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Diet Pitfalls: July 21, 2012

Dieting is a popular past time in this country, as many of us try our best to drop unwanted pounds. The intentions may be good; in most cases, they don’t work.

Too many of us get pumped up to start a swimsuit diet and are deflated before summer’s end. Dietitians see it all the time - people setting themselves up for failure.

“Whenever we have somebody come in, we’ll take a look at what they’re currently doing,” says Lee Memorial Health System registered dietitian Julie Stacey.

One of the top diet pitfalls: skipping meals. We might think shrinking the number of times we eat will trim our figure, but it doesn’t add up.

“Say we wake up and we skip breakfast, we’ve gone say 12, 15, sometimes 17 hours and haven’t had anything to eat. Our body will go into that starvation mode. It tends to hold onto our weight more and metabolism tends to slow a little bit,” says Stacey.

Besides, waiting until you’re ravenously hungry is a recipe for overeating. Another pitfall is mindless binging. We might be doing great until something breaks our resolve.

“It’s different really for each person, I mean as far as emotional eating. Some people may eat if they’re happy, sad, they may be stressed out and they eat because of that reason,” says Stacey.

Maybe the mother of all diet busters is eating out. Between high calorie foods and big portions, the simple fix is to choose wisely.

“We used to eat out maybe once a month years ago. Now it’s a part of our lifestyle. So if you’re going to eat out, you’ve really got to make those good choices. Anything grilled, baked, broiled, roasted is usually going to be better.

A final no-no is the word diet. We’re telling ourselves we’re going to eat better for a while.

“Any change that you decide that you want to make, you have to ask yourself, can I do this forever?” says Stacey.

If it’s not sustainable, you could be stumbling into the same pitfalls time and time again.