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7 Diet Mistakes and Fast Fixes

"I drank too much last night"

Most of us don't dance on the table after a few Long Island Iced Teas — we eat everything on it. Why? The body doesn't register liquid calories, so even if you drink 500 of them, you'll still crave food. When Pennsylvania State University researchers gave people a caloric drink (such as fruit juice, sweetened soda, or even milk) with a meal, the participants didn't consume any less food when they sat down to eat. And neither did you — so now you have all the alcohol calories to burn off, as well as a huge dinner.

Fast Fix

Get some exercise. Taking a walk or a bike ride will shift your mind-set from I am a colossal boob to I'm back in the game! A reminder from Dr. Wyatt: "You haven't failed unless you continue the counterproductive behavior."

Next Time

"Never drink on an empty stomach," says Timothy Harlan, M.D., a chef-turned-physician who also appears on the Food Network's Cooking Thin. At parties, grab a handful of nuts (they're satisfying and healthy) before you pick up a wineglass. If you're out to dinner, try to "sip your wine slowly until the salad is served," Dr. Harlan adds. (And no, this is not an excuse to hit the bread basket ... wait for something healthier to arrive.)

Pace yourself. "In calories, one Long Island Iced Tea is the equivalent of 26 fat-fried onion rings," says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of 10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman's Diet. So make sure you drink water or seltzer — both zero calories — in between alcoholic drinks. Some numbers to keep in mind while you sip: A 5-ounce glass of wine is around 125 calories; a 12-ounce beer is about 105 calories. A 1.5-ounce shot of alcohol (for, say, Scotch or vodka on the rocks) is about 95 calories. A 3-ounce margarita, about 170 calories. A 2.5-ounce martini, 175 calories.

"I ate a supersize fast-food meal"

Hitting the drive-through at Burger King once isn't such a big deal — the problem is that if you do it one time, you're much more likely to swing by again. And that's when the pounds really start to pile on. A 15-year study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota showed that people who ate fast food more than twice a week gained 10 more pounds than participants who had it less than once a week. There were also health ramifications: The drive-through frequenters had a higher risk of diabetes.

Fast Fix

Savor your indulgence. "Splurges do happen," says Dr. Harlan. "For some of us, it's fast food; for others, it's a big chocolate bar." The trick is to focus on each and every bite — this is a treat, one you won't be having tomorrow, so take the time to really enjoy it.

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