The 10 Worst Habits Destroying Your Diet
If you’re having problems losing weight or keeping it off, you may have one or more “fat habits”—those daily behaviors, choices, and actions that are keeping you out of your skinny jeans. Here are 10 of the worst habits and how you can kick them now! By: Julie Upton, MS, RD and Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, authors of The Real Skinny: Appetite for Health’s 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions
Many dieters get stuck on using pricey diet foods, sugar substitutes, diet sodas, and other calorie-reduced items that aren’t a solution for successful long-term weight loss. Studies show that diet foods may even make it harder to reduce cravings for sweets, so use “diet” foods sparingly.
To combat emotional eating, you need to practice mindful eating. This means being fully present in the moment (not distracted or watching television) when you eat. Eating mindfully will help you recognize when you’re truly physically hungry and when emotions are taking over. Before you rush to soothe your feelings with food, stop and assess what’s happening. Observe and describe your feelings. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Build self control and try to banish emotional eating that does not come from true hunger.
Expect slip-ups to happen when you’re losing weight. If you fall off the healthy train and have a bad day, week, or month, just think: Life Happens. And start fresh tomorrow.
Finding a diet buddy can significantly increase the odds that you’ll reach your goals. One study from Brown University found that dieters with diet buddies lost significantly more weight compared with those who tried to slim down solo. If you can’t find someone in your real life to join you, use online weight loss support networks at sites like SparkPeople, Lose It!, and MyFitnessPal.
As long as you plan for occasional indulgences, you can enjoy them—guilt-free. If you honor your hunger, you’ll naturally limit the amount of high-calorie splurges that you eat.
Try these 100-Calorie Chocolate Treats for a really guilt-free indulgence.
Regardless of what you see on TV (i.e., "Biggest Loser") or read in the Hollywood tabloids, weight loss is a long, often slow, process. Your job is to enjoy the journey of healthy eating and exercise and not get too focused on the end-point of where you want to be.
Studies show that distracted eaters gobble up to 100% more after a meal compared to mindful eaters, and those who watch TV and eat consume 20 to 100% more calories compared to individuals who eat without distractions. When the brain is distracted, it takes significantly more calories to get the same level of satiety. Power down and focus on your food.
Reserve eating out for special occasions and manage calories by reading the menu and nutrition information available. Forgo all the extras and stick with the most basic options.