6 People Who Sabotage Your Diet
Posted April 27, 2012
Your best buddy can throw a wrench in your weight loss just as easily as pizza, French fries, and fast food. "Those who are close to us have great influence on our eating and exercise habits," says Angela Ginn, RD and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Stay dedicated to your goal by watching out for the diet damagers in your life.
Your guy can chow down on wings and pound back beer without gaining weight. "Men have a higher amount of muscle mass and lower body fat percent than women," says Heather Mangieri, MS, RD and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics." Their energy needs are higher, so they can consume more calories." But that doesn't mean your next date night is ruined. Bowing out of the food competition and taking responsibility for your meal portions is enough to help steer clear of this diet disaster.
No matter how much you fight it, your grandma always wants to feed you. "She sees it as a welcoming gesture and you see it as diet sabotage," says Mangieri. But instead of completely giving into nana's attempts to put meat on your bones, set some limits. Just help yourself to a single serving or pack a doggie bag for later, says Ginn. Even bringing a healthy snack of your own to contribute can help take the attention off of you and avoid hurt feelings.
Whether it's to convince them that veggies are edible or an attempt to avoid wasting food, moms tend to eat off their children's plates. First, you need to break the "no food left behind" mentality. Instead of picking at scraps, have your kid help you wrap up the leftovers. Not serving them too much in the first place will also benefit both of you - your child won't overeat, and you won't face temptation during cleanup.
Your College Roommates
Pizza, wings and beer may have dominated your college diet, but the new (well, older) you has a harder time preventing pounds from packing on - you have your decreased muscle mass and metabolism to thank for that. When you reunite with your dorm pals, resist the urge to fall back into old habits - and hold your ground if your friends make fun of you for it. Equip yourself with one-liners, suggests Mangieri. "Something like, 'It's good of you to offer, but I'm feeling way too good to destroy this feeling,'" she says. "If you keep consistently making those comments, eventually they'll get it." Or bypass this sticky situation altogether. Ginn says planning outings around outdoor activities instead of food can help keep your weight loss on track without bringing it to everyone else's attention.
Splurging on your favorite meal with your buddies is a great way to let loose - until those occasional outings morph into multiple times a week. This doesn't necessarily have to spell diet failure, says Mangieri. "Eat at a restaurant the same way you would at home," she advises. Make an effort to choose from the menu's healthier options and monitor your portions. If your friends are pressuring you to make unhealthy choices, Ginn says filling your plate up and packing half of it in a container is an easy solution. That way, you haven't completely sold out and you have a prepared meal for tomorrow.
Baked goods and soda stashes are meant to make the workplace inviting. In reality, they make it easy for you to pack on more pounds. Be a good influence around the office by suggesting healthier restaurants for lunch or rounding up an afternoon running group, suggests Mangieri. Even swapping out candy for sugar-free gum in the candy dishes or raiding the break room fridge can be a good starting point, says Ginn. "If you really want to make a difference, tell your coworkers what you want to accomplish," she says. "Usually they'll want to get on board, too."
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