If you think chocolate is the temptation most likely to lure you off your diet, think again. British researchers recently identified 3 top dieting pitfalls, and junk food did not make the list.
Alcohol, friends, and keeping late hours were the most potent trio of diet destroyers.
That’s according to a group of volunteers who used their smartphones to monitor their cravings for a week. They reported being enticed about a dozen times and giving in on about half of those occasions.
their experience. Use this 3 part guide to help you stay on track with your
weight loss plans.
Dieting and Alcohol
- Learn calorie counts. People often underestimate the calories in
alcohol. Even light beers may have more than 100 calories a
serving. Sweet concoctions like a Chocolate Martini rack up about 550 calories.
- Order slimmer drinks. Fortunately,
there are much lighter options. A Bloody Mary contains little more than 100
calories and half of that is tomato juice, so you get important vitamins.
- Choose smart snacks. You’ll
probably drink less if you eat first and stop occasionally to refuel. Skip the
deep fried cheese sticks and opt for hummus and baby carrots.
- Slow down. Pace
yourself for long evenings. Limit your consumption to one drink or less an
- Practice portion control. The size
of a drink can vary dramatically. Keep in mind that some restaurants now serve as
much as 180ml of wine per glass because customers are getting used to
- Drink more water. Filling up
on water works wonders. You take in fewer calories and reduce the dehydrating
effects of cocktail hour.
Dieting and Friends
- Share activities together. Sign up for a yoga class instead of going out
for pizza after work. Enjoy your usual weekend brunch, but take a morning hike
- Be mindful. Having company around
tends to distract you from what you’re eating. You may also feel
like it’s courteous to go along with what everyone else is doing. Be extra
vigilant around the bacon at the breakfast buffet.
- Provide mutual encouragement. Some of
your family and friends are bound to be working on their own health issues. Team
up to cut down on sugar or eat more fiber.
- Focus on overall health. View your diet as part of a bigger picture. Increase your motivation by imagining how good it would be to live a longer and more active life.
Dieting and Late Hours
- Maintain a consistent schedule. Go to bed
and rise at about the same time every day. That includes weekends and holidays.
- Turn off devices before bed. Bright
screens and crime dramas may be keeping you up at night. Shut off your phone
and computer a couple of hours before you retire.
- Manage stress. Engage in regular
exercise and relaxation practices. Take a walk or play racquet sports. Listen
to soft music or learn to knit.
- Develop bedtime rituals. Let your
mind and body know that it’s time to give in to drowsiness. Lie in a
warm bath. Read one chapter of a classic novel each night.
- Upgrade your sleep environment. Black out
drapes will stop street lights from keeping you up. Replace a sagging mattress
if needed. Clear away clutter or store it out of sight.
Plan ahead to keep the most common triggers from interfering with your diet. Hang onto your friends and support each other with developing healthier habits. Drink responsibly (or even better, avoid it altogether) and get adequate sleep. In the end you’ll find it easier to eat nutritious foods and lose weight.