7 Diet Mistakes and Fast Fixes
"I ate a supersize fast-food meal" continued...
Order low-cal. If you must hit the drive-through, choose foods that won't do
major diet damage. At Burger King, for example, choose the Whopper Jr. (290
calories with no mayo) instead of the regular Whopper (670 calories). And
always skip the fries: A small bag at McDonald's clocks in at 250 calories,
about half of which is fat. Instead, order the side salad (20 calories) with a
packet of Newman's Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette (40 calories). For more
good eats at fast-food joints, check out Dr. Harlan's Website,
Don't skip supper to compensate. That kind of starvation strategy always
backfires, warns Fernstrom. "The day after your severe restriction, you'll
be eating everything, including the paint off the walls."
"I quit keeping track of what I was eating"
That's understandable — but it will cost you big-time. "You don't
realize how much mindless eating you do every day," says Somer. "You
taste what you're cooking, or grab a French fry, or eat the rest of your kid's
cake at a birthday party. On average, there's probably 25 calories in each of
those mouthfuls. If you take just four mindless bites a day, that adds up to an
extra pound every month."
Buy a little notebook. By writing down every sip and nibble, you'll avoid
surprise weight gains. If carrying a notebook is too yesterday, go the
electronic route. Sites such as nutrihand.com offer free subscriptions that
allow you to track your meals. Or you can use a pocket-size food diary, such as
CalorieSmart ($69, coheso.com).
Measure everything. Most of us have trouble eyeballing a cup or a 4-ounce
serving with any accuracy — dietitians call this "portion distortion."
So for a few days, measure and weigh all your food. Here's one shortcut:
"Ask the butcher to divide the meat you buy into 4-ounce servings, which
will shrink down to about 3 ounces when you cook it," suggests Somer.
"Buy individual 4-ounce potatoes instead of a whole bag. And use measuring
cups and spoons until you become very accustomed to what a cup or a tablespoon