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Women's Health

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7 Diet Mistakes and Fast Fixes


Fast Fix

Eat something, but resist the junk food. You'll stay fuller longer if you have fruit, low-fat yogurt, or string cheese. An energy bar will also do the trick. But make sure you find one that has staying power — that means at least 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and less than 250 calories. Two of our favorites: Clif's Mojo Fruit Nut Crunch Bar and PowerBar Nut Naturals.

Next Time

Make breakfast simple. To guarantee you never skip this meal again, keep a week's worth of easy eats in the house. A few good picks (which you can also stash at the office for midday munchies): single-serve instant oatmeal (McCann's Instant Irish Oatmeal has three sugar-free varieties — apple and cinnamon, maple and brown sugar, and cinnamon roll); low-fat granola, which you can mix with plain yogurt; and single-serving cans of light fruit (like Del Monte's no-sugar-added pear chunks, only 40 calories). But beware of so-called breakfast bars, which are often packed with sugar. Make sure you read the labels carefully before you buy.

Eat every four hours during the day. That's about how much time it takes for hunger to return after a meal, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. You'll do far less damage if you have a small snack mid-morning and in the afternoon than if you try to assuage your gnawing hunger at mealtimes, when the plates, portions, and your appetite are all bigger.

"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.

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