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Are you stuck?

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:22 PM
  • 4 Replies

Diets rarely work the first time around—there’s a reason weight loss plans and products are a kajillion-dollar industry! SELF zeroed in on four common reasons trim-down plans fail and, even better, the simple tricks to put you back on the fast track to losing those stubborn pounds for good. Steal our expert fixes for diet hitches today so you can get back to slimming, save a bunch of cash skipping gimmicky gadgets and diet foods, and see the results you crave.

THE HITCH “I’m starving all the time.”
Not to channel your mom, but are you eating enough? A daily diet of under 1,400 calories won’t supply enough nutrients to keep you full and fueled, and may lead you to quit.
THE FIX Who says dieting is all about having less? Here are three things to enjoy more of:
1. Calories. Up them to 1,600 a day if you’re trying to lose; 2,000 if you’re maintaining.
2. Nosh sessions. Have three daily meals, plus two snacks, says Susan Bowerman, R.D., of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. Eating every four hours keeps blood sugar steady, preventing cravings and crankiness.
3. Lean protein. It sends stronger “I’m full” signals to your brain than carbs or fat do. Aim for 20 grams in meals (half a skinless chicken breast has 27 g), 10 g in snacks (a cup of edamame packs 17 g).

THE HITCH “The needle on the scale is stuck.”
Plateaus are common after you’ve been steadily losing weight for six months, the National Institutes of Health reports. When you’re lighter, your body needs fewer calories, so what used to make you shrink is now what you need to maintain your size.
THE FIX Trim about 200 calories more a day, Bowerman says. If you don’t start losing again within two weeks or so, your calorie counts or portions may be off. Keep a food diary for a week to catch errors. (Check your numbers at NutritionData.Self.com.) If you’re eyeballing portions, measure your food instead (2 tablespoons of peanut butter can easily grow to 3). You might also step up your exercise efforts to help hit the lower-calorie goal, and definitely switch up your workout: If you do the same one every time, your body won’t build as much fat-burning muscle, says Gina Harney, a personal trainer in Tucson, Arizona.

THE HITCH “I’m busy, so I tend to eat out a lot.”
Restaurant meals can be ultra-calorific, especially because no one monitors whether or not chefs are doling out heavy-handed portions. In fact, calorie counts can be up to 18 percent greater than what’s posted, a Tufts University study shows.
THE FIX Make a reservation to save yourself a wait at the bar and the added calories from cocktails, says Tina Marinaccio, R.D., of Morris Plains, New Jersey. Alcohol revs appetite, so stick to one drink and sip it with dinner. Order grilled over fried (entrees) and steamed over sauteed (veggies); if you truly crave something decadent for dessert, go halfsies.

THE HITCH “My willpower vanishes on weekends.”
You may be depriving yourself too much during the week, making you more likely to go a little crazy Saturday and Sunday, Marinaccio says.
THE FIX Factor approximately 1,400 fun calories a week into your diet, and spend 150 to 250 of them a day on treats you’d otherwise miss most (a 5-ounce glass of wine, 2 oz of Brie, ¾ cup of ice cream). That way, you won’t be as tempted to scarf them all down come Friday. You can bank two or three days’ worth of fun calories for a splurgeworthy event—but not more than that. And schedule a workout for the morning after: That third cocktail won’t look quite so tempting if you have a 9 a.m. Spin bike booked for the next day.

 








 




by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:22 PM
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Replies (1-4):
Erica_Smerica
by Silver Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 3:00 PM

BUMP!

rosebud28
by Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for posting...

reneawesley
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 4:43 PM

 Thanks for posting!

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Aug. 19, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Good info!  Thanks:)

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