you go to the gym, look around for a minute, walk on the treadmill for five, and call it a day.


Sleep is your friend and the number one supplement you should be prioritizing. Red Bull may give you wings, but sleep gives you all the magical superpowers to assist you during fat loss!


Take care of your sleep! Aim to get 7-9 hours a night. 


And if you are someone who works crazy hours or you are a new parent, I understand your situation may be a little different. Just do the best with what you got!


8. This Sh*t is Forever:

Remember this one!

This whole taking care of your fitness and nutrition thing is not a journey for the next 3, 6, or 12 months


This sh*it is forever.



What I suggest is to stop trying to lose weight as fast as possible and start trying to lose weight as sustainably as possible with the goal of maintaining your results forever.


Make small changes and be consistent as f*ck with those small changes for years on end.


Once you buy into playing the long game and understand there is no end to taking care of your health (training, daily movement, nutrition, sleep, and stress), you start getting incredible results.


Start small.


Be consistent.


Be patient.


And become that ultimate badass I know you can be!


9. Consistency Trumps Perfection:

Perfection is an unattainable goal. Consistency, on the other hand, is key. 

Perfection - that elusive unicorn we all chase. But when it comes to fat loss and fitness, aiming for perfection is like trying to balance a watermelon on a toothpick. It's just not sustainable! 


Slip-ups, mistakes, and setbacks happen.


Like how Tom Brady didn’t always win his football games, yet he is still the best quarterback ever. (I miss you, Tom!)


Or when you were a student, you didn’t always get every question right on every exam, yet that doesn't mean you failed your class.


You aren’t going to be perfect here on your fat loss journey.


Let's drop the notion of perfect eating and adopt a more realistic, sustainable approach.

Instead, aim for consistency and progress over perfection– It's not about being perfect but about being consistent with your actions and making progress with your behaviors.


How can you be better than yesterday? Last week? Last month?


10. Celebrate Non-Scale Victories:

Success in a weight loss journey goes beyond the number on the scale. 

If you are solely focused on the number on the scale, you will go crazy!

There are many reasons why your weight fluctuates during fat loss.

So recognize and celebrate all those non-scale victories, such as lifting more weight in the gym, having increased energy, feeling an improved mood, noticing more definition in your muscles, being more consistent with your habits than you have ever been, and having clothes fit a little looser.

Acknowledging the positive changes in how you feel and function reinforces the significance of your efforts!


11. You Can’t Fuck This Up

My final message I always share here is this.


You can’t fuck this up.


I believe in you. I know you can do this.

Even if you miss a workout, go over your calories for the day, or make whatever mistake.

You can’t fuck this up!

Like I said above, this shit is forever!

You are human.

Mistakes will be made.

Learn from them.

Grow from them.

AND keep moving forward.

You got this!



In the past 12 years, my journey through various diets and fitness trends has led me to a profound realization: the realm of health and weight loss is cluttered with unnecessary, BS information. 

From highly restrictive diets to crazy, banana pants workout routines, the journey seems more daunting than it needs to be. My aim is to simplify this process for you and I hope these 11 things I wish someone told me about weight loss was helpful!

This journey is for life, and with patience and consistency, you've got the power to achieve lasting success in your fat loss and health goals.


And if you are someone who needs a more guidance, support, and accountablilty with weight loss, click HERE to schedule a time for us to chat!



As I Am

About Author
Kevin Driscoll

Hey there! I'm an online personal trainer and nutrition coach, and I've helped hundreds of people achieve their weight loss and fitness goals without restricting them from their favorite foods or spending overtime in the gym. Let's work together!



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