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6 Weight Loss Obstacles to Avoid

Experts offer a road map to success to help you steer clear of dieting pitfalls.

Your Road Map to Dieting Success continued...

"Instead of depending on fast food to get you through your busy schedule, pre-cook healthy foods and have them around," says Adler, a dietician at LiveHealtheir.com. When healthy meals are at arm's reach, she says, you're more likely to reach for them instead of foods that will steer you off track.

3. Don't Forget to Refuel

Does your car run on empty? Of course not! And neither do you. But, experts say, a major dieting pitfall is thinking that you can.

"Decreasing your caloric intake is not a bad thing -- restricting your calories too low can cause trouble," says Adler.

When you don't get enough calories, she says, your body retaliates. Instead of losing fat, you're more likely to lose muscle -- plus, you don't have enough energy to get you through the day.

Further, says Stephen Schnur, MD, when you skip meals you often end up eating more -- not less -- by day's end.

"Small meals at regular intervals are better and can help you withstand temptation," says Schnur author of The Reality Diet: Lose the Pounds for Good With a Cardiologist's Simple, Healthy Eating Plan.

It's especially important for dieters never to skip breakfast, he says.

"Research consistently shows that people who eat breakfast actually eat fewer calories per day and lose weight more successfully than those who do not," says Schnur.

4. Prepare for Detours

While starting a diet may be easy, sticking to one can be hard, particularly when you don't plan for life's little food detours.

"Whether it's a stressful event that normally causes you to overeat, or a food-related event like a wedding or a birthday party, you must realize that the world isn't on your diet, and perfect road conditions aren't going to exist every day of your weight loss journey," says Huberman.

The way around it, he says: plan, plan, and plan.

"If you try to just show up at your cousin's wedding and wing it through the buffet table, you're going to run into trouble," he says.

But if you decide ahead of time that you will detour off your diet, you can set limits on just how far afield you'll go.

"If you make up your mind beforehand that you will have two pieces of fried chicken and a portion of potato salad, most likely that is what you will stick to," says Huberman. "If you don't have a plan, you won't stop at two pieces of chicken -- you're more likely to turn it into an 'all you can eat' experience."

Moreover Huberman tells WebMD that if you do derail beyond your plan, encapsulate the event as a single slip up -- and don't use it as an excuse to ditch your diet for the rest of the weekend.

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