Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

Five Habits That Can Destroy Your Diet

Stephanie Mobley R.D.

Habit 1: Skipping meals
Have you ever thought to yourself I'm trying to lose weight, so I'm going to skip a few meals"? Those are just calories you are saving, right? Wrong! Skipping meals actually slows down your metabolism meaning you burn less calories! Our bodies use food as fuel to nourish us. So actually eating something every four hours will boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories!

Habit 2: Depriving yourself or trying to be too "perfect"
Are you really never going to eat chocolate, chips or fried foods again? Depriving yourself of your favorite foods and trying to be a perfectionist with your diet can actually hurt you in the long run because it's not realistic. Instead of saying "I will never eat (fill in the blank here)" try saying "I will only eat _____ once a week." It is okay to enjoy life and the food you eat, so don't give up your favorite foods, just eat less of it.

Habit 3: Too many "cheat" meals
Now keeping Habit 2 in mind, over-indulging or enjoying too many cheat meals can also derail your diet. Does "eating healthy during the week but not as healthy on the weekend" describe you? Or does the "I'll do better tomorrow" describe your approach to your diet? One over-indulged cheat meal and splurging frequently can ruin your efforts to eat healthier and can interfere with weight loss.

Habit 4: Too many diet foods and products
Diet drinks, low-fat products, sugar-free foods, etc. the list of so called "diet" foods can run a mile long! If you find yourself constantly reaching for a diet food because you think it's healthier, you maybe overdoing it. Stay with what you know is naturally healthy. This includes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean proteins. Also, anything in the produce section of the supermarket is healthy - anything! That means you have an entire section of the supermarket to choose whatever you want instead of having to turn to diet foods! Score!

Breaking it Down

Habit 5: Living in an unhealthy environment
Look around. What do you see? Imagine you are at work. Do you have a candy jar? Does a coworker have a candy drawer that you visit daily? Now imagine yourself in your kitchen. Do you see fresh fruits and vegetables sitting on the counter or do you see unhealthy snacks? Does your refrigerator have fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy? Is your pantry filled with whole grain bread or is it full of cookies and chips? Creating a healthy environment in all areas of your life will benefit and promote a healthy lifestyle. Start taking fruit for snacks at work and offer it to your coworkers instead of candy. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry and replace unhealthy foods with healthier foods. Your family and friends will also start to benefit from your good habits... you will promote a healthy lifestyle for them as well!

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