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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

7 Habits That Doom Your Diet

By Susan Burke Chief Nutritionist

Most of dieting concerns what goes on between your ears, as in what you know and how you use that knowledge to your advantage.

You give food power. Food can't make you eat it. The way some people talk, you'd think a candy bar holds them down, forcing them to chew and swallow! YOU have the power to say no.

You think there are "good" and "bad" foods. Wrong! Food does not possess human characteristics. Food is food: fatty food, salty food, low in saturated fat or high in fiber -- you choose.

You think a diet is something you "go on." And then you go "go off" when you lose the weight. For instance, "I lost 12 pounds, so now I can go off my diet." This recipe for failure means you'll most likely regain the weight, just like the 95 percent of people who lose weight and regain it.

You think you can lose weight without exercise. It's possible to lose weight without exercise, but most likely the weight is going to come right back on once you stop "dieting." Increasing activity, even just by walking briskly, is associated with permanent weight loss.

You eat the same fruits and vegetables every day. That's like playing only four numbers in the Quick Pick Five. You can't win unless you fill in the whole card. Increasing variety provides better nutrition and more phytochemicals to defeat disease.

You think that all fats are bad. In fact, some fats are health-enhancing, such as omega-3 fatty acids in fish and those found in nuts and seeds. But beware of trans fat in fast food and packaged foods and limit saturated fat in whole-milk dairy and fatty meats.

You're drinking too many calories. If you think a glass of soda is bad but juice or sports drinks are good, think again. Juice has the same calories as soda and no fiber. Eat your fruit; don't drink it. Sports drinks are usually full of sugar: Drink water and eat an orange instead.

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