Dieting Pitfalls to Avoid in the New Year 

Here we go again. The beginning of a New Year! The time for new beginnings and resolutions. Start off on the right foot and set yourself up for success by avoiding some common dieting pitfalls.

  • Be Realistic.

Try to focus on healthier eating habits rather than weight loss goals.

If you focus on balanced meals and portion sizes, your scale will eventually tip in your favor. Too often, diets are too restrictive to follow for the long-term.

Remember – Less is not more.

The healthiest meal plans are ones that include a variety of whole foods. Eliminating an entire food group (like dairy or grains) or cutting back on too many calories can be the beginning of the end. Keep your metabolism revved up and your body in check, along with a positive attitude about food with a balanced diet.

Avoid skipping meals.

To maintain energy during the day and to prevent hunger from taking over, make it a point to eat regularly during the day. 

Be sure to snack smart.

Constant snacking may be more out of habit than actual hunger. When reaching for that mid-afternoon pick-me-up, think first. When did you eat last? Are you actually hungry or are you craving sugar?  Many times, snacking is part of a vicious cycle triggered by not eating balanced meals during the day. 

Don’t over drink your calories.

Studies show that liquid calories may not curb your appetite and an lead to excessive calorie intake. Pay attention to what you drink. Multiple cups of coffee with cream and sugar or a couple of glasses of sweetened iced tea can really add up during the day. 

Limit eating out and if you do eat out, pay attention.

Eating out is fun, convenient, and entertaining. However, without careful consideration of menu options, it can also destroy attempts to eat healthfully. Eating at home offers much more control over how to spend your calories, not to mention dollars. Flashback to Covid isolation restrictions…many people lost weight when not dining out multiple times in a week.

Don’t fool yourself by ignoring hidden calories. 

Sure, a smoothy appears healthy, but in reality, it can be a calorie bomb loaded with sugar and fats. A salad is an awesome choice, providing it isn’t topped with creamy dressing, crunchy croutons and/or an excessive number of toppings. Be mindful of your food choices.

Don’t depend heavily processed foods

While ramen noodles and frozen pizza may be convenient meal options, processed foods should be “sometimes” foods, not everyday staples. In the same respect, chips, cookies and the like should be limited. When looking at food labels, a long list of ingredients typically translates into a heavily processed food. 

Don’t classify foods into “good” or “bad” categories.

In the scheme of things, all foods can be part of a “sustainable” diet. Too often when a food is considered “off-limits” the desire for that food is often enhanced. There is always the option to make room for a holiday dinner or a piece of cheesecake. Just think before you eat!

Don’t do it alone.

There is strength in numbers. Whether a friend or family member, a medical professional, or an online support group, it is important to engage with positive people to help stay on track. After a while, your habits will become second nature!

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