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Danger: Diet Disaster Area Ahead!

How to navigate potholes on the dieting highway without gaining a pound.

Disaster-Dodging Tips

Whatever diet disaster areas you may run across on your way to your goal, here are some tips you can take with you:

  • Anticipate. ''Plan ahead,'' says Susan Moores, a registered dietitian in St. Paul, Minn. ''What is the situation going to be like? Is it your favorite restaurant that you go to once a year? Then maybe you go and have a great time. If it's the fifth night you've stayed late at the office, and you know they are all doing take-out Chinese again, maybe you do something different, like bring a healthier option with you, or go extra-healthy for breakfast and lunch.''
  • Be creative. ''Often, we think the cards are stacked against us in a situation, but there are creative ways to get around a trap,'' says Moores, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. ''If you know breakfast is a huge buffet every morning at your hotel, you don't have to have it -- many will offer a continental breakfast instead, or you can stock up on fruit to balance out your day later on.''
  • Have a Plan B. ''As much as it's great to plan ahead, you also need a rebound plan,'' Moores tells WebMD. '''I had a really great time at dinner last night, so today I'm going to go with fruits and veggies.' Move on and get past it.''
  • Be proactive. ''Always recognize that physical activity can't fix everything, but it sure can make it better,'' says Moores. ''A brisk walk can really make you feel good.''
  • Drink to your success. ''If all else fails, be happy with what you did with your beverages,'' says Moores. ''Almost everywhere you go will offer you healthy choices for drinks, even just water, so feel good about the decisions you make around the things you can control.''

Reviewed on February 16, 2006

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