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Old 11-09-2004, 07:47 AM   #1
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Default Seven Unhealthy Habits That Prevent Us From Losing Weight

I got this in my email from Discovery Health and thought it was worth passing along. The two habits that really spoke to me are Fat Phobia and the Late Night Monster :

Seven Unhealthy Habits That Prevent Us From Losing Weight
By Frances Largeman, R.D.

Skipping Breakfast
We all know the deal: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Still, many of us skip it thinking that it will help us shed pounds. In fact, this bad habit actually packs on the pudge. A recent study found that those who ate ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, hot cereal or even quick breads (like muffins and banana bread) had significantly lower BMIs (body mass indices) than those who skipped breakfast.

Eating at Your Desk
Everyone is time-crunched, so it makes sense these days to eat when and where we can in the car, at our desks and in front of the TV. Unfortunately, when we tune into work or to our favorite show, we generally tune out healthy eating habits and don't pay attention to internal cues that tell us we're full. Make time for meals as often as you can. When you designate only the dining room, kitchen and restaurants as places to eat, you're less likely to be distracted and overeat.

Cleaning Your Plate
Calories add up. So, even that light pasta dish or bean burrito can add girth if you're taking in more calories than you're burning off. Beverages and snack foods are common culprits for including multiple servings in what looks to be a single-serving size container. Without thinking, you can down 180 to 240 calories in beverages that are otherwise healthy. Check the label and stick to the portion size (See Portion Control), even if it means putting the rest in the fridge or taking home a doggie bag.

Forgetting Fitness
Many dieters think that just cutting back on calories will lead to lifelong weight loss. This works initially, but only for a while and often leads to yo-yo dieting. Studies show that most people who successfully lose weight and keep it off long-term do so by both cutting calories and adding regular exercise to their lives. Couch potatoes take heart: just 2,000 steps a day will go a long way toward keeping off unwanted pounds. Get a pedometer and get going!

Late-night Monster
This is by far one of the most common ways people sabotage their weight loss goals. They've been good all day and had a reasonable dinner. Then they plant themselves in front of the TV, where the munchie monster calls and they head for the chips or ice cream. Other folks are plagued by late-night eating due to long hours at the office. If this is your case, make sure to keep healthy snacks (link to snacks piece) on hand so that you can make a smart choice about what to eat when you finally get home.

Fat Phobia
If you eschew fat of any kind and live in the land of fat-free food, you're not getting the bargain you hoped for. In addition to making food taste wonderful, fat also helps us feel satisfied. Cut it out of your diet and you'll feel the need to stock up on fat-free, but calorie-full foods, like cookies and pretzels. You're better off keeping your fat intake (See The Facts on Fat) to about 30% of your total calories and enjoying small portions of your favorite foods once in a while.

The Bar Scene
Alcohol, no matter what form it comes in beer, wine or spirits packs on the calories mercilessly. Not only does alcohol contribute 7 calories per gram, it also has the effect of making you eat more during a meal. You don't need to be a teetotaler; just try to stick to one drink (for women) or two drinks (for men) per day. If you're at a bar or a party, space each drink you have with a glass of water and avoid super-sugary and calorie-packed tropical and frozen drinks. Also, don't head out for a night on the town without eating something first. Otherwise, you'll fill up on nutrient-free alcohol and really hate yourself in the morning.
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Old 11-11-2004, 07:30 PM   #2
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What a great article, and sooo many of the unhealthy habits I can relate to. In particular, I used to be a member of the "clean plate club" thinking I just had to eat everything I put on my plate. Now, I have learned to put my fork down and simply quit eating whenever I feel comfortable. In other words, eating like a stuffed turkey is no longer fun or necessary for me to be satisfied!!

Today, I also know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I go for my 1 hour jog/power walk early every day. After my shower, I can hardly wait to eat a nice healthy breakfast!! Without breakfast, no one can be very productive at anything whether it is an office job, housework, etc. Between my hour jog and breakfast, I am full of energy and ready to meet the day!!! LOL

I also have to be careful with those late night snacks!!! I now lean towards eating more fruits, yogurts, a small amount of cheese, or even a little popcorn instead of all those sweets that I once could not live without!!! It is indeed funny how once you get away from eating those non-nutritional foods, such as candy, donuts, cookies, your body no long craves them, and I find myself going for that good ole apple instead!!

Your article is really good, Meg. Everything in it makes sense to those of us who have reached our goal weight or for those who are working to get there.
Live life to its fullest!!
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Old 11-20-2004, 11:26 PM   #3
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I've picked up the bad habit of eating at my desk. I have SO much to do these days, I eat at my desk and spend my lunch break running errands. As a result, I'm eating easy food, like bananas, meal replacement bars and drinks, and yogurt and cheesesticks. I'm not eating enough vegetables, salads and fibrous foods. I need to make a goal to start eating real lunches again.
We're fat chicks, not doctors. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.
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Old 11-21-2004, 01:32 AM   #4
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Well...I do know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I have a problem too. I find if I eat anything before a certain time in the morning I get the worst stomach aches. How do I get around that?
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Old 11-21-2004, 10:41 AM   #5
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Have you tried smoothies, or meal replacement shakes? They're pretty light.

Meg, I'd like to add an Honorary Number 8. Restaurants. Evil. My number one worst enemy. It's a love/hate relationship! I realized this a couple of months ago and I've recently tried knocking out restaurants, but I had a backslide. 2 weeks ago I was very proud of myself - I ate half of my meal, boxed up the other half, and took it home. I heated it up two days later and it was FLOATING IN GREASE. I didn't detect it in the restaurant when it was fresh! I thought it was a pretty lean meal. I also have to go back to asking for dressing on the side. The last two salads I had were floating in the stuff. With my schedule, it's the easiest way to eat sometimes - plus I get more family time when we do it, and I'm scraping for every chance of that these days. We need more healthy restaurants!
We're fat chicks, not doctors. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.
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