7 Diet Roadblocks

March 9, 2009 8:10:22 AM PDT
When it comes to losing weight, there are plenty of roadblocks that can hinder success. Some common mistakes include: 1. Eating out: The same meal you prepare at home could have more than three-times the number of calories at a restaurant! According to the popular book Eat This, Not That, a citrus fire shrimp and chicken fajita entree at Chili's has 1,360 calories. A stuffed chicken marsala entrée at the Olive Garden has 1,315 calories. An Ayers Rock strip steak entrée at Outback Steakhouse has 1,450 calories. So, how do you avoid these diet dangers? Many Web sites list nutrition facts online, so consumers can make wiser choices. Sites like www.dietfacts.com, www.calorieking.com and www.dwlz.com are popular among dieters.

2. Eating from big bowls: It sounds silly, but many dietitians say eating from larger bowls with larger utensils actually makes us consume more. Sherri Flynt, R.D., Community Relations Manager for Florida Hospital in Orlando Fla., told Ivanhoe, "If you have a plate that's 9 inches, and it's full, your brain interprets that the same way as if you had a 15-inch plate that's full." The solution? Eat from smaller bowls and use smaller utensils!

3. Thinking fruits and veggies must be fresh: You may actually get more nutrients from some frozen fruits and vegetables. The same may be true for some canned veggies. The reason is because the "fresh" produce you buy at the grocery store may be a lot older than you think. After being harvested, produce can spend days being sorted and shipped across the country. Fluctuations in light and temperature can rob fruits and vegetables of nutrients. One tip: make sure items in frozen bags move about freely. Clumping indicates that the product has been thawed and then refrozen.

4. Not getting enough sleep: Recent studies have shown sleep deprivation can make it more difficult to shed extra pounds. When you don't get enough shut-eye, your body produces more ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry, and less leptin, a hormone that increases satiety. A recent study from Harvard Medical School also showed mothers who reported sleeping five hours or less per day when their babies were six months old had a three-fold higher risk for substantial weight retention (11 pounds or more) at their baby's first birthday than moms who slept seven hours per night.

5. Skipping breakfast: You've probably heard it before, but experts say skipping breakfast is one of the biggest diet mistakes. Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD, LD/N, National Spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, told Ivanhoe, "Breakfast is important because if you go too long without eating, you are much more likely not to make the best choices."

6. Eating in the dark: Some experts believe eating in a dimly lit room makes people consume more calories. In the light, you're more self-conscious of others watching you eat. Also, in low lighting, such as in a movie theatre, you can't see your food as well, which may cause you to lose track of how much you're consuming.

7. Aiming Low: Shooting for that realistic size 6 instead of a near-impossible size 2 may not be the way to go. According to a study of 1,801 people published in the International Journal of Obesity, women who set unrealistically high weight-loss goals dropped more weight in 24 months than those who kept their expectations low.

For More Information, Contact:
Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD, LD/N
National Spokesperson
American Dietetic Association
(727) 343-1216