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5 Big Diet Blunders

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5 Big Diet Blunders

Avoid these 5 common misconceptions about dieting…

Dieting can be extremely rewarding when done properly. And although visiting your dietician is clearly the most effective way of changing your eating habits, many of us simply adhere to our own self-devised diets to help keep excess weight under control. If you happen to fall into this category of dieters, be sure to avoid these 5 common misconceptions

diet-blunders

1. Eating a variety of foods keep you slim

Why it doesnt work: Our brains are programmed to eat more when faced with a number of choices. Although you may stand to benefit weight-wise if youre choices consist of fruit and veg, it is likely that your shopping cart has as many items from the snack aisle as it does from the fruit and veg.

What does work: Try to fill your shelves with as many nutritious foods as possible. Its OK to have a few treats in the house, but if you limit your options, youll limit the amount of food you eat too.

2. Never go for seconds keeps off the pounds

Why it doesnt work: If we are forced to eat a single serving, we want to make it count its human nature to fill up whilst we can. But the problem is, if you pile your plate high with food, theres a good chance you will eat it all, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Knowing you can go back for seconds gives the body time to register fullness before deciding if the second plate is needed.

What does work: Opt for a smaller serving than usual around 20 percent less. Wait 20 mins after the meal the time it takes to gauge hunger before deciding whether you need to eat seconds.

3. Using exercise as an excuse to eat more

Why it doesnt work: Unfortunately exercise does not burn as many calories as most of us would like. Thirty minutes on the elliptical, for example, burns up only chocolate bar, says Ann Yelmokas McDermott, Ph.D., director of the Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Of course, if youre training for a sporting event, you may need to eat more to fuel your workouts otherwise, consider regular exercise to stay healthy, not so you can pile on the calories at the next sitting.

What does work: As mentioned above, exercise should be thought of as a keep-it-in-check tool, not a free pass to bulldoze your way through the mall food court. Exercising has endless health benefits such as increasing energy and lowering risk for heart disease. Good behavior often begets other good behaviors, McDermott explains, working out may make you feel good, so you eat better.

4. Hanging a tiny dress helps weight-loss motivation

Why it doesnt work: According to Kathleen Martin Ginis, Ph.D., professor of health and exercise psychology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Some women feel worse about themselves after seeing skinny models in ads. And if you feel bad about yourself, its harder to stick to an eating and exercise plan,

What does work: Focus on accomplishments, not failures. When you notice youre comparing your body to the girl next to you at the track, stop. Instead, think, I can run for five more minutes than I could a month ago, Martin Ginis says. And dont fixate on the end goal, such as the 20-pound loss. Plan short-term goals, like Im going to the gym three times this week, or Im cooking a healthy dinner tomorrow,’ she suggests.

5. Thinking all fruits and vegetable are health so you can eat all you want

Why it doenst work: If you prefer high-sugar, high-calorie dried fruit, fruit juice and starchy veggies, filling up on your favorite fruits and vegetables is not the way to diet. This is because Peas, corn and potatoes are higher in calories than other high-water-content vegetables such as cucumbers and green beans, says Keri Gans, R.D., a spokeswoman in New York City for the American Dietetic Association.

Plus, you need three to five servings of veggies each day and only two to four servings of fruit. A piece of fresh fruit has 60 calories, and a serving of most vegetables has about 25, Gans says.

What does work: Eat mostly water-rich veggies such as zucchini and spinach and high-fiber fruit such as apples and berries. You can also replace fatty sauces and dressings with low-cal ones such as salsa, fat-free ranch dressing and spritzes of lemon and lime.


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