Common Diet Wreckers to Avoid for Successful Weight Loss
Are you having a hard time trying to figure out why your diet isn’t working? Here are some common diet wreckers that typically sabotage most dieting attempts.
According to a recent CBS News story, writer Ashley Welch tells readers that it’s not just what you eat, but how you eat that can sabotage your dieting efforts. Here are seven common diet wreckers many of us are guilty of that when avoided can make a difference the next time you step on the scales.
Diet Wrecker #1: Skipping Meals
Research tells us that the problem with skipping meals is that it leads to overeating. When you skip a meal it makes you hungrier than you normally would feel and subsequently causes you to eat that next meal too quickly. Eating quickly, in turn, causes a person to eat more because the stomach does not have time to signal the brain when it has had enough…until it’s too late.
Diet Wrecker #2: Eating on the Go
Another way to inadvertently eat more than you should is to make the mistake of eating on the go. According to CBS News, a recent study found that dieters who ate on the go while walking around the office, were more likely to overeat later in the day. The problem with this bad eating habit is that it is another form of mindless eating where your attention is not focused on the food at the moment while you are eating, but rather on some other task.
"When we don't fully concentrate on our meals and the process of taking in food, we fall into a trap of mindless eating where we don't track or recognize the food that has just been consumed," states psychology professor Jane Ogden of the University of Surrey, in a statement for CBS News.
Diet Wrecker #3: Late Night Snacking
Late night snacking is initiated by factors other than actual hunger. Experts advise dieters to pause before reaching for that snack and ask yourself if you really do need it. One way to test this is to have a drink of water first, and then see if you still feel as hungry as you thought you did earlier. The rule of thumb of eating is to limit all meals to an 8-12 hour time period leaving the remainder food-free. But if you really do need that snack, choose one of these recommended by the Dopamine Diet plan.
Diet Wrecker #4: Eating Out
As strange as it may sound, eating too slow can be just as bad as eating too fast. One example is dining at a restaurant with friends and family.
"Eating out is often viewed as a social gathering, so people spend more time and eat more leisurely, which can lead to more food intake," states, Rupeng An, an assistant professor in the department of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois.
But if you have to eat out, experts offer the following tips to lessen the diet damage:
• Check out the menu before arriving at the restaurant to choose the healthiest option
• Ask for sauces and dressings on the side
• Stick to baked, broiled, grilled, or steamed dishes.
Diet Wrecker #5: Eating Too Fast
As mentioned earlier in Diet Wrecker #1, eating too fast does not give the brain time to catch up with the stomach. However, what many do not realize is that taking the time to enjoy every bite also plays an important part toward feeling satisfied after a meal. Experts advise dieters to become mindful eaters by slowing down and creating a satisfying food memory that will help you feel fuller with less.
Diet Wrecker #6: The “Clean Your Plate” Rule
The “Clean Your Plate” rule of our parents is outdated say researchers who point out that portion sizes have grown larger today. Furthermore, it puts more emphasis on environmental cues i.e. plate size, and less on internal cues such as actually being able to tell whether you are hungry or full.
One way around this is to use smaller plates and be sure to prepare them at one setting with a proper balance of food so that when that plate is clean, enough rather than too much has been consumed. A second benefit of this work-around is that seeing a full plate—even a smaller one—is mentally more filling.
Diet Wrecker #7: Shopping on an Empty Stomach
Grocery shopping while hungry leads to impulsive buying decisions and thereby the tendency to load the cart full of unhealthy foods.
"Never food shop on an empty stomach. When we are hungry, we are more likely to fall victim to temptation," advises Lori Rosenthal, a registered dietitian specializing in weight management and bariatrics at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, for CBS News.
To avoid this diet wrecker make it a habit to having a meal or a snack―like a piece of fruit―before going to the store. In addition, plan what you are going to buy and stick with it.
"Planning is the key to success in life, and it is no different when it comes to eating healthy," says Ms. Rosenthal. "Take a look at the upcoming week and see what you have planned -- work, appointments, social commitments, etc. Next, choose meals for each day."
One interesting side note from CBS News is that eating before you shop could save you money as well as calories. One study shows that shopping on an empty stomach at the mall or online can even lead to spending more on clothing and other nonfood items.
For more on weight loss tips, here are Dr. Oz's best “No-Diet Diet Tricks” for successful weight loss.
Reference: CBS News “7 bad habits that could be wrecking your diet”