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Are You Guilty of These Diet Crimes?

The scene: Nine p.m. Your living room. The TV is on. The evidence: An empty cookie bag on the floor; crumbs on the sofa. The victim: Your diet. Let our rehab plan reform your delinquent ways.
Social Snacker The Social Snacker

THE CRIME: Whether it's doughnuts at the a.m. meeting, cake for your coworker's birthday, or mixed nuts at happy hour, you just can't say no to food in social situations. All that grazing adds up to a lot of extra calories. "There's always going to be a reason to go off your diet; the key is to recognize that doing so too often is what's packing on pounds," Binks says.

Your Rehab Plan
Focus on your goals. "Write down the top reasons you want to lose weight, and keep the list in your wallet. Read it over when you feel your motivation sagging," Dr. Beck says. "If your goals are in front of you, it makes it easier to stick to healthy habits."

Order smarter. Your best friend can put away a burger and fries without gaining an ounce. It's not fair, but eating like her isn't going to give you the body you want. Instead, follow the lead of other successful dieters, Dr. Beck suggests. "They know that portion control is key," she explains. "When everyone else at the table is having sundaes for dessert, they'll order just one scoop. This way, they won't feel deprived -- or guilty."

Allow for treats. Splurging once a week on coconut shrimp isn't going to derail your diet. "If you're on such a strict program that you can't eat anything extra at a party, that's just not reasonable," Dr. Beck says. "When your rules are too rigid, you set yourself up for failure."