5 Common Diet Pitfalls and Solutions

Ruth Wolever, PhD, is a clinical health psychologist, the Director of Research at Duke Integrative Medicine, an advisor to the Duke Diet and Fitness Center, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the Duke School of Medicine. Beth Reardon, MS, RD, LDN, previously the Director of Integrative and Functional Nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine and Senior Nutrition Advisor for Caring.com, currently has a private practice in the Boston area.

Eating_junkfood_400If you’re trying to keep your weight in check or lose a few pounds, take time to consider any recurring scenarios that trip you up the most when it comes to eating well. We have found that people who plan in advance and keep healthier options on hand often avoid the temptations that can sabotage their goals. From The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health.

Common Challenge:
Skipping breakfast

Antidote:
Buy or make individual serving- sized packages of nuts that, along with easily portable fruit—such as an apple, pear, orange, or banana—you can grab for breakfast on your way out the door and eat en route or at your desk. Although we discourage “grab and go” as a regular habit, it is healthier than other options.

Common Challenge:
Getting hungry before lunch—and resorting to the vending machine

The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health

The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health

by Ruth Wolever PhD, Beth Reardon MS, RD, LDN and Tania Hannan

  • Get The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health
  • Get The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health
  • Get The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health
  • Get The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health
  • Get The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health

Antidote:
Pack a healthy snack every day—such as Greek yogurt and fruit, hummus and carrots, whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese, nuts, or nut butters. Think of options that combine whole-food carbs, protein, and healthy fat.

Common Challenge:

Reaching for coffee or sugary snacks in the afternoon to ward off low blood sugar

Antodote:
Take a ten-minute walk around the block or the office first, then reach for a healthy carbohydrate paired with protein, such as dried fruit and nuts. Also try green tea.

Common Challenge:
Snacking while waiting for dinner

Antidote:
Hold off on alcoholic beverages until dinner is in front of you—drinking on an empty stomach has been shown to increase premeal snacking. Drink a glass of water, which will ease that empty-stomach feeling. And if you must have a snack, make it vegetables, such as raw carrots, sliced zucchini, or strips of red bell pepper. After dinner, prepare a snack to have at the ready for the next night.

Common Challenge:
Eating before bed

Antidote:
Brush your teeth right after dinner—it can help dissuade you from putting anything other than water in your mouth. If your late-night eating is of the mindless variety, find something else to do with your hands—knitting, prepping vegetables for your next cooking session, or reading a book. If you’re truly hungry, go ahead and eat a snack that provides some healthy fat as well as some slow-burning carbs, such as a brown rice cake with peanut butter, a sliver of avocado and low-fat cottage cheese, or an apple with almond butter.

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